SOME SPOILERS BELOW
I was pretty happy when DC announced a digital-first Wonder Woman series featuring rotating characters doing out-of-continuity stories. As we saw with The Adventures of Superman, giving creators free reign on these characters can, at their best, inject them with energy often lacking in their monthly titles. I’ve loved Azzarello’s run on the character, but I was excited to see some other takes on the Amazon Princess.
The first storyline, stretching over the first two issues, comes to us courtesy of Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver. For Simone, it’s a bit of a homecoming to the character. Many of current book’s detractors pine for the days when she was calling the shots.
The story, “Gothamazon,” sounds good on paper. Batman is out for the count and Oracle (good to see her again) brings Diana in to take care of an unraveling Gotham City. Batman’s rogues gallery has teamed up to take over the city and Wonder Woman goes right after them.
It’s a great set up, but a mixed bag in execution. Simone seems to be working against the page count on this one, as it starts big before getting tied up (literally) too easily. A couple of big dramatic moments both don’t pay off (the Amazon army) and aren’t sold well (the Harley/Catwoman team up). The real stand-out moment of the book comes when the villains find themselves bound by the lasso of truth and made to confront the fears that really drive them. It shows that Simone understands these characters at their core. This includes WW herself, who is not just a fighter, but a healer like Batman could never be.
Van Sciver’s art is interesting, as I might not have guessed it was his work if his name wasn’t attached. Gone are his distinctive, heavy shadows and detailed line work. Instead, we get something closer to what might be considered DC’s house style. I’m on the fence as to whether that’s a good thing for this story or not.
So Sensation Comics is off to a decent start, but I was hoping for a more unique reading experience. The good news is I’ve seen the upcoming creator list and I’m sure the series will deliver some interesting WW takes in the near future.