Wonder Woman #11
I just got to read this issue today, and once again, I. am. loving. it. I have enjoyed a couple runs of Wonder Woman in the past, but never once did I think that it would be my favorite DC title. This 2011 series is. I read the official review before I was able to get to the comic shop and pick up my copy, so I was a little trepidatious about it. From what I was reading, this issue, while still awesome, felt a little rushed. Could Azzarello suddenly be rushing to finish an arc?
That's possible. Editorial and publishing constraints may have dictated that he has to finish this arc by issue 12, so they can do the next trade paperback. After all, a lot of people (me included) are clamoring for the first one, because they missed the first issue and cannot find one. If they're clamoring for the first one, then they'll probably want to see the second one pretty quickly, right? Not necessarily, but that's a subject for a blog. Point here is: DC could be rushing Azzarello and Chiang to finish the arc, so maybe the story is being rushed. That was my apprehension, as I went into the comic shop.
Now that I've read it, I have mixed feelings about the pacing. We'll hit the good first. The issue starts off with a couple of more-or-less calm moments, and I find myself warming to the character of Strife. I was having trouble wrapping my head around her character before, but I think I'm finally starting to get it. I think I'm really starting to like Azz's characterization of her. And the portrayal of Hera as the bitter, jilted, drinking wife is awesome.
We get to see Demeter, Artemis and Apollo this issue, and I'm waiting to see more. Of these three, I'm digging Artemis the most, because I like how well the different aspects of her character are blended here. I'm curious about one thing though: Artemis is shown with antlers at one point, as she turns from stag to person, and Zola's running around the entire issue with the head of a buck on her shirt. This series has had no shortage of symbolism, so I'm wondering if this is some foreshadowing that Artemis might wind up helping Zola.
The fight. The fight was short, but I didn't feel at all like it was rushed. What we got was a high noon showdown - Diana, Hermes and Lennox at one end of the street, and Artemis and Apollo at the other. Like the Old West shootouts of this variety, it was quick and dirty, and the winners and losers were clear. I had no problem with the fight. My only real problem with it was that I'd like to see more of how Apollo ticks, and the short fight didn't allow that. That will come though.
I didn't really have a problem with Diana's and Hermes' quick recovery either. She's a daughter of Zeus, and he's a god. They picked themselves up with some quaver in their voices, shook it off, and got back into the game. Not all of them did though. I have no problem with this at all.
Now the bad, and it comes with a minor spoiler.
Zola runs a truck into Apollo, and the truck wraps around him like a car around a tree. Then Zola gets out of the truck, unhurt, and takes a shot at Apollo. Unhurt? No seatbelt. Pregnant. Wraps a truck around Apollo, lifting the back end off the ground and spider-webbing the windows, and she's unhurt? No damage to the baby? Is this something overlooked, or does being the carrier of Zeus' child bring with it some measure of divine protection?
Also, while I didn't mind the pacing of the fight, the issue was still a quick read. I don't have a problem with it, as far as the story goes, but I have an overall, general irritation with spending $2.99 on a comic and reading it in five minutes. That's me, to an extent. I've been reading comics since the Seventies, and I grew up with caption boxes and greater amounts of expository dialogue. Comics are finally taking advantage of their medium, and letting the pictures do a lot of that now. That's great. It just irritates me, personally. I didn't mind it so much at $1.99 an issue, but my fun money is precious, and I don't like feeling like, "Gee, that was three bucks down the drain." I mean, I could have put seven more dollars with it, and gone to see the new Bat-flick instead. Bummer.
So, okay, the score. I'm detracting one full star for Zola totaling a truck without a scratch on her, and another star for my irritation with the five minute read. However, I'll give back a half star, because something interesting happened to Lennox this issue, and I want to know more about him. And I'll give back another half star, because yes, I definitely want to see what's going to happen next issue. So total score: four stars.