Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wonder Woman #6 (Late May, 2007)

Wonder Woman kept having to remind herself who she was, both her super-heroic role and her new cover identity as government special agent Diana Prince. She and Tom Tresser were assigned to bodyguard the new Maxi-Man, who had gained his powers from a reality television show competition. Tresser was bitching about the lameness of it all, including getting stuck with the inexperienced Prince as a partner. At an amusement park where Maxi-Man was doing a signing, a rollercoaster spontaneously fell apart, with a piece of track nailing Maxi-Man on the head. Wonder Woman showed up to save the day. Tressor was a fan, and was happy to buy his niece an action figure from the gift shop at a 75% discount, since the Amazing Amazon was still a national pariah. Diana seemed put out by the Wonder Woman Milkshake having been given over to Black Canary.

On the drive back to the Department of Metahuman Affairs, Diana demonstrated that she didn’t know the price of gasoline or how to pump it, making her look like an idiot in front of her partner. Sarge Steel once again put the agents on the trail of Wonder Woman, who despite being cleared of wrongdoing in the World Court for her involvement in the death of Maxwell Lord, was still wanted for questioning by the U.S. government. The agents had coffee afterward, where Diana expressed her concern that her attendant didn’t speak English when she kept repeating “Venti, duovent, grande, or uber.” Diana had a good cry over her detachment from humanity on a park bench with Tom. After Tresser left, Wonder Woman saved a girl from a mugger, who told her she had previously praised the princess as her subject in a paper for Feminist Theory class.

Outside a super-villain bar Tresser was staking out, he was seduced by a Wonder Woman who turned out to be Circe in disguise. A pair of authentic Amazonian bracelets stolen from the defunct Wonder Woman Museum were left behind for implication. Sarge Steel soon assigned Diana Prince to track down her kidnapped partner and the Amazing Amazon.

"Love and Murder, Part 1" was by Jodi Picoult, Drew Johnson & Ray Snyder. I thought people were ganging up on Picoult over minor fanboy details when these issues were coming out, chalking it up to the problems inherent in the starboinking assignments going out around that time. Having finally read the issues for myself, I now realize that they are in fact crap. Aside from the Maxi-Man reference, there is no indication that Picoult had ever read any comics prior to Allen Heinberg’s yet unfinished five issue run. I thought the whole point of “Who Is Wonder Woman” was to reestablish who the heroine was and relieve doubts in herself and others about her role. I guess because that point had yet to be made, Picoult restates the same concerns as was found in Heinberg’s scripts in such a way that you feel like she’s merely paraphrasing stuff readers would have just read. I’m also super duper sick of this Pinocchio “If only I were a real girl” bullcrap. Not only is it one of the most hoary of genre tropes, but it demonstrates an enormous misunderstanding of the central concept of the character. Diana is an immaculate conception based in feminine creativity, superiority and desire, not a friggin’ golem. Finally, the “comedy” and “human drama” is so awful and melodramatic, it makes me question Picoult’s abilities as a writer, period, rather than just how they translate to an unfamiliar medium.

Brave New World


mathematicscore said...

I concur. This wasn't a bad read, and Maxi-man (that's a Mister Miracle reference, right?) is sort of a fun reference, but like Superman, the "marvel method" doesn't work for Wonder Woman. They should be vehicles for us to process problems outside ourselves, a proxy for dealing with the challenges of life, not representations of our self doubt.

Diabolu Frank said...

Mr. Miracle it is...