Monday, May 28, 2018

WONDER WOMAN #8

“TIME PASSAGES”
Plotter/Penciler: George Pérez | Scripters: George Pérez & Len Wein
Inker: Bruce Patterson | Letterers: John Costanza & L.S. MacIntosh
Colorist: Tatjana Wood | Editor: Karen Barger

The Plot: Princess Diana’s recent activities are recapped by Julia Kapatelis, Etta Candy, Vanessa Kapatelis, and Myndi Mayer via a journal entry, letter to Steve Trevor, diary entry, and letter to Julia, respectively.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: As recapped in the various letters and journals: Following the Ares Affair, Diana spoke at the United Nations, then retired to Julia’s summer home to mull over her recent actions in man’s world, but eventually went back into action against G. Gordon Godfrey. Afterward, she allowed the U.S. military to test her power levels, then went on a publicity tour arranged by Mindi, which included speaking at Vanessa’s school, meeting the president, and going on The Tonight Show.

I don’t recall it was made explicitly clear last issue (though it’s possible I’m remembering since I set Wonder Woman aside to read a dozen or so Superman issues), but we’re told here that Hippolyte has given Diana a limited amount of time in man’s world before she must return to Themyscira.

Julia notes that Diana chose not to join the new Justice League in the finale of LEGENDS because she doesn’t believe her purpose in man’s world is to become a crimfighter. Also, while she’s more than happy to give Julia her thoughts on most of the heroes she met during that adventure, she refuses to discuss her impression of Superman.

I think I failed to mention it at the time, but it’s stated that during her trials to become the Amazons’ champion against Ares in issue 1, Diana faced a test involving a .44 Magnum revolver. Here, Etta wonders about the gun’s origin on Paradise Island.

Doctor Barbara Minvera arrives in the United States and sends a letter to Diana explaining that she believes she is in possession of an ancient Amazon artifact—a second girdle of Gaia (Wonder Woman’s lasso is forged from the goddess’s first girdle).

Minerva and her servant, Chuma, along with an exotic plant, are picked up at Boston Airport by a criminal acquaintance named Tam McConnell. Later, Chuma performs a ceremony on Minerva, and later still, Tam’s body is found, dismembered by the Boston P.D.

When Chuma and Minerva cut Tam out of their plan, he threatens to go the feds, and specifically to Faraday, which can only be a reference to King Faraday, DC’s answer to Nick Fury. (Yes, Faraday was created a decade or so prior to Fury, but still.)

My Thoughts: Pérez and Wein try an experiment with this issue, telling nearly the entire thing in first-person prose accompanied by artwork. There are traditional comic book pages as well, of course — each prose section is preceded by a page of the writer in question settling in to compose their words and the stuff with Doctor Minerva is all done with panels and word balloons as well — but the vast majority of the issue is done the other way.


So I’ll say this for it: it’s a dense read! This particular installment probably takes twice as long to read as as a typical issue due to the high volume of text involved. Though personally, I’ve never been a fan of this much prose in a comic book. When I was a little kid, I owned THE GREATEST BATMAN STORIES EVER TOLD, which featured among its contents a prose story called “Death Strikes at Midnight and Three”, written by Denny O’Neil with illustrations by Marshal Rogers. To this day, I’ve never read it. I’ll happily read a novel, even one about a comic book character—but give me a comic written like a novel, and I have very little interest in it. But of course, that’s just my weird hang-up.

So regretfully, I don’t have much to say about this one. I applaud Pérez for trying something different, but due to the style in which the story is crafted, it simply fails to hold my interest.

Next Week: The Joker visits Metropolis in SUPERMAN #9!

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