The greatest advantage the forces of law and order possess has always been their ability to unite for a common cause. Criminals, by contrast, can rarely agree upon much of anything or put aside their personal differences in favor of mutual goals. At least, not long enough for any alliance to accomplish any lasting damage. That’s always been the rule in Gotham City… until now.
An unholy alliance of the city’s worst villains has brought about what previously seemed impossible. Within a span of four hours, not only has the Gotham City Police Department been incapacitated but so have most of the city’s vigilante protectors. Only master hacker Barbara Gordon – a.k.a. The Oracle – remains free to summon help. But who can stand against an army that was able to bring down the legendary Batman?
No one man could do it… but maybe one woman can!
Fans of Wonder Woman were thrilled by the news that the Amazon Princess would be receiving her own anthology series and that the first story-line would be written by long-time Wonder Woman author, Gail Simone. The news that the artwork would be handled by long-time Green Lantern artist and frequent Simone collaborator Ethan Van Sciver was icing on a tasty cake. It would be no exaggeration to say that hopes were high going into this first issue.
Sadly, this first chapter isn’t quite the slam-dunk fans may have expected. Simone’s script is amusing at times, as one might expect, but there is very little sense of danger in the story despite the high-stakes depicted in the opening pages. Diana herself comments that she fails to see what all the fuss is about, describing Batman’s rogues gallery as “a few petty thieves, laden heavily with gaudy fetishes and gimmickry.” And she’s right. The likes of The Penguin and The Riddler are of no threat to Diana and the story thus far only highlights why Gotham City has been so frequently sequestered away from the rest of the DC Universe.
Ethan Van Sciver’s art is equally conflicted. For the most part, what we see here is on par with his usual excellent work. There’s a number of beautiful splash-pages, including our first glimpse of Diana striding into action through a wall of fire. Van Sciver fits some truly intricate details into the panels without things becoming cluttered. And yet, there are a number of panels where the characters seem off-model or oddly posed. There’s also a slight inconsistency regarding the cut of Diana’s star-spangled shorts and whether they are short-shorts, bloomers or bikini bottoms.
Despite all of this, the comic works if taken as light entertainment. Consider the serious implications of how Batman’s super-powered colleagues could keep the peace more effectively than he could in his town or speculate on just where Wonder Woman is storing her newly-forged, W-shaped Wonder-rangs and you’ll have a bad time with this book. Relax and enjoy the revelation that Wonder Woman is on short list of “Things Even The Joker Is Not Crazy Enough To Try And Fight” (along with the IRS) and you’ll have a ball.