Monday, October 22, 2018


Story & Layouts: George Pérez | Script: Len Wein | Finishes: Bob Smith
Letterer: John Costanza | Colorist: Carl Gafford | Editor: Karen Berger

The Plot: Wonder Woman saves the ferris wheel that Silver Swan damaged, while Silver Swan flies into the sky and, at the order of Henry Armbruster, who is secretly feeding her orders from a hidden command center, lets loose a tremendous sonic scream which floors everyone in the area. The Swan then demands that all present at the Wonder Woman fair turn over their valuables as penance for worshiping a false icon of feminism.

After everything is turned in, Wonder Woman flies the valuable up to Silver Swan—but Maxine spots Solomon Buchman taking aim at the Swan with a crossbow and shouts a warning to her friend. Diana deflects the bolt, and when Silver Swan retaliates against Buchman, the princess strikes, pushing Silver Swan away from Boston. The Swan drops the two bags Diana had handed her, which—unbeknownst to all—actually contain computer chips that Armbruster was after.

Wonder Woman fights and defeats Silver Swan, but they’re separated. Diana returns to Boston, while Armbruster sends a chopper for Silver Swan. Later, Diana discusses her feelings toward Superman with Vanessa, who urges her to seek out the Man of the Steel. Myndi Mayer gets in touch with Clark Kent, who helps arrange a date between the would-be super-couple.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: Diana meets with Steve and tells him the truth about his mother and her relationship with the Amazons.

The character who cornered Buchman and Maxine last issue, who I thought was working for Armbruster, is actually an undercover cop. He and his group arrest Buchman, who is sent to prison, but Maxine eludes them and catches a flight home.

It’s confirmed that Diana is indeed watching Vanessa in Julia’s absence. And then she leaves her teenage charge home alone to go knock boots with Superman. She may not be the most responsible sitter yet…

Myndi has visions of a huge payday, with plans to film the meeting between Wonder Woman and Superman, but Clark shuts her down.

On the story’s final page, Mount Olympus is attacked by mysterious foes who knock Hermes out of the sky.

My Thoughts: So first off, when Silver Swan demands everyone’s cash and valuables, the lady representing the charity for which the Wonder Woman Fair is raising money gets all angry at Diana, accusing her of basking in the crowd’s adulation. Others go along with this weirdly misplaced outrage as Diana heads up to give Silver Swan her prize.

But, uhh… this is a fair celebrating Wonder Woman. Yes, it’s raising money for a worthy cause, but Wonder Woman is its entire reason for being, and she’s the attraction everyone showed up to see. This seems like getting mad at celebrities participating in a charity softball match for enjoying the crowd’s cheers too much. It’s absurd. They’re there for charity, but they’re also there because they’re famous. This is the exact same concept. Was Diana supposed to be all meek and humble and hide from her adoring fans? That would defeat the purpose of the fair!

But anyway, moving along: the Silver Swan plot comes to a close for now, though I’m still not sure I entirely understand it. Armbruster observes the entire confrontation with a guy named Choi, and they gab about how their “inside man” will sneak some stolen computer chips in among the fair’s receipts, which will then be handed over to Silver Swan with all the valuables and brought to Armbruster, thus giving him and his associate “domination of the market in Silicon Valley.”

Does this seem a little convoluted to anyone else? I mean, I’m not a criminal and I know nothing about corporate espionage, but I’m pretty sure I could think of several other ways to get those chips to Armbruster. The inside man got them out of whatever building they were in; wouldn’t you expect that to be the hardest part? At this point, couldn’t he just make a handoff in some dark alleyway late at night, or maybe even just hand-deliver them to Armbruster’s office? Either of these options seems far less risky than staging an elaborate, showboating hold-up at an event where a known superheroine will be present!

But Wonder Woman’s fight with Silver Swan does make up a bit for the ill-conceived plot. She even snaps her wet cape at Silver Swan, the same way one would snap a towel, to knock the other woman off-guard! (She credits this maneuver to Vanessa, who taught it to her at the beach.)

Oh, and artwise, I really like Silver Swan's costume, and this issue also gives us possibly my favorite Pérez drawing of Wonder Woman to date (seen at right). It's not a full-body shot; in fact much of her is cropped out of the image... but I like it because of the way Pérez illustrates her shoulder and arm. See, most of the time his Wonder Woman looks very much like any other female comic character. Not too big, not too small, certainly physically idealized, but with a pretty run-of-the-mill musculature as far as superheroines go. But here, presumably because she's flexing to prepare for a counterattack against Silver Swan, she looks strong. I don't believe Wonder Woman should look like a female bodybuilder, but she should definitely have the build of a stong athlete with broad shoulders and some amount of muscularity to her arms and upper body. And in this picture and this picture alone (so far), she fits that bill to a tee!

Next Week: Superman tries to make his date with Wonder Woman in ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #440.

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