The Willow Wilson Wonder Woman: not as good as I’d anticipated

I’ve loved G. Willow Wilson’s work on Ms. MarvelAir and her novel Alif the Unseen so I was looking forward to her run on Wonder Woman. Her three TPBs — The Just War, Love Is a Battlefield, Loveless — disappointed me. Good, but not satisfying and nowhere near as good as I’d hoped (in fairness, my optimism isn’t Wilson’s fault).

In The Just War (art by Cary Nord), Wonder Woman takes on Ares, but with a twist: she’s persuaded him on the merits of peace and justice, so he’s fighting in a European revolution to see the right side wins. Unfortunately, he’s still Ares so he has no concern with body count if death is what it takes to resolve things. This is an interesting stretch but then we get Veronica Cale — one of my least favorite adversaries — using stock media-manipulation shticks to make WW look like a threat. We also get the Amazons vanishing, which isn’t the fresh twist it was back in the Silver Age. That said, this was the best Wonder Woman’s been since the New 52 reboot launched. And I do like Aphrodite as WW’s somewhat bemused sidekick

I also enjoyed the Giganta/WW banter in Love Is A Battlefield (with multiple artists), as the duo hunt for the Amazons, battle a titan and meet two of Aphrodite’s kids (one of them the non-binary Atlantiades). But the Atlantiades plot is stock (she liberates everyone in a small town to act on their feelings. Spoiler: doesn’t work out well) and the ending, involving an artificial reality called Chi (created by Hippolyta to see what life would be like if Diana hadn’t been born) didn’t grab me either.

In Loveless (once again with multiple artists), Wonder Woman finds the Amazons in Chi, where some of them have switched their allegiance from Hippolyta to Grail, Darkseid’s uninteresting daughter. Then we get Luthor convincing the Cheetah — who’s disgruntled not to be accepted as either a god or an Amazon, I’m not clear on that detail — to claim the sword Godkiller, with which she can yes, kill gods. First victim being Aphrodite, and killing love soon proves to have bad consequences for everyone. Wonder Woman loses her mojo. Steve dumps her. And now the Cheetah’s coming for her old foe …

The death of love was a good idea, but I didn’t care about the Amazon arc and not much about the Cheetah — and if God-Killer is so dangerous, how does Di shatter it on her bare skin at a crucial moment? As I’ve complained before, George Perez gave the Cheetah a focus, relic-hunting; if she’d simply gone off with the sword for her collection, that would have worked for me. But whatever her agenda is now, it’s a lot less interesting.

This volume did make Cale more interesting and the seeds for the next arc are good. However it’s by Steve Orlando whom I find a very “meh” so I’m in no rush to read it.

While I’m on the subject of current Wonder Woman books, I also read the first TPB of Sensation Comics, a WW weekly book that appeared a few years ago. We have Dr. Psycho in full misogynist mode, a teamup with Deadman and meetings with Catwoman, Mary Marvel and Supergirl. This one was fun.

#SFWApro. Top cover by Terry Dodson, bottom by Jesus Marino.

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