Wonder Woman Issue 600
Good ol' Wonder Woman. Member of the JLA. Princess and representative of her people to the world. And yet... I never really cared. I won't lie, despite the occasional temptation, I never cared about or for Wonder Woman. However, with it being her anniversary and all, I thought I'd but the issue, if for nothing else but the big number. Something funny happened this week though. I went to the DCU blog and read what the creators had to say about Wonder Woman. I reflected on some old Wonder Woman knowledge I hadn't thought of in a while (I love fast food Wonder Woman). I became, dare I say it, excited. And for good reason too. Wonder Woman 600 had the best commemorative issue of the bunch and I will now be following the series with issue 601 next month.
Well, the comic itself was divided into more stories than either Batman 700 or Superman 700 (Expect more than a few comparison. The first story was by Gail Simone and George Perez and served as a farewell to Wonder Womans past, with Gail exiting the title and Perez coming back for one more go. This story was my least favorite of the bunch, largely because I have no connection to anybody in it. However, the art was gorgeous, so I definitely enjoyed it in the end.
Next was a little diddy by Amanda Conner, who I secretly love, for her humorous style that sexes up women and makes them cartoons and yet makes them feel more real than many artists who aim for reality. This story was my second favorite, because it showed why Wonder Woman is in fact a very calm and loving person, explaining to Power Girl (Who is in every Conner comic) how her cat feels with her gone. It was simple, cute, funny, and very lovable. Props Amanda.
Then came an even quicker story by Louisse Simonson and Eduardo Pansica. This story was quick but fun, showing Wonder Womand and Superman teaming up to take down a selfish terrorist. The art by Pansica was especially strong here, really conveying a terrific sense of strength that many can aspire too. That was what this showcased, the pure raw physicality of Wonder Woman. Simple in goal but very nice.
Next up was the quickest story, a summary of sorts of Wonder Woman that very much felt like an Origins of the DCU approach to Wonder Woman with Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins. The story was a direct transition to the next, and when Johns wrote the words "Diana is far too undervalued by this world. This must change" it felt like it was straight from his mouth and a pitch for what Wonder Woman will hopefully become.
Lastly came the main attraction, the beginning of the J.M. Straczynski run on Wonder Woman. I don't even know where to begin here. Let's start with Don Kramer. Dude is good. How good? Well, he manages to make Wonder Woman look new, old, classic, bad@$$ and gentle all in 10 pages. That's incredible. Not to mention, he draws a consistently beautiful and strong Wonder Woman like nobody I've seen before, showing great range and incredible potential for what I can only imagine to be a truly impressive run. The setting was urban and yet never felt it, maintaining a sense of wonder and mysticism that every Wonder Woman comic should have. JMS's writing is top notch, with everybody coming off as they should, and even the blind oracle who should be easily annoying (I don't like those types of characters) came across as wise and youthful, an amazing blend of contradictions that work great with JMS at the helm.
Sprinkled throughout all this were lovely pin-ups by some of DC's finest, showcasing Wonder Woman in her various interpretations and I must say, they're amazing as well. Save for one or two that fall a bit short, these are some of the best Wonder Women I've ever seen, and that's including her 70 year history. My personal favorite might have been the Francis Manapul pin-up that showed her intensity and beauty above all else.
If you like Wonder Woman, you have to buy this. If you love her, buy this. If you have been on the fence and scared by her continuity, buy this. If you hate her, buy this. If you just want it for the nice collectors number, buy it. It'll make you see Wonder Woman for all she is at her core, with her beauty, strength, wisdom, and the wonder that she is. 5 out of 5.