Cheetah and Wonder Woman duke it out, while Steve and his team chase after the captured girls, soon to come head to head. Is it good?
Wonder Woman #3 (DC Comics)
Diana admits to Cheetah that she’s lost from Olympus and needs her help to find her way back home. Cheetah accuses Diana of allowing her to become the creature she is and Diana counters that she still considers her a friend. Their moment is disrupted by the return of the wolf creatures, who attack them en masse.
Meanwhile, Steve and his team decide they are going to follow Cadulo’s trail and try and rescue the kidnapped girls. But the trail leads them to a mysterious forest that doesn’t appear on any of their maps or satellite. They enter anyway and we see that they are in the same forest as Diana and Cheetah. Both groups battle the wolf creatures and are fighting towards the same goal: defeating Urzkartaga.
Is It Good?
Hooboy. Okay, while I liked the first issue of this side of the Wonder Woman story, I LOVED the first issues of the other side, specifically the art. So I was coming into this issue a bit jealous of JR, but now I’m really jealous of him getting to review those issues. Because even though Greg Rucka is writing both, things just aren’t clicking in the present day storyline the way they are in the past, at least for me.
First off, the pacing feels way slower – in these two issues, Diana has found Cheetah, agreed to help her, and Steve and his team have beaten them to finding Colonel Cadulo. And not much else. In both storylines, the dialogue is awkward and highly expository, and even the moment between Diana and Cheetah that is supposed to be touching, a moment of connection, just feels odd and unmoving.
None of this is helped by the art. The problems that I had in the first issue seem to have taken over, and while I do fully admit that Sharp’s style is just not to my taste, I think there’s more to it than that. The stiffness of the dialog and interactions isn’t helped by Sharp’s weakness in facial expressions. Diana is either pouting sexily, or staring sadly, and Steve mirrors her expressions perfectly. Even in the heat of battle she looks barely interested in what’s happening. The wrinkles in Steve’s forehead are the only signal that his expression has changed. The only character with real facial expressions is Cheetah, and even her big moment is covered by giant tear trails down her face.
There are just some weird moments here as well. The opening shot is Diana coming out of a pool of water. Why is she in a pool of water? No one knows – it’s not a continuation from where the last issue left off, she apparently just needs to be posed like she’s stepping out of the SI swimsuit issue.
And then there’s that moment with Cheetah – from what I could tell, Diana hugs Barbara into submission? There are 7 panels of them spooning and Cheetah crying and man, it was just so very odd. While there are some interesting uses of shadow and backlighting, and the action sequences are clear and well-defined, the issue as a whole just isn’t strong.
Sadly, the art isn’t helped by the color. There are some interesting uses of light in places, like the beautifully lit sunset of the cover and first few pages and the phosphorescent fire during the wolf battle — but the rest is dark and muddy, adding to the oppressive, flat tone. And let’s talk about that cover – again, a weirdly sexualized rendering of both women, that looks more like they are about to make out than start fighting each other. #furboobs
Reader, I am sad. I truly wanted to enjoy this book and I really tried to see the positives in the first issues. But it is getting harder and harder when I’m just not enjoying the experience. Sigh. Back to you, JR.