Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pull List Review: Wonder Woman #11

First of all, Demeter needs to be in this book more, now that we know what she looks like. It's always great to see Cliff Chiang back on art for Wonder Woman, and he proves why he's the best right away with his design for the harvest goddess. Immediately after that, we get not one but two different takes on Artemis. When talking with Demeter, she seems to be made of moonlight, but later, for battle, she is simply made of moon. These fresh interpretations by Chiang of mythological figures continue to be the book's best, most beautiful facet.

It's not just their look but the way the gods act that makes them such fun, full characters to follow. Chiang humanizes them emotionally while elevating and enhancing them physically so that their status as gods cannot be questioned. And he also draws one hell of a street brawl, just the right amount of close-up punching, visual injury, and big, powerful moments. The best of which was, essentially, the fight's climax, with Zola hitting Apollo with her car and, immediately afterward, blasting him with a rifle from inches away, all without doing any damage.

Unfortunately, Chiang gets little support from writer Brian Azzarello, most notably during the fights. The man cannot write smack talk without it coming across as just laughable. Incessant wordplay, puns, and childish personal digs do not make people look tough. It makes them look ridiculous, campy, and lame, and it detracts from what could have been a fully awesome fight scene. The conversation before the fight about Zola's choice of doctor was, I thought, excellent, and a solid moment for Wonder Woman as a lead character, of which she needs more. And Zola herself, when finally captured by the gods, continued to be the best, brightest character in the whole cast, despite being the only full-blooded mortal. So it's not as if Azzarello's script was a total flop, it's just that he keeps screwing up the action dialogue with an excess of verbal cheese.

But getting back to the story of Zeus' throne, and bringing back the series' regular, impeccable artist are both steps in the right direction, there is no doubt. A fine issue, and one that looked great, but with a fight as the centerpiece and also the weakest section, it just didn't wow me.

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