Move Aside, Batman and Superman...Wonder Woman's Here
I never would have guessed that "Wonder Woman" #600 would be my favorite book out of the DC Trinity Anniversary Summer Extravaganza. That book is an anniversary if I ever saw one.
First, let's talk about the bonus art strewn about in the issue. Adam Hughes, Nicola Scott, Ivan Reis, Guillen March, Greg Horn, Francis Manapul, Phil Jimenez, Jock, and Shane Davis off their interpretation of Wonder Woman. DC's biggest artists in a book? That just adds to the signifigance of the milestone issue. There's a lot of great, unique work here with Horn's being my personal favorite.
Next, we have stories by Gail Simone & George Perez, Amanda Conner, Louise Simonson & Eduardo Pansica, Geoff Johns & Scott Kolins, and the new creative team of J. Michael Staczynski & Don Kramer. That's right, there's five stories by some pretty big named writers. This entire book is loaded with star power that focuses on Wonder Woman.
Gail's good-bye story was absoutely fitting, Amanda Conner turns in a fan favorite chock full of humor and the appearance of a beloved DC character, Louise Simonson gives us a nice Superman/Wonder Woman Silver Age-esque team up, and Geoff Johns transitions the world to JMS' new run.
The Simonson story was probably the weakest of the bunch, but even that was charming with the Silver Age-esque appeal. Pretty much anything Amanda Conner does is gold. Having her write and draw a Wonder Woman, Power Girl, and Batgirl story was awesome. It was the fun story you've come to expect from Conner. Gail and Geoff both pepper some meta-comments about Wonder Woman in their respective stories. Gail's in particular is an appropriate good-bye as Wonder Woman leads a team of female heroes. All in all, these were all entertaining in some way, shape, or form as we head to the JMS era.
There are changes being made. The comic community is fairly resistant to change. That said, JMS is succeeding already. There's buzz around his moves and buzz gets people to check the book out in some fashion. Take myself for example, I'm not a huge fan of Diana, but I'll be picking up the book's first arc to see if JMS can sell me on her.
He's already stripped the character down to her bare essentials just as he did with Superman last week. Through the glory that is time alteration, Wonder Woman's got a less convoluted origin story, a modern costume, and a sort of blank canvas that will allow JMS to explore the very essence of her character and what makes her interesting. Wonder Woman fans may not like the changes, but hopefully they like that JMS and DC are trying to bring Wonder Woman to the masses by making it accessible to everyone. She's a Trinity member, but, often times, it doesn't feel like it. Hopefully, JMS can get the Wonder Woman franchise re-energized.
This anniversary issue succeeds on the fundamental level of a milestone issue: it highlights and celebrates the character's past, present, and future. It ups the ante by bringing in A-list talent to offer their own versions of the character, and it gives you sweet icing on the cake as the next era of the character begins. It's every bit of $5 well-spent as the issue is packed with stories and art. The diehards will get #600, but, coming from a non-fan, I encourage everyone to check this out.