Image © DC Comics.
The beginning of an interesting new approach, in this comic. Not only new for the character, but a new storytelling device. This issue follows Wonder Woman of today, continuing from the Rebirth one-shot. Next issue will be about Wonder Woman’s first year in man’s world. Both stories will continue in alternate issues.
Here’ Diana is in the African jungle on a mission that gradually becomes clear. She’s searching for someone that she thinks can help her with a serious problem. Someone who doesn’t want to be found, and sends fierce beasts and warriors to stop Diana. Meanwhile, a new version of Etta is working a communications command in touch with Steve Trevor, also in Africa on a secret mission. Both of them are wondering what Wonder Woman is doing in the same arena, but they have no answers. Neither has talked to her in a while.
Good set up, lots of action. The writing by Greg Rucka has me wanting more. The art by Liam Sharp is rich and delicious. Waiting to see what the other story line is like, but so far I’m on board.
I didn’t enjoy this issue as much as the first one. It suffers from a common problem with crossover stories: too many characters, not enough room to get to know them. I like the Quest family and friends, and Space Ghost is interesting, but the rest of the heroes are unknown to me, and many are here with no explanation or background. This is the sort of book that should have an inside cover showing all the main characters with descriptions. An opening sequence has many characters on some distant world battling the main series threat, a monster called Omnikron, which did not engage me much because I didn’t know most of the characters, and therefore didn’t care that much when they were threatened or harmed. Omnikron also seemed rather predictable and unscary. Events on our world were more interesting. I’ll read on, but with less enthusiasm.
Image © Juke Box Productions.
Continuing and concluding the story from issue 35, a long-standing vendetta against three generations of the hero Jack-in-the-Box comes back to life when the villain Drama Queen takes up the fight begun by her grandfather, Drama King. Amid the battles, new information comes to light that surprises both sides and changes long-held perceptions about what really happened to cause the mutual destruction of the first hero and villain. Kurt Busiek’s story is as good as always, and the excellent fill-in art by Ron Randall on both issues is a joy to behold. Even the inherently silly expanding legs and arms of Jack-in-the-Box looks believable here, no easy task. Well done all around!
Image © DC Comics.
Paul Levitz has come up with a lovely way to enhance the resonance of his new Doctor Fate, Khalid. He’s made him the great-nephew of Kent Nelson, the original Doctor Fate. I don’t know the back story of Kent Nelson in the current DC continuity, but here he’s a powerful figure taking time to talk things over with his successor of sorts (though Kent can still wield the Doctor Fate powers) and they work together against a new attack on New York City. Khalid is hoping at first that Kent will take back the heavy responsibilities of the mask, but it’s not to be. Khalid has been chosen by the gods, as Kent once was, and must fulfill his own destiny, even if he still feels somewhat lost and inadequate. Working with Kent is a good morale booster. The art this time is by Ibrahim Moustafa, whose style is more realistic than regular artist Sonny Liew, though still not completely so. It works well here. I enjoyed this issue a great deal.
We, the readers, are following the followers, specifically the remaining 137 inheritors of the vast wealth of a deceased billionaire. The trick is, the smaller that group is, the more for those who remain. The reality of this has now sunk in with many, and they are looking for safe havens. One member of the group is the Japanese guru Akira, and he has invited some to join him in his guarded compound, but Akira is now regretting the move, feeling he can’t protect the group sufficiently. Other members are ignoring the danger, appearing on talk shows and such, while a few have followed another member of the group to Russia, where they hope to gain protection for money. In all, it’s an episodic issue with several new shocks, and no one seems to have a good plan. The characters and story by Rob Williams are keeping me reading, and the art by Mike Dowling is excellent, reminding me at times of Frank Quitely. I’m curious to see where things go from here.