Wonder Woman #36 marks the end of the lengthy Brian Azzarello/Cliff Chiang run which has defined Diana Prince since the New 52’s inception. Unfortunately, many of the newer elements introduced have been controversial to say the least. It’s difficult to talk about Wonder Woman on the conceptual level as she’s been one of the most reworked and re-imagined A-list heroes in DC’s entire roster. This makes avoiding hang ups about personal interpretations on how the character should and shouldn’t work a challenge, so please keep that in mind.
Despite some media flare ups, mostly with artist David Finch declaring that DC’s greatest female superhero shouldn’t be feminist, Wonder Woman #36 is okay. It’s not terribly good, not terribly bad and looks to be a title on the passable side. The greatest uncertainty going in is new writer, Meredith Finch. She’s a newcomer, and it shows as the issue is a thin read, most of it is set up for the first arc.
The story begins when several villages across the world are devastated by catastrophic floods at the hands of a mysterious new villain. At the same time, the Amazons of Themyscira are questioning Diana’s leadership abilities and faithfulness to her people. She’s let the male children of Amazons live on the island, and it hasn’t fared well. This introduces a mysterious elderly woman who seems to be Hippolyta’s sister and sees Diana as a danger to the Amazon way of life. Wonder Woman also runs afoul of Swamp Thing. The two have a fight for no reason aside to set him up for a later issue. However, this leads to a decent moment between Diana and Aquaman. It’s nice, quiet, slow, and does a decent summation of the important notes from Azzarello’s run.
David Finch’s pencils are here. His art is crisp. Still, the faces he puts on Wonder Woman are off putting. She’s meant to be young, but Finch gives her the face of a fifteen year old and it’s very off putting. Not to mention, it’s embarrassing that her main introduction in this run is of her naked in the shower. Finch is known for engaging in obnoxious fan service and thankfully, this is the only offender.
It’s difficult to say much else about this issue. The more problematic parts are the changes to Wonder Woman’s mythology courtesy of the previous team and will vary between reader. Issue #36 is a very story light issue that and says very little for Wonder Woman’s future in the New 52.