‘Wonder Woman’ #39: war-torn and worn out

CoverWonder Woman #39
Written by Meredith Finch
Art by David Finch
Colors by Sonia Oback
Published by DC Comics

One would go on to think that after being the problematic brain child of a single writer for three years, seeing someone else take up the reigns would be exciting. It would be a chance to explore brand new territory, perhaps utilize the seventy-plus years of history and say something regarding Wonder Woman’s place as the best known female superhero on the planet. So why is it that David and Meredith Finch’s Wonder Woman so boring?

Honestly, this run is four issues into its initial arc and has only the barest associate with a compelling story, interesting characters, or even a real villain. While last issue has the rather sketchy subtext of both Wonder Woman and the Amazons either being unwilling to take up power or crushed by the weight of it, this issue takes on a new turn. As Diana and the Justice League pursue the force that’s abducting civilians, Wonder Woman is subjected to fits of rage and needs to be mansplained by Batman and Superman. Meanwhile, the Amazons continue to be a group of gullible troglodytes whom can be swayed by a total stranger in the form of Donna Troy, another insult to this mess. After three years of fans asking where one of DC Comics’ best known heroes and founder of the Teen Titans, all she shows up to do is be an effectively mindless puppet of some other villain. The best that can be said about her returns is that this time, Donna gets to talk. Meredith’s amateur writing truly shows through.

This story line is more than halfway through and has still yet to show the barest sign of a compelling antagonist with any chemistry with Wonder Woman instead it ops to turn the Amazons into a bunch of nearsighted, bloodthirsty warmongers ready to parade around with the castrated members of their own brothers on spears. The more pressing global threat which requires the Justice League to force their way onstage each issue turns out to be so far a poor man’s rip off of Aliens, quite sad given that film actually had clever gender politics sowed into its subtext.

David Finch adds little to nothing into the proceedings. No one ever looks to share any emotional tether to one another. Diana continues to have the face of an eighteen-year old, but this time, Finch contorts her cheekbones into some of the most unintentionally hilarious faces this side of the Big Two. He’s far more interested in body horror, giant monsters, and Batman’s musculature and robs Wonder Woman of any humanity. In terms of an entirely art-perspective, there is no emotional weight behind this issue.

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When this arc started, there was hope that with Azzarello’s name finally off the book, that Wonder Woman would be getting back to its roots as a title designed to inspire young women and debunk the qualities of brutish hyper-masculinity. Instead, David and Meredith Finch have doubled down on the worst qualities of New 52 Wonder Woman, but now Cliff Chiang isn’t around to make the wretched proceedings at least good to look at. For any fan of compelling super hero action, this is a must skip, for a fan of Wonder Woman, doubley so.

 

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