Story: Amanda Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti
Art: Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran
Letterer: Travis Lanham
What They Say:
Wonder Woman visits an old friend on her last day, but afterward, Diana’s day turns into a nightmare. Meanwhile, the Penguin gathers a group of villains to enact a new plan against their heroic enemies!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Though I generally enjoy the humor that Connor and Palmiotti bring to their books I wish they spent more time on the serious side that leads to real emotion. Within a sixteen-page story, we get a solid tale that ties past to present and puts Wonder Woman through the wringer in a good way while still having some lightness. As we’ve mentioned with the last few issues, Sampere and Albarran are again firing on all cylinders with some beautiful artwork and setting material that really delivers. The villains in this look fantastic while the more fantastical moments have the right kind of surreal feeling about them as it unfolds. And with Hi-Fi handling the color work once again, the digital presentation is just beautiful in bringing out all of their details.
The premise is a familiar one at the start with a couple of pages involving the Penguin bringing together a range of solid villains to come up with a new way to deal with their hero problem. The classic solution is employed in going after the villains directly but with different combinations than usual in order to throw them off. It’s a story we’ve seen many times but one that leads to some good material in good hands, never mind really good hands like here. What this team does is give us a little flashback time before the present, showing Diana’s time working with the Socialite in Boston to defend the city from crooks and bad guys in the early days of their careers. It’s fun and kind of light but hits a good sweet spot just in seeing the two have a good time together post-fight with tea and biscuits and just, well, socializing.
The problem comes decades later in the present as the Socialite, aka Anna, is close to dying from cancer and saying her goodbyes from her hospital bed. The emotion is well-captured in just a few pages so that it feels real from Diana as she copes with it happening and then the burial itself. But it’s this time at the gravesite that brings the attack of the villain with some creativity. It goes big and actually kind of crazy quickly but it all fits in well with the kind of scale of problem that Diana often faces. And, as she’s seen over her life, things can change on a dime in the world and it can go bad quickly, though even this seems too quick. I like how they have her react throughout it and then the way she can see through to the truth and fight her way out by her sheer force of will.
This was a really solid installment just for giving Socialite some time and really making a strong bond between her and Diana feel real in just a few pages. That carries forward well and it serves as the backbone of the story as it gets darker and more chaotic for Diana and the fate of the world. Connor and Palmiotti work the page count beautifully so that everything is used well while Sampere and Albarran with Hi-Fi are turning in some absolutely beautiful pages that really hit home in a big way. I love the look of this issue and it has a number of really strong panels that will resonate in a big way for many reading it.
Age Rating: 12+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology and Kindle
Release Date: April 29th, 2020