REVIEW: Wonder Woman #36

Wonder Woman (2011-) 036-000WONDER WOMAN #36

Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art and cover by DAVID FINCH and RICHARD FRIEND
Lego variant cover
1:50 B&W Variant cover by DAVID FINCH
1:100 variant cover by DAVID FINCH
Blank variant cover
32 pg, FC / $2.99 / RATED T

SOLICITATION:

Please welcome the new superstar creative team of writer Meredith Finch and artist David Finch! As this new epic begins, the fate of the Amazons is about to be revealed, major new characters will be introduced and a new villain will arrive with enough power to defeat the combined might of Wonder Woman and her Justice League teammates! Don’t miss the start of this story that guest stars Swamp Thing! It will define what it takes for Diana to fulfill her destiny as Wonder Woman!

REVIEW:

This was another comic that I was not looking forward to reading. I have a high opinion of the Wonder Woman stories that Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang did in their three years on the title. It wasn’t my personal thing, but I recognized that it was, for me, a matter of taste, and not an issue of quality. The stories were consistent with the author’s vision, and the art was top notch, and defied the house style that DC’s New 52 seemed to exhibit. When the new creative team was announced, I was very skeptical, especially given the dearth of work from Meredith Finch to base any expectations on. With David Finch, I was less concerned, because I knew what to expect. I was more worried that Meredith would defer to her husband, essentially giving us a comic written by him. After reading this, I’m no longer concerned for her role in this creative team, but I’m not impressed.

Wonder Woman (2011-) 036-014

 

The story comes across as very, very brief. When I got to the end, I felt like it was just way too short, and I feel like a lot of that is David Finch’s reliance on large shots to create emphasis at the expense of the smaller ones. For all of the concern Diana and the Justice League have about innocent lives, there are no regular people here. Everyone is a super-hero or an Amazon, and the ordinary people in the first three pages are cyphers, completely overpowered by Meredith Finch’s desire for an attempt at meaningful, yet cryptic prose. Also Aquaman shows up to help resolve the Diana/Swamp Thing fight with no foreshadowing that he was following Diana into Thailand. To her credit, Diana’s urge to immediately jump into battle with Swamp Thing is explained somewhat, but her characterization comes across as the only one that is even remotely in tune with the generally accepted personalities of any of the characters here, and most of the time, what we’re getting from Diana is soul-searching for a purpose in life, and from what I’ve gathered, that’s one thing she should have a firm handle on, what her purpose in life is.

As I mentioned, David Finch relies on big splash pages, double page spreads and large, overpowering panels that are supposed to show the most important part of the story on the page. Unfortunately we get scenes where a lot of information is crammed into too few words, making for a very brief read. His style is his style, and I personally find fault with his characters all having the same general facial features. In the double page spread of the Justice League, Superman and Aquaman look identical. If it weren’t for coloring there would be no indication that Cyborg and the Amazon Dessa are a different race. The high point of his art is his initial rendering of Swamp Thing, but the rest of his panels fail to carry that same impact.

Like I said, I’m unimpressed with this issue and will probably not readily come back to this title with this creative team. It’s just unremarkable and for a character like Wonder Woman, that’s unforgivable.