Wonder Woman #780 review

It’s a new beginning for Diana as she returns from the dead after an odyssey across other realms. Sheer force of will has brought her back to the land of the living, and she’s going to make sure everyone knows she’s ready to take up where she left off.

Wonder Woman begins with a visit to the Justice League, where people are thrilled to see her, if not unduly shocked.

Her mother, Hippolyta, is more emotional, telling Diana how much she’s missed her daughter, a true hero.

Reluctantly, Diana agrees to take some time out on Paradise Island before throwing herself back into the world. En route, she comes across a sinking boat.

Of course, the rescue is a media sensation, and soon the whole world knows that Super-Heroine No.1 is back, including loved ones Donna Troy and Cassie Sandsmark, former boyfriend Steve Trevor and pal Etta Candy. We also meet the latest version of Etta’s sorority, the Holliday Girls.

Not everyone is thrilled, with Amazon frenemy Artemis, longtime foe Dr Psycho and, more surprisingly, the new Wonder Girl looking perturbed.

We’ll see where that goes in future issues; here, writers Michael W Conrad and Becky Cloonan want to show us how the world feels about Diana’s return, and how the Amazing Amazon herself responds to resurrection. We see that most people are chuffed to bits that Wonder Woman is back, and as for Diana…

She’s itching to make a difference once more, but unsure as to how to channel her immense energies. But what’s with that leering, left-behind reflection? She’s only just overcome a shadow self.

I do like a quiet Day in the Life issue, but maybe not quite so quiet… Conrad and Cloonan have 30pp to play with but the only action we see is Diana rescuing people in a scene chiming with a recent Superman issue. I enjoy seeing the reactions to Diana’s return, but they’re pretty much what you’d expect. The new-look Holliday Girls, and the decidedly odd response from the new Wonder Girl, intrigue, but a few pages of colourful superhero action involving a dastardly villain would have cemented the fact that Diana is back, and ready for business.

Actually, the reaction of the new Wonder Girl (what’s her name again?) might be clearer were her mini-series not so far behind schedule; similarly, there’s a reference to a Nubia and the Amazons story that hasn’t appeared yet. Mind, this all ties into something that is bugging me a little. While it’s nice that…

… there are just too many Wonders right now. In this issue alone we have Diana, Hippolyta, Nubia and Artemis – four people who have gone by ‘Wonder Woman’ – and Donna, Cassia and (finally looks up name), Yara Flor, three ‘Wonder Girls’. Hopefully now Diana is back, the rest of these unique ladies will stop being looked at mainly in terms of their relationship to Diana and be considered on other merits. Diana entered a contest to win the role of Wonder Woman, greatest of the Amazons – it shouldn’t be a jobshare.

The best page in the book, hands down, is Diana’s reunion with Black Canary, showing that Dinah is as much Wonder Woman’s sister as any Amazon.

The art is excellent, with Travis Moore drawing three-quarters of the issue, and Steve Pugh the rest. You can barely see the join between the pinprick-sharp, consistently attractive pages, with colourist Tamra Bonvillain helping out greatly here. Bonvillain’s palette ensures continuity of Diana, while also emphasising the wonderful world that’s welcoming Diana back – the skies are especially beautiful. There’s also sterling work from letterer Pat Brosseau, although I wish he didn’t (have to?) follow the Justice League series’ lead of using ‘Ye Olde Font’ for Hippolyta – it makes even less sense when set aside the dialogue of Diana and the other Amazons, whose words are always in regular font.

Moore and Bonvillain’s cover is a beauty, with only those incongruous yellow boot soles causing a raised eyebrow… are these new boots?

So, this is a very pleasant issue, but it doesn’t have the landmark feel promised by the cover copy. Maybe next time.

7 thoughts on “Wonder Woman #780 review

  1. Yeah, it was a very expertly crafted boring book. I also pray it’s not followed up by status quo change #812. The character doesn’t need a new organization or clubhouse and a new supporting cast. Everyone except DC editorial knows it won’t last or be remembered much. Remember she has an apartment in London for downtime, have her back with Steve, and fighting injustice that crosses her path. That’s all that’s needed.

    Oh and ditch Yana. I’m as annoyed by a new unnecessary Wonder Girl as I was with Wasp Junior. Nadia Pym won me over by being a distinct (from Jan as well as other teen heroes) character but Yana? She’s shallow as a puddle so far and Brazilian raised in the US so it’s a very thinly disguised white savior trope if they keep setting her stories there. Have her corrupted by her powers and give us Dark Angel Junior instead. Anything’s better than a vacuous girl who’s appropriating much richer characters’ nom du super hero.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw come one Steve, Diana’s not yet been a tattoo artist. Or a wedding planner. Or a pirate.

      Oh hang on, she was a space pirate.

      I wonder if Yara will be allowed to fade, given how she was going to star in a telly show, but that’s no longer happening. I like Cassie, but for me, there’s only ever going to be one Wonder Girl.

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      1. I see Donn and Cassie like Dick and Tim are Nightwing and Robin. In fact, wouldn’t Flamebird be an ideal name for donna? Give her the red costume with dark orange boots, and replace the strip of stars with the Flamebird logo.

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  2. Living this run, Michael Conrad and Becky Cloona n have given us a relatable Diana that has been sorely missed, and the beautiful colours of each page…a sheer joy.
    Highlight of my reading week getting their take on Wonder Woman, I hope they stay .
    ( couldn’t agree more about Yara BORE, who needs her surly ways? Give us more Donna Troy ).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. More Donna would be brilliant – we never needed another Wonder Girl. By all means bring in new characters, but while the originals are still around, give them fresh names.

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