Saturday, October 29, 2011

SS/OM: All New Wonder Woman Review Part 4: Nemesis

All New Wonder Woman Review Part 4: Nemesis

The End. In more ways then one.

(Final thoughts are at the end of the article)

Last time on All New Wonder Woman: The Morrigan resurrected three former amazons, Artemis, Cheetah, and Giganta, to kill off all the amazons and turn Diana into a spiteful, vengeful murderer. Why? To become the newest addition to the the Morrigan’s trinity. But Diana was saved at the Last minute, bY, of all people, Dr. Psycho, who seems to remember exactly who she is.

On to the last part:

Diana wakes up in a dream world, where a much more handsome Dr. Psycho is with her. 

Hubba Hu-- AAH!

He explains that he noticed the changes to the universe the Morrigan had caused, and shows Diana several versions of “herself”: A blind woman that became the fierce leader of a group of slaves, a daughter of a black slave turned pirate, becoming a pirate herself, and a female banished from her tribe but proved herself to them in battle, and finally an amazon woman born on Themyscira, protecting a man named Steve Trevor.

Dr. Psycho says that no matter where he looks in time, “every era somehow finds a way to create” her. The Morrigan had destroyed Diana’s connection to her past, but Psycho has now reconnected it. He remembers his former life, probably because of his powers. Diana asks to see what he really looks like. Eventually Dr. Psycho complies and reveals that he was once Diana’s enemy, and wants to return things back to normal, because then, he could be part of Diana’s life again. Despite being a little erked by his answer, Diana shows Psycho kindness, and thanks him. He points to a mountain surrounded by an ocean and says that Diana must go there if she is to return to the living.

Diana makes her way through several trials, and well... I have no words for this scene. Just... Look:

That's right. That just happened.

Mind. Officially. Blown.

This is ultimately my favourite scene in the entire story and my favorite issue. It’s a tribute to Wonder Woman new and old. Even those not going under the name “Diana”. The symbolism and writing are beautiful. This is tearful moment material here. And then ending on Nurse Diana Prince, Dr. Etta Candy and the star spangled blanket is just a really nice treat for fans.

After Diana tries to convince Dr. Candy that she’s not insane, Diana and Nurse Prince share a moment, feeling as if they know each other. Nurse prince tells Diana that another woman in the hospital, called Myra Clotho, told her to give the star blanket to Diana. After some prying, Nurse Prince takes Diana to Clotho. And the old woman reveals herself as the reincarnated form of Clotho, one of the three fates who weaves the lives of every soul.

And.... here's the point were I have to stop and put up a big warning sign. It’s around here that some plot holes started popping up, but at least wait until the end of the review and I will address them in my final thoughts.

She warns Diana that the Morrigan are not her true enemy. The true villain wants to destroy all life on the planet, which the Morrigan need to sustain themselves. But Diana cannot be affected by such evil. For she is the personification of human virtue (heck ya). Clotho reminds Diana of a bird she protected from her sisters when she was younger and absolves Diana of the vengeful and bloody deeds she has performed.

Clotho gives Diana a new golden lasso. It not the ordinary lasso of truth, but Diana’s very life line, which Clotho had weaved when Diana was born. Seeing what would eventually happen, Clotho weaved a second life into the rope, incase Diana was ever killed. The true enemy of this story killed Modern Age Wonder Woman, and the life All New Diana is now living is that second life. (Note that WW has already died a few times). With another piece of the puzzle revealed, Clotho dies.

Before Diana can leave, another Keres appears, to feast on Clotho’s soul. Diana stops the Keres and uses the lasso to free the cursed soul of the Keres and the soul of every other Keres in Tarturus.

(I should also note that Diana still only has one golden lasso. I don’t know where the first one went. Maybe they combined?)

The three resurrected Amazon appear again, now free from Dr. Psycho’s control. Diana leaves the hospital, but not before getting to meet Dr. Steve Trevor (yay!). Diana fights her three sisters, this time a lot more competently, before using the lasso on each one, freeing them from the Morrigan’s control. 

After that, it’s one more trip back to the Oracle of Themyscira to give a message for the gods “I’m on the way to kill a few.”

...Well, that was... pointless.

The Morrigan are currently torturing information out of Dr. Psycho. But he says it’s too late, Diana is already here. Realizing that Diana is now on her way up the skyscraper to them, the Morrigan go to a large golden door with the WW symbol on it, and receive orders from their mistress to either turn Diana into one of them tonight, or kill her.

When Diana, Artemis, Giganta and Cheetah appear, the three resurrected amazons kill Bellona,with some help from Dr. Psycho and the now freed Ajax, who’s looking forward to killing the woman who has torchered him for so long. This is part of the reason why I like Ajax (And he’s just adorable in how he constantly goes from whiney to defiant and back in a split second). 

But Giganta and Cheetah are killed and Artemis is fatally injured. Diana, however, is entranced by the golden door with her symbol on it. When Diana opens it, she is stabbed by a sword.

The scene drastically changes to another alternate future. In this one, the time line is the same as it originally was, except now, Diana has been transformed into the goddess of the fallen dead: spirits that have died because of violence, crying for vengeance. Diana marches her army of dead across the Earth, fighting her former comrades, including Superman and the rest of the Justice League, all eventually falling to her and joining her dead army.

Diana snaps from her trance and falls to the ground, frozen in pain and panic. Anann finally prepares herself to make Diana one of the Morrigan. Artemis shoots one last arrow through Anann’s neck, causing a huge energy build-up. Diana and Artemis have a touching good-bye and Anann explodes, destroying the building the Morrigan kept their HQ, and sending Diana crashing into the ruins.

Diana awakens to Galenthia’s who has brought her one end of the golden lasso in her hand. After encouraging Diana to continue on after the death of her loved ones, they follow the lasso’s trail. The other end of the lasso leads though the golden door from earlier. The cloaked figures, which are actually called “the hooded ones” surround her again and reveal who they are: The missing Greek Gods. They have been hiding from Nemesis, the mad goddess of the fallen dead and vengeful. Wait. How did Diana know the name of her enemy was Nemesis? I don’t remember anyone-- Y'know what? Never mind.

Anyway, Nemesis’ sword has the power to kill gods and when she started warring against them, the gods hide themselves. But they stayed close enough to guide Diana. Nemesis wants Diana as her Champion, but she is also the only one that could stop Nemesis now. They also reveal that it was them that sent Diana on this Oddessy, and twisted time so she couldn’t learn the love she needed to within Themyscira’s walls. 

Right. Because Modern Age Wondy had no love for the Earth and it’s people, right?

Page from the Comic Resources Forums


Like I said, the Greek Gods are still the same idiots they were before. But I’ll get to the idiocy of their reasons for the end. After a few more “encouraging” (preachy) speeches, Diana decides it’s time to face Nemesis.

Diana follows the golden lasso through the door and discovers silent, morbid, living statues of her dead loved ones. Given no other choice, Diana smashes the statues, turning them to dust. Diana follows the lasso again and discovers who is holding the other end:

Modern Age Wonder Woman--- bikini and all.

Diana and her past self fight, as All New Diana contemplates what’s happening. This Wonder Woman is stronger then her, to the point that it scares her. 

As the living statues reform around her, All New Diana realizes that theses souls have become just empty husks, enslaved by Nemesis. Modern Age Wonder Woman finally reveals what actually happened. Some time ago, she had hunted down the Morrigan, who were planing to attack Themyscira. She ended up killing some the their Trinity. But then Nemesis herself appears and kills Wonder Woman, adding her to Nemesis’ army of dead. She takes on Wonder Woman’s form, but discovers that the soul is not complete. A part of Wonder Woman is still missing.

All New Diana is that missing piece. Modern Age Wonder Woman states that that it’s time for her to join back with her former self, and become a part of Nemesis. Then there will be no one that will stop Nemesis from ending humanity, and bring peace to the murdered and the future murdered.

All New Diana is powerless against her predecessor, but soon shows Modern Age Wonder Woman the picture Henry drew of “them”. Nemesis' plots to corrupt her and hate humanity only made her love them more. “The more I lived with them, the more I belonged among them... They are my brothers and sisters”, she says. After Diana shows pity for her corrupted self, Modern Age Wonder Woman stabs her with Nemesis’ sword. All new Diana quickly wraps them both in the golden lasso, their life line, and states that they must become one again. Using the Lasso, the two Dianas become one, and become Wonder Woman once more, free from Nemesis again. Nemesis could never take over her Amazonian soul.

Speaking of the Goddess, Nemesis’ true form reforms behind Wonder Woman, and the two begin to fight. All the years of leading the murdered and vengeful have driven Nemesis mad. The goddess believes that the dead deserve the vengeance they cry for and will murder for it. 

Angered by Wonder Woman, Nemesis calls on the true power of the dead where she... Augh! My EYES!


So, apparently the true power of the dead blows Nemesis up like a deformed, grotesque balloon...? Ew, gross, and let me just say, ew again. Moving on.

The two continue to fight, and with no other choice, Wonder Woman picks up Nemesis’ sword and accidentally kills the dark goddess.

Wonder Woman mourns her choice, but Nemesis just laughs. This was her plan all along. Wonder Woman was meant to be her champion, but now, by killing the goddess of the dead with her own sword, Wonder Woman will take her place.

As Nemesis dies, Wonder woman is turned into the new goddess of the dead.

And let me just say, this scene is scary. Or it would be, if it wasn’t for the distracting anatomy issues, such as Diana’s head and neck draw in the wrong place and proportions for the rest of her body, and the tentacle boob-and-hip grab during the transformation. Classy, guys. Classy.

This scene makes me uncomfortable and now my neck hurts

Now the goddess of the murdered, Diana begins to agree with all that Nemesis said. But a part of Diana is holding on. She feels the pain of the spirits around her, trapped in their need for vengeance. She realizes that the gods never should have created an avatar of the vengeful, and destroys Nemesis source of power: Her sword.

Everything is over come by a bright light. When Diana comes to, she is on Themyscira. Phillipus, Artemis, the rest of her sisters and mother are alive and the time line is as it should be.

Diana is overjoyed at seeing her mother alive again. She stays to visit a bit, and tells her mother what happened, before stating that it’s going to happen again. She can sense that another change is on the way. But no matter what, she will face it.

And that she "will always be Wonder Woman".



So what did I think...?

Plot holes aside, I loved this comic! Was it the best Wonder Woman comic? No. I have definitely read better Wonder Woman stories, though this one is still on my list of recommendations, if only to get a look at something really different for Wonder Woman. It was just... lots of fun!

Now the specifics. Let me talk about what I didn’t like first, starting with the bloody plot holes.

Biggest question in this whole book? Why was Wonder Woman’s timeline changed? And what was the point of it all?

Well, basically this whole book was part of Nemesis’ plot. Which is an extremely complicated plan. And some of the story still doesn't make sense. Was the timeline altered so much (including everyone else's timeline, including Psycho’s and Steve Trevor's) because of the gods? But there's evidence that it was because of Clotho. And evidence that is was the Morrigan and Nemesis. And did the gods really need to abandon everything to go hide from Nemesis? I can almost forgive the stupidity of the Greek gods because in DC, there always that stupid. They're like the Guardians of Oa. And then when Diana tells Nemesis that she could never corrupt her amazon soul, the God’s plans suddenly feel pointless too.

Y’know what? Screw it. Why did all this happen? Because the writer wanted to. We get too many reasons in the actual book, and the “plan” is far more complicated then it needed to be. I’ll just chock it up to “wibblily wobbely, timey wimey stuff” and get back to the book.

Anyway, the little stuff: Little jarring to hear Diana use modern teen slang. The fact that her outfit is covered in “WW” makes no sense because she doesn’t call herself “Wonder Woman”. Few problems in the Dark Man saga: a few art and spelling errors, which disappeared in the next are, and I wish we got information about Diana’s life with her sisters in different safe houses much sooner. But the story and quality picked up right after the Dark Man saga ended.

So the only part left to talk about is the ending. Sigh. The final battle fell apart when Nemesis blew up like a balloon. It makes no sense, and it’s not scary or intimidating. It’s silly to the point of stupid. And then there's the decreased quality of art and increase of tentacles, being more of an annoying distraction. And the scene between Diana and her mother also seem a little drawn out. But most of all, it feels like this last issue was really rushed, but to no fault at all to the comic. And was probably due to the coming reboot.

But I loved the scenes with Hippolyta, and the arcs after the Dark Man. I loved Nemesis and the Morrigan as the villains and the means they used to harm Diana. The pacing between calm and battle scenes were well done. And there was a lot of Wonder Woman worship in this series. And the EASTER EGGS! My gosh, the Easter eggs! My jaw dropped when I saw Diana Prince and Etta Candy!

And I want that whole scene of Diana’s dream trials as a wall scroll! DC--- get on that!


Now for the people who worked on it:

So someone just pointed out that JMS did work on *takes deep breath* One More Day--- Duh duh duuuuh! And to that I say... I can tell. First of all, I'm glad I didn’t know going into this, because I don't like a writers past work to affect how I feel about their new work... unless it was child porn... or some other form of evil.

But in the case of One More Day, I will say, with a wince, that it... wasn’t... that...bad--- *dodges streams of fire* ---IN WRITING! IN WRITING! PLEASE DON’T KILL ME!

O.M.D was a terrible idea, and had no actual consequences other then getting Peter to date other women. But I can honestly say that it’s a horrible idea that was written really, REALLY, well. Good pacing, nightmarish scenes. But that’s a review for another day.

Now, after the Dark Man saga, JMS left, Phil Hester filled in, combining both JMS' script and his own ideas (And seeing as the Dark Man saga wasn't my favorite, this also makes sense). I should note that I haven't read anything from Phil Hester. But since he's working off JMS's script, its impossible for me to know where one ends and the other begins.

As for they're work here, I can’t really tell if JMS/Hester did a lot of research regarding WW or not enough. Maybe it's because there were two writers working separately on the book. There’s definitely some easter eggs, and Wondy worship. But then there was that whole “Learning the love she needed outside of Themyscara” thing. That part definitely annoyed me. But other then that I can’t really use this book as an example for whether or not JMS or Phil Hester actually understands Wonder Woman, since this Diana isn’t really the Wonder Woman we know.

As for the art, it was really nice for the most part. But very odd at times. I’ll get to that in a sec. Check out how many artists were on this series!:





Ya. And I didn’t even count the cover artists. I loved most of the styles. Don Kramer was the main artist and as much as I liked the texture his pencils have, his anatomy ranged from powerful and dynamic to static and “anatomy nightmares”

But the biggest problem was how the artists were all used. Artist would change up to three times in some issues, and very sporadically. Sometimes in the middle of a scene we’d go back and forth between two different art styles.

There were a few times when this was used for great affect, such as when the art style switched when Diana is transported to Tarturus, or we switch scenes. This is a good transition, especially, for supernatural worlds.

But other then that, the constant switching of artists was really jarring. I get that sometimes, for some reason, and artist might need help on a page before the dead line, but this happened in most of the issues, so don't think this was just an emergency help-out. If the editors did plan all this, they should have assign the pages in a more organized manner.

This story isn't perfect. It had hiccups and could have been better. But it’s a fun, heart pounding, tearful ride, with a lot of Wonder Woman worship and research put into it. This won't be a story for everyone, but I recommend this book anyway, at least at a rental, to any Wondy fan out there, if only to try it out... or at least to read those awesome scenes from Issue 609.

And so ends another era of Wonder Woman. Join me next time, when we come to the end of Super September/October Month, with a review my September comics, including Wonder Woman #1.


Tegan Dumpleton aka SlugLady28


Apologies for the lateness of this one. I’m feeling better, and things at home are getting better, but my schedule is all over the place since I have to take on more hours at work (This has just not be my month O_o). I’ll have my review of September’s comics up in a couple of days, and then some news about what’s happening in November. Seeya then.

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