In Your Satin Tights, Fighting for Your Rights.
OK, everyone, let's get this out of the way. When William Moulton Marston created this dashing warrior, it has gone (and it's still going) through some changes. The marvelous contributions of George Perez, Greg Rucka, and Gail Simone, the aberrations of William Messner-Loebs, the near-unpolitically correct blunder of Eric Luke, and now, the contributions of J. Michael Straczynski. But before JMS can put his hands on an iconic figure like Diana Prince, we are here rewarded with a collection of the most impressive stories, and drawings of this Amazonian Princess that shrinks Superman #700 in content, and more than doubles Batman #700 in contributions from other artists. (You were right after all, Brevoort.) So, all you ladies, and gentlemen, grab your lassos, and spin on over to this review. And if you like to sing along the theme song of the 1970's Wonder Woman TV series, you're more than welcome. *whistling* WONDER WOMAN!
The GoodDefinitely, for the beginning to this wonderful issue, you have a cover made by the man that defined Wonder Woman to how classy and powerful she is today, George Perez, who goes on to show you, that even after 30 years later since he stopped working on Wonder Woman, he's still got it. The all-star list of who's who in writers and artists was just as impressive in itself, for where else but on anniversary issue would you see an assembly of talent join to deliver what essentially is the best anniversary issue of all of DC's Big Three. After a touching, heartfelt introduction made by Lynda Carter, the fun starts in a fast pace.
And with that, I mean Gail Simone and George Perez teaming up to bring all the women (and girls, to be fair) of DC under Wonder Woman's command to defend whom Batwoman recalls: "...the guys who protect the guy I voted against!" from Professor Ivo's most nefarious scheme. The interaction from all the women present in this story is so natural, it flows through easily, without disjointing anyone's character. Even after taking lip from Black Alice, she brushes it off without telling her a remark, let alone a negative tone, just to get the job done. It essentially is Wonder Woman to a tee. And the fact that you're being shown so many gals working in perfect unison (Grace and Misfit came back, yeah!) under Perez's capable artistry is truly a sight to behold. But for as much as I can praise the beginning of the story, it's the end of Simone's story that is easily reminiscent of a coming of age speech given by a valedictorian, (hence the name of the story.) Vanessa Kapatelis, who many remembered as being the latest Silver Swan, gives a speech where it carries just as much emotion as she shows, through which it carries over with her dialogue with Diana. A touching story, marvelous art, a great way to start. And it keeps getting better...
I'll tell you right now, I sincerely marked the eff out when I saw that Amanda Conner not only drew this story, but wrote it as well! Starting with a battle between Egg-Fu, of all people, and Wonder Woman, Power Girl, and Cassandra Cain as Batgirl. Ms. Conner even took precaution to remind the reader that this happened "A While Back", to avoid needless confusion. The art that has been currently associated with the first saga of the current Power Girl series is back, in all its glory, not to mention the incredibly witty and funny dialogue that follows it as well, best shown cracking a few jokes at Egg-Fu's expense. (Get it, cracking? ... Ah, never mind.) Anyway, after taking care of Egg-Fu, Karen and Diana have a heart-to-heart regarding PG's cat, Stinky, and its separation anxiety. The way the girls deal with the problem, as well as solving it, was very informative, and not to mention, cute, for its highlight on the cat itself. (Note to Winnick and Basri, HIGHLIGHT HER CAT.) And what better way to end Conner's contribution than by showing Wonder Woman's lack of familiarity with "The Manga Monster", to which Power Girl compared Egg-Fu to earlier in their fight.
Louise Simonson and Eduardo Pansica take on this story where Wonder Woman teams up with Superman at Washington, DC to prevent it from being bombarded by Nikos Aegeus. Patriotism undertones aside, considering the 4th of July is 4 days away, this story was action-packed, but not as much interaction as I saw with Simone and Conner, but they had a small nod to Superman with his "Death of Superman" story. Pansica did a good contibution, as well as Simonson, I just wish it was a wee bit longer.
The Sensational Wonder Woman
This is essentially a run-down of Wonder Woman so far before her current change happens, made by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins. For its brief part in the issue, it's done its job of making the reader really appreciate her former look before being leaped into her new look. The dialogue made by Johns just goes to show you that he's a master at keeping mystery characters a mystery, specifically the forces who changed Wonder Woman from yesterday to today. It'd be a crime not to commend Scott Kolins for his visual contributions, made even more elegant by the coloring of Michael Atiyeh. Which bring us to...
Odyssey, Prologue: Couture Shock
She doesn't know who she is, she doesn't know where she came from, she only knows what she's been told, and there are people trying to kill her. Essentially the same feeling most comic book readers felt when they first saw the redesign of her outfit and her current retcon. J. Michael Straczynski and Don Kramer take on this segment.
And yes, I know, you guys used to the brassier and girdle with the lasso, want him to lose his job, compare this to Spider-Man's One More Day, and called Jim Lee's design uninspired. Believe me, the 12 hours I had before going to the comic store had nothing but people downright rejecting this development, and I bet you guys will still hate it. But all I can say is, give it a chance, will ya? Change is like a double-edge sword, it can work for you or it doesn't.
Moving on, this new take on Diana seems rejuvenating, both visually and in character study. She's obviously annoyed at her constant running and hiding, wanting to find out what's going on. At first I thought JMS was trying to make her into a spoiled brat, but eventually, she warms back to her trademark understanding personality. His run-down of what has happened to Diana after she ran into the light back in the Geoff Johns segment, is alarming, to be honest, and it let to wonder what of the rest of the contributions that Diana did in the DCU beforehand? The fact that an Oracle of sorts guides Diana to the ruins of Themyscira strengthens those thoughts and worries. In short, JMS left people wondering and wanting to find out what's going to happen next.
Four stories, a plethora of wonderful art contributions, this anniversary issue did its job, with splendor to spare.
The BadThe bad, well, nothing is bad with this issue, really, save for the absence of Wonder Girl and Donna Troy. For an anniversary issue, it was vital, at least, to have the girls she inspired to take her mantle and likeness. That aside, there really isn't anything bad with this issue.
The Verdict WHOO! Now that's what you call a review! Twice as longer than any of my reviews-- I mean, ahem... After reading this issue, it made me appreciate Wonder Woman, not only for the strength she shows, but for her greatest attribute that accompanied her for 69 years... Her compassion and love towards those who help her. This attribute was constantly shown throughout these stories, save for JMS' take, but most importantly, it was shown through this issue. You can tell that this was a work of love made by all the artists and writers, from Shane Davis and Adam Hughes' astonishing renditions to the emotionally gripping piece from Gail Simone and the intro from Lynda Carter. This issue transcends sexism that was associated with Wonder Woman, and essentially was a celebration and a continuation of the legend that is Wonder Woman. Pick up this issue, as a gift to the Wonder Woman in your life, or as a great jumping point to acquainting yourself with this wonderful leading lady. It won't disappoint. 5/5 MUST-OWN
And if you're still griping over Wonder Woman's new costume, GET OFF IT, will you?