Thursday, October 6, 2011

SS/OM: All New Wonder Woman Review Part 2: The Dark Man

All New Wonder Woman Review Part 2

And so it begins...

Since I'm going to be referring to them quite a bit, I'll be calling the “previous” Wonder Woman, as “Modern Age Wonder Woman” (MA Wondy for short) and All New Wonder Woman as, well, “All New Wonder Woman” or “All New Diana”. Duh.

The Story:

Now, to help fans along, issue 600 was a real treat! Including illustrations, letters and comics about Modern Age Wonder Woman.

And introduction from Lynda Carter (aka Patron Saint of Wonder Woman), illustrations by Adam HughesNichola ScottJason WrightIvan ReisOclair Albert/ Rod ReisGuillem MarchGreg HornFrancis ManaoulBrian BuccellatoPhil JimenezHi-Fi, JockShane Davis/ Jaime Mendoza/ and Nei Ruffino. We also get a few stories of Modern Age Wondy:

“Valedictorian” by writer Gail Simone and art by George Perez/Scott Koblish/Hi-Fi. It’s a great story that starts as team up with Wonder Woman and several other heroines (including Ravager and a few lesser knowns) against Prof. Ivo’s Cyber-sirens. After the battle, we get a few scenes of the other heroines having flustered fangirl moments over Wondy, before Wondy takes off to the graduation of Vanessa Kapatelis. Vanessa is one of the first Americans Wondy befriended when leaving the island in the Modern Age. She’s been through a lot of hardships ever since, including being brainwashed into becoming Silver Swan, another Wondy villain. The story is a great tribute to Wonder Woman, and the famed ally of hers.

Next is a short, cute story by Amanda Conner, with Paul Mounts colouring, where Wonder Woman, Power Girl and Bat Girl (Cassandra Cane version) teams up against Egg Fu (Not even kidding) followed by a scene of Wonder Woman giving Power Girl advise on her new cat. There’s also a gag where Wondy asks PG what a “manga monster” is O_o The story is a sweet pause before our next story.

“Fire Power” By Louise Simonson, with art by Edwardo PansicaBob Wiacek, and Pete Pantazis. One more team up between Wonder Woman and Super Man, against Nikos Augeus... who I think is another Wonder Woman enemy. It’s another goody and... strangely a little nostalgic of the vintage comics too.

And Then the reboot begins.

It starts with a prelude comic called “The Sensational Wonder Woman” by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins. The MA Wonder Woman appears to be rescuing a group prostitutes from some men in suits with guns. Typical day. While the battle continues, we get a couple of flashbacks of Wondy’s childhood. But in the mists of the battle, Diana sees a little girl in amazon clothing that we recognize as Diana as a child.. Wonder Woman runs after her, running directly into a portal. The whole time, there is a voice over of two or more people speaking. They muse about Wonder woman and how “Diana is far too undervalued” and that is is time to “Let the Odyssey of Wonder Woman begin” as MA Wondy is enveloped in light.

Its like we're hearing the voices of the guys behind this whole thing -_-;

Now we get to the official reboot by J. Michael Straczynski, I’ll get to the art of the story after my summery.

We are suddenly taken to an alley where the All New Wonder Woman, known only as Diana now, is punching out... more men in suits with guns.. She escapes and heads down to the sewers to where she speaks to... a bunch of cloaked figures? O...kay? Diana demands information as to who has been after her and why. They say she is not ready and walks off in a huff. Against the wishes of the cloaked figures, she goes to see the Oracle of Themysciria, who has taken the form of a punk girl who lives under a bridge. And... has a strange obsession for gum. Huh. Diana demands the same questions, as after some coaxing, the oracle reveals everything.

The Oracle shows Diana a vision of her homeland, Themyscira, and tells her that the way things are now are not how they were suppose to be. That time has been twisted.

When Diana was a child, the gods disappeared, leaving Themyscira unprotected. Then an army arrives, destroying the island, looking for Diana. Diana’s mother, Queen Hippolyta leaves Diana with the cloaked ones, and escape the island. Hippolyta stays to fight, but after a long battle, is captured by the leader of the army who we eventually come to know as the Dark Man.

With her final breath, and a very dark and striking scene, Hippolyta dives into the flames around her, with the lasso of truth, and dies, swearing that her daughter will kill the mysterious leader. The Dark man takes the lasso as his prize.

Diana comes out of the vision and swears to kill all of them.

She hunts down the men who have been after her, but after hearing that they are taking a plane out of the country, where they have found and are planing to kill a group of Amazonian refugees in Turkey, Diana changes her mind, and sneaks on the wing of the plane. As she does, she gets a flash back of the cloaked ones telling a teenage (and very smug and sarcastic teenager) Diana that one day, she will fly.

She eventually falls asleep and sees Modern Age Wonder Woman, showing off her powers and a very disturbing glare.

Um... Hi?

When she arrives, she finds the hidden Amazons who have taken refuge in a Greek temple, where they are surrounded by soldiers and several tanks. While alone, one of the gods, most likely Aphrodite, judging by the statue, speaks to Diana. She condemns the gods for abandoning them. Aphrodite says that Diana cannot save all the amazons but the gods cannot help her. So, basicly, the Greek Pantheon are the same self serving jerks they were in... well, every incarnation of the DC universe.

Diana decides that she is done hiding and viciously takes on the army on her own, while the rest of the Amazons escape through the desert.


As Diana fights the army. But when she is injured, another amazon who Diana just befriended, sends Diana a shield (with Hippolyta's face on it), saving her life. She is then shot down. Now enraged, Diana kills the rest of the army.

After the battle, Diana catches up with the other Amazons. But when they find the Turkish guides they’ve hired to cross the desert, they are already dead. At first they believe it was the army’s doing. But unknowingly to anyone else, Diana can see a group of female monsters, known as the Keres, attacking the souls of the guides. When the Keres realize that Diana can see them, they attack and eventually stab Diana, claiming that they now have Diana’s soul.

Diana wakes up in, of all places, Tartarus, a section of Hades, the Greek realm for the undead. Before the monsters can attack again, Charon, the boat man, appears and scares them away. He tells Diana that Hades has been in chaos since the gods disappear, allowing the Keres to do what they want with the souls in Tartarus. We see all the other souls are fighting an unending war. Charon says he no longer crosses souls across the River Styx, because it the other side is a far worse fate.

He tells Diana that the only way back to the living is to cross the gate protected by Cerberus. And after a few more lines of sarcasm, Diana heads out.

After one more battle with the Keres, (where we also discover that Keres were once beautiful woman that were cursed.) Diana finds Cerberus who... sniffs Diana’s face and then lays down and falls asleep... Okay then.

What she said O_o

Diana wakes up, alive again, a discovers the army has captured her and the amazons. In order to save her fellow amazons Diana makes a deal: she will meet with the Dark Man willingly, and the army will allow the amazons to leave, safely.

Diana goes to meet the leader in battle with her sword and shield embellished with her mothers face. From the sky, flames are shot from a helicopter, creating a ring of fire around Diana. The Dark Man is revealed: a man completely covered in scarring burns, holding the golden lasso of truth.

The Dark Man reveals that he was once a Colonel who executed and tortures anyone the several governments he worked for told him to--- and he enjoyed every moment of it. One day, he was captured by the other side and almost burnt alive for his crimes. Before he died, he made a deal with a mysterious woman, who said that she will save him if he finds and kills the amazons of Themyscira, and and more importatnly Diana.

The two fight, in what I got to say is a beautiful montage. Diana is eventually caught in the noose of the lasso. She realizes that the flames, can hurt the Dark Man, due to having “magical origins”. But it can also kill Diana. So why did the Dark Man bring a deadly, uncontrolable weapon to kill Diana when it can also kill him as well? Even though he already has the unbreakable lasso? Well, obviously because... uh... Irony?

Diana pushes them both into the flames, intending to sacrifice herself.

Suddenly, Diana hears her mothers voice. The spirit of her Hippolyta had been trapped in these flames all these years. She warns Diana not to let her soul be consumed by vengeance and hatred. The larger enemy is still out there but, Diana can stop them. Hippolyta forces Diana to leave the battle field, and destroys the Dark Man by herself. As Diana falls unconscious, Hippolyta tells her that she must find the Morrigan.

By the time Diana wakes up, the flames have died down. She emerges trumpet, with that Golden Lasso in tow.

Diana soon finds the enemies plane. When the pilots see that Diana defeated their boss, they take off. Diana runs after the planed, and leaps into the air, reaching out for the wing. Instead, she discovers that she no longer needs it:

She can now fly.

The scene jumps to a building where two men talk about what to do next, now they their boss is dead. They decide to ask “them” to let them take over. When they open the doors to “them”, both men are turned to stone.

And then things get weird.

End of part 2


(Also, should warn, the next one? Gonna be much longer then this O_o)

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