Friday, June 22, 2012

Pull List Review: Wonder Woman #10

I feel like I might be missing something in Wonder Woman #10, because I'm very unclear as to why Hades stops fighting part way through. It seems like very the notion of someone genuinely loving him is what quells his rage, but I guess I'm confused by why that would be enough. He's still not getting any of the things he wants, and Wonder Woman is still going back on a deal they made last issue, right? And she's been lying to and manipulating him this whole time, since the thing with Poseidon. That's how the whole mess started. So why isn't he pissed about getting ripped off yet again?

I have a hard time sussing out the motivations and/or attitudes of a lot of the other characters in this title, too. Strife's an enigma, Eros has little-to-no personality, and Wonder Woman herself, it's been pointed out a ridiculous number of times, is a mostly blank slate. When she declares that she loves everyone, I can't tell if I'm supposed to already know that. And either way, I'm not entirely clear on what she means. What's her definition of love in this case? Who is this Diana, what makes her do the things she does? I'm not sure Brian Azzarello cares to answer these questions, or maybe he believes he already has, but I have yet to firmly pin her down, and the strange flow of events in this issue didn't help.

Some of that strangeness came from all the over-the-top, corny discussions of love. I don't disagree with the messages in Wonder Woman #10, but I wished they'd been delivered a little more subtly.

Kano and Tony Akins both do solid work, although I think Kano had the stronger pages overall. Just a firmer grasp on Diana's look, and he got the bulk of the good action. There's a definite sense of otherworldliness the two artists create together, amplified by Matthew Wilson's use of pale greens and rich reds. Hell is a sickly place in this series, because its ruler is, evidently, lovesick.

Again, he lovesick? Am I reading that correctly? And if he is, why is he? Wonder Woman already has such a sprawling cast and narrative, I'm afraid it threw too many balls too high up in the air before any of us got a good look at them. Now, uninformed and confused, we drift through the stories, accepting what happens as fact but not understanding the reasons for it.

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