Diana is now confronted with Donna Troy who’s poised to claim the throne of Themyscira for her own. Meanwhile the nature of the insectoid alien’s presence is revealed and all eyes of the Justice League are turned towards Wonder Woman. Where will the penultimate issue of the Finches’ first story arc take us? Is it good?
Wonder Woman #40 (DC Comics)
Last issue was definitely a peak in the excitement level while this issue brought is back down a notch. Beginning where the last issue left off, we find Diana and Donna going at it over the rights to be queen. Unfortunately the two warriors’ epic showdown is cut very short by their fellow Amazonians; therefore the drought of Donna Troy hype continues. This is now technically the fourth issue she’s been in and all she’s done is say a handful of words and get in a two minute sword fight. The art however is very good, especially the opening pages where David plays with fire by…playing with fire (Ha-Ha). The two warriors are fighting while framed by fire in the background which heightens the momentary intensity of the panels. David’s light/shadow work is amazing and is able to realistically portray the lighting effect against the faces and steel of Diana and Donna.
Now one of the main issues with the story arc so far is that it’s been so drawn out and the plot has taken so long to develop. It seems like there’s so much wasted space within each comic that inevitably after every issue you think back to what happened and you can’t really name more than two main concepts; which is ironic because Wonder Woman is feeling too overwhelmed. I think the Finches tried doing too much and in the end they weren’t able to focus on the truly appealing aspects of the first series. Instead we got Diana complaining and crying a lot, generic conversations between her and other Justice Leaguers, short-lived and random Paradise Island battles, and the reoccurrence of fan favorite character who has played the role of a manikin for the majority of the issues.
In this issue there’s a similar “filler” transition scene with Superman where nothing of importance is really discussed while the couple casually saves a school bus full of children before joining the Justice League in examining the Alien hole in attempt to locate the queen. This is the high point of the issue for me where Meredith actually references Azarello’s run (a rare occurrence). It is revealed that the aliens aren’t actually extraterrestrial, but came from deep within earth, awakened by the First Born when Wonder Woman threw him from Olympus to the core. This is then followed by what was probably meant to be a shocking attack on the male residents of Themyscira led by Donna Troy. Rather than shocking, this just came off as more obnoxious. I’m really not invested in any of the Amazonian affairs of this series so this produced no shock or awe value.
Next we have a Wonder Woman annual which will conclude this “War-Torn” story arc and will even feature artwork by Jonathon Glapion who will from now on help carry the artistic load with David Finch. This should help shake things up, but I would have preferred some creative changes in the writing rather than art considering the art has been some of the highs of this first arc. I wouldn’t be surprised if David continued to have a permanent supporting artist considering his artistic style is more time consuming, he’ll most likely need the assistance from here on out.
Is It Good?
In the end it’s another lackluster issue that doesn’t seem to be meeting its potential, even after the auspicious issue last month. The issue is made up of too many things that lack real substance or plot. Here’s hoping the first arc ends on a high note with Wonder Woman’s first annual next month.