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  1. #226

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    Wonder Woman #298
    Dan Mishkin, Gene Colan and Frank McLaughlin
    backup: Joey Cavalieri, Joe Staton and Frank McLaughlin



    Synopsis: Diana is on Paradise Island, where she learns that Pegasus once belonged to a dude named Bellerophon, who defeated the Amazons and challenged the gods before being cast down. Hippoyta suggests that he may still be alive and have turned over his power to the terrorist guy from last issue, who turned into the jerkweed warrior who shot down Steve Trevor.

    Meanwhile, all of that is true, and the terrorist (named Aegeus) and Bellerophon demand that Steve tell them where Paradise Island is so Bellerophon can use the purple ray to heal himself. One problem: Steve doesn't know where it is. Steve breaks free and runs into some nearby ruins, which collapse, leaving him in an underground chamber. In a flash-sideways, Diana realizes Steve and Bellerophon must be on Themyscira, which the Amazons abandoned when they moved to Paradise Island. Sure enough, the chamber Steve is in has the skeleton of an Amazon warrior who is dressed very much like Wonder Woman. There's also a statue of Athena.

    A terrorist busts in and the statue eradicates him with a laser beam. Then another terrorist comes in, only now the statue turns into Athena and tells the new terrorist not to be such a dumbass. Steve grabs the statue's laser-scepter and the terrorist brings him to the surface, where Aegeus is waiting. Aegeus grabs Trevor and they fly off to find Paradise Island.

    Just then, Wonder Woman shows up and attacks. Steve tries to blast Aegeus with the scepter, only he hits Diana instead. Smooth move, ex-lax. To be continued!

    Backup story: The thugs use Blackwing as a hostage and leave. Huntress follows. They take Blackwing to a mob boss named Boa who has, you guess it, a big boa constrictor. Huntress attacks and the boa grabs her. Oh no! To be continued!

    Notes: I am liking this story, I have to say. This is the first time we've seen the name Themyscira appear, and it's interesting to see the ruins of the old Amazon civilization. Bellerophon is also almost kind of sympathetic in a way. I liked the scene in the underground chamber when Athena appealed to the female terrorist to change her ways. We'll see how it ends, but this first arc for Mishkin has not bad terrible.

    We also get another superstar guest artist doing the cover, in this case Frank Miller, and while it is a fairly striking image, it's not that great a cover. I dunno.

    I'm absolutely sure there was a reference to Bellerophon in a comic I have just recently read, but I'll be damned if I can figure out which one. The google doesn't really show any other appearances of Bellerophon besides this one, but I know some version appeared somewhere. Arrgh. Anyone?

    The backup story again was interesting mainly because Blackwing is interesting. He has a few panels where he thinks about how he became Blackwing because Gotham needs a new Batman since Batman is dead, and how disappointed he is in himself for sucking so much. The art is still not as good as when Ordway was inking even though Trapani is gone. Hopefully we'll see more Blackwing. And less D.A. He's not in this issue, so good.

    I think this is the first issue with a Huntress backup story where Huntress isn't mentioned on the cover. Is her backup series losing popularity?

    My Grade: Main story gets a B, backup gets a B-. Blackwing is cool, but Boa? Really?
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  2. #227

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    Wonder Woman #299
    Dan Mishkin, Gene Colan and Frank McLaughlin
    backup: Joey Cavalieri, Joe Staton and Frank McLaughlin



    Synopsis: Wonder Woman wakes up after being hit by Steve's magic moron ray to find she has crashed on Themyscira and is surrounded by terrorists. She battles the. Meanwhile, Steve and Aegeus manage to find Paradise Island despite themselves. Wonder Woman ends up fighting Bellerophon, who despite being old, blind and crippled still manages to more than hold his own against her.

    Finally, Diana defeats him and the lady terrorist who was visited by Athena last issue pulls her gun on her comrades, allowing Diana to escape. Back on Paradise island, Aegeus is attacking. He dumped Steve, who heads to Science Island and gets fitted with a hang-glider, which seems like something that would be about completely useless against Aegeus. And it is, as he gets his trash kicked before he even gets near Aegeus.

    Luckily, Diana shows up and once again saves his bacon. Diana and Aegeus battle and Wonder Woman uses her lasso to grab Pegasus. She did this two issues ago and it didn't work, but now she claims this is just because she was surprised that the magic bridle on Pegasus was made of the same stuff as her lasso. Now that she knows this, she is able to, I don't know, attune the two. She commands Paegsus to throw Aegeus off and he does. Aegeus tumbles ass over teakettle, then disappears in a flash of light, having apparently teleported away using one of Zeus' thunderbolts. The End!!

    Backup Story: Huntress is getting et by a boa constrictor, but Blackwing regains consciousness and saves her. She then heads to where the gnag is meeting and defeats the gang as well as their idiotic leader, Boa. The End!

    Notes: I enjoyed this arc more than I should have, and I think the reason is that this kind of magic-based, mythological storyline better suits Gene Colan's art. Aegues, Bellerophon, Pegasus and all that stuff just look better than, you know, General Electric and Commander Video. I also like some of the mythological stuff as well, I think Bellerophon is interesting -- and apparently still out there somewhere, as they just left him on his island -- and I am curious where Mishkin is going with this terrorist who has been converted by Athena.

    This issue wasn't perfect, though. The ending was less than satisfying, as a) Diana already tried the lasso trick in #297 and it failed, so it seems arbitrary that it would work here; b) she didn't actually defeat Aegeus, he just vanished in a puff of smoke; and c) Steve Trevor on a hang glider? Really?

    One other puzzler for me. Aegeus is hovering about 20 feet above Paradise Island when Diana commands Pegasus to throw him. Well, what if he hadn't teleported? He would have landed on Paradise Island and, as a man, would have royally screwed up everything, as the curses would have all immediately gone into effect. This just seems like a really dumb plan on Diana's part. In fact, in one panel, Aegeus swoops down to within about three feet of Paradise Island. If he simply dismounts, he wins. Hmm.

    The cover this issue is done by Ed Hannigan and is a big improvement over what we've been getting. With this issue Hannigan takes over for the time being as the regular cover artist, and as we will see, he turns in some nice work. Good choice.

    The backup story is kind of whatever. Blackwing tells Huntress about Batman being his inspiration and she is in turn inspired. It's a nice touch. I noticed that she then called him Charley twice, even though I am pretty sure he didn't mention his name. I'm guessing this means another person is about to figure out her secret identity? She really sucks at keeping this secret, doesn't she?

    Someone write in to say how much they love Harry the D.A. and if I had a time machine, I would use it to go back to 1982 and punch them in the junk.

    My Grade: main story gets a B-, I liked the arc but this issue had some problems at the end. Backup gets a C+; two pagesof Blackwing can't outweigh six pages of Huntress fighting a gang leader named Boa.
    Last edited by Scott Harris; 11-10-2012 at 10:36 AM.
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  3. #228

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    Wonder Woman #300
    story by Roy and Dann Thomas
    art by Gene Colan, Ross Andru, Jan Duursema, Keith Pollard, Keith Giffen, Dick Giordano, Rich Buckler, Frank McLaughlin, Tom Mandrake, Larry Mahlstedt



    Synopsis: Okay, so this comic doesn't have page numbers, but GCD lists it at 72 pages. So this is going to be a log synopsis, though I am going to do my damndest to make it as short as possible. 72 pages is pretty impressive, though, you have to admit. And it's all (sort of) one story.

    Wonder Woman is having some kind of recurring nightmare with a weird black blob with an angry face on it attacks her. One night she finds herself sleepwalking when it attacks her. She battles it, but only wins when the 70's Sandman suddenly shows up to help. He then totally puts the moves on her and when she rejects him, he slinks back to dreamland.

    Desperate to get a good night's sleep, Diana takes a nap in the invisible jet, but the dream monster attacks her again. She wakes up to find she has accidentally sent herself somehow to Earth-2. She meets up with her Earth-2 counterpart, who has not seen our Diana in 40 years (she thinks since they fought Red Panzer in #228, but that's because Diana made her forget about their battle with Angle Man in #243). The Earh-2 Diana has been happily married to a now-60-something Steve Trevor for a couple decades and they have a daughter, Lyta Trevor, who is training to eventually become the new Wonder Woman.

    Diana is jealous and returns to her world with a new conviction that she needs to seize the day, so she tracks down Steve Trevor and proposes. He says yes. Figuring she no longer needs a secret identity if she's going to be married to Steve, Diana fakes the death of Diana Prince and then shows up as Wonder Woman to her own eulogy and gives a speech about how cool Diana prince was. She is puzzled by the fact that all of her friends are upset that she has died. Yeah, who would have thought, right?

    The Sandman then shows up and after spending like 4 full pages giving his origin, as if Diana cares at all, he again tries to get her to ditch that zero Steve and get with this hero instead. He says he can see by her dreams that she is unsure of whether marrying Steve is the right thing to do. She tells him to go screw, so he leaves.

    But Diana then begins having a series of especially vivid dreams, one right after the other, each showing a different alternate path that Diana could have taken if things had been different.

    First, she dreams that Hippolyta was so upset at Diana preparing to leave Paradise Island after Steve's initial crash that she ascended to join the gods on Olympus, forcing Diana to become the new Queen of Paradise Island. Diana then appoints the second place finisher in the tournament, Mala, as Wonder Woman and sends her and a heartbroken Steve back to man's world.

    Then she has a dream where the guy who crashes on Paradise Island is a criminal named Trevor Stevens. Diana is to naive to recognize he is a jerk and fulls under his sway, abandoning the Amazons. When they get to man's world, though, he begins killing people and blowing stuff up, so she has to stop him. He is hauled away by the cops, leaving her bitter.

    Heading to the JLA satellite to give out wedding invitations, Diana runs into Superman. She then has a dream where it was Superman and not Steve Trevor who crashed on Paradise Island. The two fall in love and get married, only their marriage falls apart because they are both constantly running off to handle crises and never have time for each other.

    Finally, Diana has a dream where she rejects Steve Trevor's love and heads to man's world to really show them the error of their ways. Without Steve's love, she becomes convinced mankind is evil and wicked and needs guidance, so she tries to set herself up as the dictator of America. In the process, she accidentally kills Steve and becomes the most wanted villain in the world.

    After these four dreams, Diana finally wakes and heads to the wedding ceremony, where everybody has gathered and which for some reason is being broadcast on live television. Steve, however, leaves Diana at the altar! Why, you ask? because he's suddenly realized he was in love with Diana Prince. And with her death, he just is too confused to go through with the wedding. Wonder Woman is too tired to even argue and after everybody leaves falls into a sleep again...

    ...where Sandman is waiting for her. He carts her off to his dream dimension and sets her up as his new queen. However, just as this bizarre ass fantasy is becoming real, the shadow monster from her dreams attacks again. She and Sandman defeat it and Sandman repents for his sins. Basically, the shadow thing was a manifestation of all of Diana's fears and doubts, which plagued her and caused all her different dreams. Sandman knew this but let it fester because he wanted to bring her to his dream world and make her his queen. Now he feels like a jackass, so he sends Diana back to the real world...

    ...where she immediately flies to Steve's apartment and they start making out. Just as a phone call comes in that Diana Prince is miraculously alive.

    The End!

    Notes: My rant about this issue was so long, the boards actually wouldn't let me post this as one entry, so I am breaking it up. Notes to follow! You have been warned! bring your torches and pitchforks!
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  4. #229

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    Notes on Wonder Woman #300: What a complete and total cluster fudgsicle on every possible level. Oh my god, I don't even know where to begin with this mess.

    Let's start with the positive I guess. The cover, by Ed Hannigan, is really cool. Some of the stuff on it, mind you, doesn't have anything to do with the contents (see: the teen Titans, Wonder Tot and Super-Tot), but it's a really nice cover. I also appreciate them giving a whopping 72 pages for this anniversary, it's a solid tribute. Also, the inside front cover has a great black and white pin-up of Wonder Woman by George Perez, while the back cover has a slightly less great but still nice pin-up by Michael Kaluta.

    Additionally, the sequence where she visits Earth-2 and meets the preset-day Wonder Woman, Steve and Lyta was a very nice bit. I liked that part.

    Pretty much everything else was total ass. The four different dreams were interesting in a What If? kind of way, but I think thematically they didn't make much sense. What I mean is, all of the dream involved alternate versions of the past. Things that could possibly have happened to Diana. Except, quite obviously, none of those things did. I think it would have been more itneresting and made more sense if the dreams were different versions of her future; what might happen if she marries or doesn't marry Steve. Again, the dreams were interesting, but I just don't quite see what the point of them was overall (though there were minor points I guess in the "without Steve's love" dream and the "marrying Superman" dreams, though again, both would have worked better as possible futures).

    All of that being said, I have two main problems with this comic. First off, we'll start with the fact that Roy Thomas very, very clearly had been re-reading the shot-lived Simon and Kirby Sandman series when he was plotting his Wonder Woman run. First he has a three-part arc featuring the Sandman villain General Electric and then he follows it up with this monstrosity, which basically co-stars Sandman -- completely and utterly out of nowhere, I might add -- which is a very odd decision in a giant 300th anniversary issue. It's like he was treating this less as a Wonder Woman celebration and more as a chance to try and bring Sandman back to prominence. Which, whatever, except for the fact that Sandman comes across like a creepy asshat. I mean, he's a total tool in this comic, much more of a villain than a hero. I understand that Roy has a soft spot for reintroducing classic characters of the past, but this is not the time, place or story to do it in. It's terrible.

    The real part of the story that is a giant ball of flaming poo, however, is the stuff between Steve and Diana. Okay, so she proposes to him. Fine, I don't necessarily have a problem with that. But then everything goes off the rails. Wonder Woman's big plan is to fake her own death? This is ridiculously callous to everyone involved, plus it doesn't make sense because half of the reason she became Diana Prince was to get access to Pentagon information to help with her mission and her crimefighting. She still needs to be Diana Prince for that.

    Moreover, besides being a huge dick move, it's just a weird, dumb decision. All she had to do was, you know, reveal her secret identity to her friends. Having Etta, Steve and even General Darnell in on it would be a huge help for her, not to mention removing the irritating Darnell-has-the-hots-for-Diana subplot. But no, she decides to fake her own death instead! I hate this back-asswards secret identity stuff, it was so played out by the early 80's and it leads to characters doing completely stupid stuff like this. It's just tiring to read. And let's not even get into Wonder Woman giving a speech about herself at her own funeral, I mean, wow, how narcissistic is that?

    But then, all of that gets trumped by the most ridiculous part of the entire fiasco, which is Steve calling off the wedding because he's too upset over the death of Diana Prince. WHAT?! For the past 30 issues it has been a running subplot that Steve ignores Diana and doesn't realize she and Wonder Woman are the same person. It even pisses Diana off from time to time. Now, all of a sudden, he's so besotted with her post-death that he ditches Wonder Woman at the friggin altar? Okay, firstly, that's just ridiculous and secondly, it makes Steve look like the biggest jackass in the entire DCU. It's totally asinine!

    And then, at the end of the issue, Diana shows up at his apartment and they just start totally making out! And when the call comes in that Diana is alive, Steve just drops the phone because he's too busy copping a Wonder Feel. I can't even... I don't... what is happening... Roy is obviously trying to return the status quo to where it was at the beginning of this very issue, but I don't see how he can what with the amazing amount of damage he has done to both Diana with her fake death thing and Steve with his ditching Diana at the altar on national television thing. Both of the main characters in this series now seem like stupid, petulant jerks.

    My Grade: F. Not even the cover, the line-up of artists, the cool pin-ups and the interesting Earth-2 visit can save this from being one of the most ill-advised and poorly thought out anniversary issues of all time, which is really saying something. Avengers #200 thanks you.
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  5. #230

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    It's been awhile since I last read 300, but I'll take your word for the inconsistencies in the story. Looking at it in a meta way, I think it's an intriguing issue. What with all these dreams and manifestations of Wonder Woman, it sums up the last 300 issues of the book and puts it in context. It makes sense in the way a dream makes sense. And at the same time it connects the past with the future. What will happen with Sandman, Lyta, Wonder Woman is all intimated in this comic. It's a weird comic, but if you can't have a great anniversary issue the next best thing is a weird anniversary issue. Better than the no-anniversary anniversary issues which have no sense of the occasion. DC has done its share of all three, but the weird anniversary comics seem to outweigh the great ones.

  6. #231

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    Quote Originally Posted by An Ear In The Fireplace View Post
    It's been awhile since I last read 300, but I'll take your word for the inconsistencies in the story. Looking at it in a meta way, I think it's an intriguing issue. What with all these dreams and manifestations of Wonder Woman, it sums up the last 300 issues of the book and puts it in context. It makes sense in the way a dream makes sense. And at the same time it connects the past with the future. What will happen with Sandman, Lyta, Wonder Woman is all intimated in this comic. It's a weird comic, but if you can't have a great anniversary issue the next best thing is a weird anniversary issue. Better than the no-anniversary anniversary issues which have no sense of the occasion. DC has done its share of all three, but the weird anniversary comics seem to outweigh the great ones.
    Well, I didn't mind the dream alternate realities, I did think they were were interesting, as was the visit to Earth-2. But I just can't get past the terrible frame story which dumps all over all over the characters by making them look like jerks. Plus having pages and pages and pages of Sandman stuff shoehorned in. Does anybody need a 4 page retelling of Sandman's origin in the middle of what is supposed to be a Wonder Woman celebration? Of course not. You can just tell Roy had been re-reading that series and wanted to find somewhere he could use it all, so he shoehorned it in. Blargh.

    I do agree that it's better than having no anniversary celebration at all. DC didn't really start consistently doing this anniversary stuff until the late 60's/early 70's it seems. Before that it looks like specific editors would occasionally do it while most others wouldn't. Interestingly, Wonder Woman #100 did have a special blurb on the cover for the 100th issue, but 200 didn't. 200, on the other hand, is still probably the best "anniversary" issue Wonder Woman had thanks to the all-time classic Jeff Jones cover and a creepy Dr. Cyber story.
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  7. #232

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    Wonder Woman #301
    Dan Mishkin, Gene Colan and Frank McLaughlin
    backup: Joey Cavalieri, Don Heck and Larry Mahlstedt



    Synposis: Diana is on Paraidse Island, training with the Amazons. Among them is the ex-terrorist Sofia from the last arc, who has been taken in by Hippolyta thanks to her vision from Athena. She's having trouble acclimating, so Diana schools her. Meanwhile, back at the Pentagon, a new member is added to the General's response team: Major Griggs. Whoopee.

    Back in Paradise, Sofia is swimming when something attacks her. Diana jumps in the water to save her and is understandably surprised when the attacker appears to be her own skeleton. It's the ancient, dead Wonder Woman from the cove of #298! And she's pissed.

    The two battle and eventually, the skeleton wins and Hippolytz is forced to admit that the skeleton is that of a previous Wonder Woman from thousands of years earlier (also known as Artemis). To be continued!

    Backup story: Helena attends a career day at a local school, where a bunch of complete jerkface kids grill her on being a lawyer. INterspersed are vignettes of her tracking down a bad guy named the Machanic, who is jusy a big thug with a giant wrench. She takes him down and then spies on his boss. Plus, she has another argument with harry about the fact that he sucks. To be continued!

    Notes: The cover is interesting, in that the usually clean duo of Hannigan and Giordo do the art and the results look a lot like Colan's interior work and nothing like the other covers these guys have done for the series. I wonder what that is about.

    The story is also interesting for a couple reasons. Back on the home front, we get introduced to a new cast member, which, good. I don't know what the Griggs guy is about but the series needs more supporting characters.

    Mishkin so far pretty much entirely ignores the events of Wonder Woman #300, basically picking up where he left off in #299. You can't blame him. He will get to work in the next couple of issues trying to pick up the pieces. He brings in both Sofia, the terrorist, which is not entirely unexpected, and also the dead Wonder Woman, which is a bit more surprising. I guess that was more than just a strange easter egg or something. Good.

    It's also interesting that this former, dead Wonder Woman is named Artemis, as an Amazon named Artemis later becomes a major character in the post-Crisis Perez Wonder Woman series. Maybe a coincidence, as it's a well known name from yore, but I don't think so for reasons that will become clear a few issues form now.

    So far the Mishkin issues seem faster to read and shorter than the Thomas issues, which may just because Roy sometimes gets kind of long winded. But I think Mishkin may be more constrained by the shorter page count than his predecesor.

    That, of course, is because of the space being taken up by the Huntress backup stores, which I am officially over. I understand the narrative purpose of Harry -- he's the D.A., she's a vigilante, they're in a relationship, fine -- but while that's nice on paper, in the actual stories he just is a huge wishy washy wet blanket. I don't understand what Helena is supposed to see in him and every time he appears, it's just to complain about her being Huntress or yell at her. It's a major drag. Plus, a big guy with a wrench? Look, the Huntress is cool, but the reason she is cool is because she's a member of the JSA and is Batman's daughter. Surely, SURELY, there are better JSA and Batman villains and plotlines that can be used instead of these Z-list nobodies. It's a huge waste of an entire world of characters to stick her with this crap. The only issues that really took off in this series with the first couple of arcs, which featured Solomon Grundy and The Joker. This is not a coincidence.

    My Grade: Main story gets a B-, it's honestly a little hard to grade because it reads so qucikly. The backup story gets a D- for sucking. The new art from Don Heck, however, is actually not part of the problem.
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  8. #233

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    Wonder Woman #302
    Dan Mishkin, Gene Colan and Frank McLaughlin
    backup: Joey Cavalieri, Mike DeCarlo, Tony De Zuniga



    Synopsis: Wonder Woman, after being knocked out last issue, finds herself chained inside a giant pit. I don't quite get when Artmeis had time to lug her down to a pit and chain her up, since as we will see she has been fighting the Amazons since the end of last issue, but roll with it.

    Wonder Woman struggles through most of the issue to get out of her chains and this pit, while above ground, Artemis thrashes Amazons left and right. Finally, Hippolyta steps in to take on Artemis herself, but just then Diana finally shows up, having gotten free. She and Artemis battle for a couple panels, and then Diana lasso's Artemis' sword and throws it up onto the invisible plane. She has guessed that Artemis' sword is the focus on her power, but what she doesn't epxect is that as soon as the sword is out of range, Artemis turns to dust.

    Meanwhile, as Diana stands around nonplussed, a sinister figure watches her handiwork. The figure of... Circe! To be continued!

    Backup Story: A crook named Pat Pending breaks into his sixt bank in a row, but helena is waiting for him. They tangle for a bit, then she takes him out, only he eats a special pill that makes it look as though he's dead. Huntress can't figure out how she could possibly have killed him, but when the body is found there is a media frenzy as Huntress is branded a killer. Naturally, harry uses this as another chance to badger and henpck helena, because that is literally the only thing he is good for. To be continued, though why, I don't even know at this point.

    Notes: Ed Hannigan and Dick Girodano turn in their last cover as the series' cover artists, after four good efforts (well, three good efforts, I didn't care for last issue). Next issue, Gil Kane takes over for them. More to the point, though, this issue begins a run of covers that incorporate the new Wonder Woman logo and WW symbol into the art. It's clear from this run of covers that the art director or someone wanted to move away from covers showing scenes from inside the book and instead go to more generic representations of Wonder Woman looking cool. I kind of like these covers, though it is a bit of a curious decision.

    As I said in the synopsis, the one place the main story breaks down is that Diana is somehow chained inside an underground pit, which really there was no time for Artemis to do this. Diana was knocked out last issue while standing not three feet from hippolyta, so I have a hrd time believing she would just let Artemis haul her daughter away without doing something about it. It's weird.

    I mentioned last issue that I didn't think the use of Artemis as a character in the Perez run was a coincidence and here we see why, as Mishkin introduces a new villain to the series: Circe. Circe is one of Wonder Woman's biggest foes in the post-Crisis era, right at the top of her rogue's gallery, so the fact that this two-part story introduces both Artemis and Circe suggests to me that this story had an influence on Perez.

    You'll note that again my synopsis for this Mishkin issue is less than half as long than for a Thomas issue. It's not a bad read or badly written, but so far his stories have been decidedly simpler. Diana is chained, breaks free and defeats Artemis. That's literally the entire plot of this issue.

    As for the backup story, this is actually a small improvement over the last few installments. I have a bit of a soft spot for villains with stupid names or goofy gimmicks, so I rather liked Pat Pending and his arsenal of utility belts and random gadgets. I also liked him tricking Helena into becoming a murder suspect. That plot may have some legs to it. On the whole, though, this series needs a lot of work to meet its potential.

    Someone writes in to suggest they add a Wonder Woman team-up book that would be a revival of Sensation Comics. Tam O'Shanter replies that this is something Marv Wolfman is considering. First, apparently Wolfman took over from Wein as editor at some point in the last couple of issues; I have a hard time telling them apart so I guess I didn't notice. Secondly, Tam becomes like the fourth assistant editor to fall into this Sensation Comics trap since Jack C. Harris first tried to drum up fake interest in it literally years ago. People have been writing in about this for almost 50 issues at this point and editorial keeps stringing them along. IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

    My Grade: Main story gets a B- for the unexplained opening and the abrupt ending. backup story gets a C+, elevated by the goofiness of Pat Pending.
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  9. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Harris View Post
    The editors in the lettercolumn make mention of how popular the Huntress backup has been.
    Helena's various states of undress probably didn't hurt, either. BTW, do you think Staton was trying to pull a fast one over the CCA regarding her breakfast scene in this story? Maybe it's just some shadowing, but it appears Helena wouldn't have been suitably, um, groomed for a current Playboy shoot.
    A bat! That's it! It's an omen.. I shall become a bat!

  10. #235

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    After issue 300 I gave up buying the title as a matter of routine. So while I might appreciate that 300th issue now on a meta level, it clearly wasn't good enough to get me to continue funding this project. I think I hung in there as long as I did because I knew there was an anniversary issue coming up--and I love anniversary issues. Once that was done, I probably felt my philanthropy had been more than generous and I shouldn't keep subsidizing this title that really wasn't worth what I put into it. The change in creative staff on the Huntress feature probably also had something to do with my decision (really Huntress should have been in one of the Bat titles, or an Earth-Two title). And at this time I was travelling around a lot and not earning very much money if any, so I only kept up with a handful of titles.

    The only WW issues I bought after this were 304--which I suspect I bought simply because the Gil Kane cover was so good--and the final issue 329.

    One day I might be induced to buy the rest of those issues just to complete the run to the end. Maybe these reviews will sway me--one way or the other--on whether I ought to do that.

  11. #236

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    I remember, after having compiled the Wonder Woman Encyclopedia with John Wells, that Phil Jimenez commented on one of the message boards about how often the same tropes are repeated in Wonder Woman comics. Artemis being an example of this. The same ideas are constantly being recycled. If Wonder Woman resembles any Greek myth then it must be the myth of Sisyphus.

    Also the constant calls for a Sensation Comic haven't stopped. I think there's a rule that someone has to suggest it at least once a month on one of the message boards. And someone else has to say That's a good idea.

  12. #237

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    Wonder Woman #303
    Dan Mishkin, Gene Colan and Frank McLaughlin
    backup: Joey Cavalieri, Mike DeCarlo and Tony De Zuniga



    Synopsis: A pilot is flying his jet when suddenly something happens and he blows up. Meanwhile, Diana is finally heading back to Washington after the disastrous events of #300 and she's thinking that she really needs to figure out what the hell she's doing with her secret identity. She decides to let Steve in on it. Good idea! I've only been saying that all along.

    Everyone at the Pentagon is happy to see Diana, but they are also kind of preoccupied with the pilot blowing up thing. Steve and Griggs head up in planes while Diana monitors them. They discover a giant man giving off magnetic energy. Then their signal is cut off. Diana turns into Wonder Woman and rushes out to the scene, where she discovers the man is Green Lantern villain Dr. Polaris, who is in the middle of reforming his physical form after being dispersed into the atmosphere in his last appearance. They fight for a bit, and then Polaris grabs the two jets and throws them at each other! To be continued!

    Backup story: Stop me if you've heard this, but Harry and Helena are again arguing about her role as the Huntress. She is convinced that Pat Pending isn't dead and does some honest to god detective work and discovers a bunch of crooks have "died" recently, all with death certificates signed by the same guy. She heads out there and ifnds they are about to ace Pat Pending as part of their "fake" death scheme, which they actually use to kill crooks and take their money. She intervenes and immediately gets captured and shunted into the incenerator. Oops!

    Notes: I was very happy to read Diana's thoughts about how she needs to figure out what the hell she's doing with her secret identity. It almost reads as though Mishkin is writing this in response to Thomas, but I might be reading in something that isn't there. Either way, it's about time. Of course, she doesn't actually get to talk to Steve because he's too busy. Why do I feel like this is going to drag out even longer?

    Griggs, the new guy, shows up again and jumps into the action. He also seems hot for Diana, though he hasn't yet met Wonder Woman. Did Mishkin add him as competition for Steve? Not sure if I want to read more of that, but on the other hand, maybe he'll be cooler than Steve. Wouldn't be hard.

    Gil Kane takes over as cover guy and delivers a nice symbolic cover. The incorporation of the logo is subtle -- we get some WW symbols along the top -- but we'll be seeing more of this.

    Backup story: Sigh. More effing Harry, more lame villains and more of Helena being barely competent. Crap. I still like Pat Pending, though, have to say.

    There's a statement of ownership in this issue. Sales are up to 96k from 82k or so last year. The Thomas new look era apparently was somewhat successful, though sales are still pretty terrible.

    My Grades: Main story gets a B. I can't say Mishkin has done anything exciting in these last three issues, but I just feel like he has a stronger grasp on the character than Thomas, which makes the series more enjoyable to read. Backup story gets a D+. I am starting to actively hate it.
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

  13. #238

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Darknight Detective View Post
    Helena's various states of undress probably didn't hurt, either. BTW, do you think Staton was trying to pull a fast one over the CCA regarding her breakfast scene in this story? Maybe it's just some shadowing, but it appears Helena wouldn't have been suitably, um, groomed for a current Playboy shoot.
    I think it's just shadowing. If anyone is trying to get something by the CCA thogh I doubt it's Staton; after seeing how completely different his art looks depending on who inks him, I'd have to put this on the inker, as his pencils don't seem to be strong enough to command fidelity.
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

  14. #239

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    Wonder Woman #304
    Dan Mishkin, Gene Colan and Frank McLaughlin
    backup: Joey Cavalieri, Mike DeCarlo and Pablo Marcos



    Synopsis: Diana fight Doctor Polaris, but he gets away. She and Steve and Griggs head back to the Pentagon where the do some strategizing and come up with the dumbest plan of all time: Steve will pretend to be Green Lantern in order to lure Doctor Polaris out of his arctic base. This is "necessary" because a) Green Lantern is in outer space and b) Doctor Polaris has threatened to destroy the planet if Green Lantern doesn't show up.

    Steve puts on a Green Lantern costume and then they tie him to the invisible plane to make it look like he's flying. I kid you not. He and Diana fly to Doctor Polaris' base. Sure enough, Doctor Polaris comes out, which gives Griggs a chance to sneak into the base. Polaris pretty much realizes right away that Steve isn't Green Lantern, but Diana distracts Polaris by beating the crap out of him. This gives Griggs enough time to set off a bomb that destroys the base, along with, apparently, Polaris himself. The end!

    Backup story: Helena gets free of her predicament. The undertaker attacks her, but she clobbers him. Then she realizes that the furnace that was going to incinerate her has been turned up to high and is going to explode. Leaving the undertaker behind to die a horrible death, she escapes. But the other two crooks behind the whole "fake your fake death" scheme are waiting and knock her out yet again, then throw her in their ambulance and drive off. Man, she is a total punching bag!

    Notes: I enjoyed this story. What can I say, it was goofy enough to be fun. Steve dangling from the invisible plane like a pinata while dressed in a Green lantern costume and shouting faux many challenges is maybe the best thing he's done in the entire series. Having Diana fight an actual supervillain is an okay change of pace from the mythology stuff Mishkin has been doing, though I don't want her to do it too often, otherwise she may end up fighting the same stupid villains she's been facing for the last hundred issues. But Doctor Polaris as an A-list guest star I can handle.

    I am interested in this Griggs guy. I'm still not sure why Mishkin added him to the cast in terms of narrative tension. He hasn't made any overt play for Diana and he isn't engaged in a rivalry with Steve or anything. he doesn't seem to serve any obvious purpose. Yet so far he's been played straight as a competent, heroic Pentagon officer who just adds some flavor to the cast and their missions. I like it. So far. The thing with characters like this, though, who don't have a clear focus, is that inevitably some future writer comes in and decides to use this blank slate to do something really stupid with them. It happens allllll the time. So I am hoping Mishkin has something in mind for him or else when Mishkin leaves, this guy is likely to randomly become an alien spy or an amnesiac demon or something stupid.

    The cover is another Gil Kane effort and it's also another symbolic cover with the WW logo worked in as part of the design. I have a sense they want readers to get really familiar with this WW symbol, possibly because they are going to make it the focus of the new logo that debuts on the cover of #306. I'm not sure. But this sequence of covers is an interesting change of pace for the series, anyway.

    As for the backup story, it's mostly action, which I usually find boring but don't mind this time because it means there's no room for Harry or for Joey Cavalieri to write something stupid. I will say that it didn't seem all that heroic for Helena to just leave the undertaker behind to die; I have a feeling Batman would have figured out a way to save the guy. But, whatever.

    My Grade: Main story gets a B, backup gets a C.
    Last edited by Scott Harris; 11-10-2012 at 08:26 PM.
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

  15. #240

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    Wonder Woman #305
    Dan Mishkin, Gene Colan and Frank McLaughlin
    backup: Joey Cavalieri, Michael Hernandez and Rick Bryant



    Synopsis: Diana and Etta are having a bike ride when they see their landlord, who is both a former senator and notoriously friendly with rapacious demons, being hounded by reporters who claim he is about to be appointed by the president to some kind of arms conference or something. This suggesting pisses him off.

    Continuing their ride, Diana is surprised when a giant minotaur attacks. Worse, it knows she is Wonder Woman. Somehow, Etta doesn't hear this or notice that Diana is somehow holding off a minotaur, and at Diana's urging she runs for help.

    Diana allows herself to be carried off, but when she notices they are heading towards the White House, she changes her plan and turns into Wonder WOman. She quickly kicks the minotaur's ass, but then she is attacked by a giant bird. She kicks it's ass too, trying it up with a huge American flag. Both of the beasts revert to confused humans when she defeats them, so she figures it has to be Circe, who in Greek mythology was known for doing that crap.

    Sure enough, Circe appears, animating the statue on top of the Capitol building. She wanrs Diana that a reckoning is coming and then... To be Continued!!

    Backup Story: Helena's captors take her to... Arkham! My god, somebody remembered these stories are taking place in Gotham! Turns out the main bad guys here are crooked doctors who have taken over Arkham and are letting the patients run loose, using them as minions and servants. They inject Helena with a mind altering hallucinogen. Meanwhile, a bunch of reporters badger Harry about Huntress and he kinda sorta defends her, but secretly he's thinking he's not sure how he should feel. Again. To be whatevered!

    Notes: Nice to see Etta and Diana having some down time together. It's obvious Mishkin is setting up multiple storylines here, one with the landlord and one with Circe. The fighting was just whatever, but it was kind of entertaining. I liked Diana just letting herself get carried off since she figured, why not, at least he won't be hurting anyone else. Again, I have to say I am enjoying the Mishkin run probably more than any of the previous runs in terms of tone, though the post-reboot Conway run had a couple good arcs as well. but Mishkin just feels like he gets it where the others didn't.

    There's a random pin-up of Wonder Woman in the book to fill space, I guess the lead didn't go as long as they expected.

    As far as the backup, it's good to see Arkham. I liked the inmates running the asylum type thing. And it's nice to actually use some of the batman mythology to their advantage here for once. On the other hand, harry has been having this exact same existential crisis since the mid 270's. It's been like 30 straight issues of this. Nearly three damn years. Friggin enough already. Also: the carousel of random pencillers continues.

    Another Kane cover, another cover toying with the logo as graphic design. I do kind of think they are pushing this WW thing to set up the new logo next issue. If so, though, that's a little weird, I've never seen a roll-out plan for a new logo before.

    In the lettercolumn, someone wrote in with a review of Wonder Woman #43. However, even though this is #305, there still haven't been any letters about #300. Why?

    My Grade: Main story gets another solid B. Backup gets a C, elevated by Arkham and slightly more interesting art.
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

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