Here are a few moments from the third chapter of ‘Besties’, with rather lovely art by Laura Braga and colourist Carrie Strachan, as Diana battles Superwoman, whom she knows is carrying a child.
This isn’t the behaviour of a heroine, it’s not the Wonder Woman of William Moulton Marston and HG Peter, or any logical evolution thereof. Sure, the last decade has emphasised Diana the warrior over Diana the peacemaker, but this isn’t her using major force as a last resort, this is Diana cruelly revelling in her power to hurt Superwoman. This Diana is frightening.
It’s a real shame, because Randall Kesel does give us some nice moments, tempering the conceited, arrogant Diana of chapter one with some exchanges that do speak to who Diana is.
That was Koh again, then Braga, and here’s chapter two artist Emma Vieceli, with colourist Kelly Fitzpatrick, depicting the best moment in the three-parter.
Plus, the students are nuanced in their opinions of Diana, and law student Jody gets a very nice moment along the way. These scenes don’t wipe out the overall impression that this Diana is an ass, but they’re something. Diana pushes messages of empowerment, but in the end, it seems she beats Superwoman not because she’s the better fighter, but because the latter underestimates just how brutal Diana can be.
Am I wrong to think Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman should be an all-ages book? One featuring a Diana who is a truly good person, one who beats her foes without descending to their level and then going one floor below that?
I remain a Barbara Randall Kesel fan, she’s shown her smarts again and again. I don’t know what the brief was here; perhaps she and I simply see Diana very differently. But this three-parter dismayed me hugely.
But more stories such as this, and I’m out. I don’t know who this person is, but it isn’t Wonder Woman.