Wonder Woman #306
Dan Mishkin and Don Heck
backup: backup: Joey Cavalieri, Michael Hernandez and Rick Bryant
Synopsis: Diana shows up at her apartment, where Etta is talking to their landlord. He has a heart attack. While Diana does CPR, Etta calls... Steve at the Pentagon. When he arrives, Diana demands to know why the hell Steve ordered Etta to call him instead of an ambulance. Steve tells her to shut her trap. Diana is not pleased.
Turning into Wonder Woman, Diana follows Steve as he takes the landlord to a military hospital. Suddenly, a bunch of armed thugs attack! Diana takes them out, but when she tries to get them to spill their guts with her lasso, Steve tells her not to. She is even more suspicious.
Diana goes to visit the landlord at the hospital. Steve shows up and isn't happy to see her. He does, however, suggest this is a good time to have whatever little talk she wanted to have with him. She's like, are you kidding me? The takl being, of course, her revealing her secret identity. She tells him this isn't the time. So instead he goes in and starts grilling the landlord about why people are trying to kill him, while the guy is lying in a hospital bed from a heart attack.
Diana gets pissed and tells Steve he's acting like a tool, which he is. He says that he's just trying to protect her. You see, the landlord apparently once gave the Russians some secret information in return for a cure for his wife's illness. The cure didn't work, so the landlord had turned traitor for nothing. Now with him apparently being appointed to another security position, it seems as though that indiscretion was coming back to haunt everyone. Diana is like, oh, well, thanks for thinking of me I guess.
Then, out of nowhere, Aegeus appears in a puff of smoke and stabs Steve! What the hell?! To be continued!!
Backup story: The dangerous lunatic wing of the asylum gets free and goes berserk! Huntress gets out of their way as they chase down the dirty doctors who were experimenting on them. However, the big brute who has kicked her ass twice during this storyline already kicks her ass again, which isn't hard since she's in a straightjacket. Just then, an inmate shows up and clubs the dude over the head, saving Helena. Turns out he's a cop who got stuck in here with a bunch of other not-crazy gang members that the docs were just screwing around with. he frees Huntress and the two of them make a break for it... except she suddenly vanishes. Also, meanwhile, the media lynch mob demanding Huntress be arrested goes ot he police commissioner, who caves because he has no backbone. To be continued?
Notes: For Mishkin, this issue is pretty densely plotted, what with the political intrigue stuff. I do have some problems with it, namely what a knob Steve was being about not telling Diana the landlord was a former traitor. He said he did this to protect her because he knew it would upset her. Um, what? Okay, a) the landlord once sold Etta to a demon, so who gives a crap? b) he told Etta what was going on, so apparently he doesn't care one bit how she feels about the landlord, he's only worried about Diana's feelings and c) Diana is a freaking intelligence officer! her whole job is to know this sort of thing! Treating her like a child is just obnoxious and patronizing. If I were Diana I would have slugged him right in the nuts.
Also, the surprise ending, I don't know whether to give props to Mishkin for this cliffhanger or deduct points for cheating, because really. Aegeus was last seen teleporting to a mystery location at the end of #299 and now, literally out of nowhere, in the middle of a totally unrelated storyline, he appears from midair and stabs Steve?! I'm all for stabbing Steve, but this was so random. I just can't decide if it's random good or random bad.
Out of nowhere, the gene Colan era is apparently over. He's replaced by fellow 60's Marvel stalwart and refugee from the Jim Shooter regime Don Heck. I know a lot of people don't like Don Heck's stuff, but he's grown on me since I was a kid and I appreciate his art more now than I used to. I also think it is more suited to superhero stuff than Colan's work, so we'll see how it pans out.
Jose Luis Garcia Lopez does the cover, which is another symbolic shot of Diana and also introduces the new logo. This logo is modular, as we will see, being rarranged into variuos configurations over the next issues, but this is the logo we will have until the series ends with #329.
As for the backup story, it wasn't terrible. Helena again basically left the bad guys to suffer whatever fate they suffer, but she wasn't in much of a position to help them. She continues to be a punching bag, saved only by the introduction of a new random cast member to help her escape. Cavalieri is obviously going somewhere with this media hounding of the authorities over the supposed death of Pat pending, which has been a subplot for the last few issues. I'm not sure how it is going to play out, but I'm almost kind of sort of interesting. But not really.
Last issue the lettercolumn had a review of Wonder Woman #43. This issue, someone writes in regarding #257 and 258. yet there still are no letters about #300! The other letters in this lettercolumn are about #299 and #301. I'm beginning to wonder if we will ever see feedback on #300.
My Grade: Main story gets a B- for being a little contrived and convoluted with the Steve-is-hind-something angle. Backup gets a C for existing.