08 June 2012

Review: Wonder Woman: Odyssey Vol. 1

Wonder Woman: Odyssey Vol. 1
Wonder Woman: Odyssey Vol. 1 by J. Michael Straczynski

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This trade is the first six issues of what's probably best known as "that one time Wonder Woman's outfit changed." The arc is a reboot of sorts, 12 issues before the big New 52 reboot. It's not really your traditional Wonder Woman, and that's both a good and bad thing.

The struggle with Wonder Woman is well-known at this point, and Straczynski ultimately tries to put all that aside in favor of changing her entire origin story, almost treating Diana as a cross between Batman and Superman as this version's Diana becomes more familiar with her powers and her heritage. There's a lot that's fascinating about where he goes with this, but the story quickly and unexpectedly shifts away from a true story of finding knowledge and into...something else entirely. It's very jarring, and doesn't really work all that well.

There's plenty to like - I'm on Team This Costume, personally, and the scene in Hell is genuinely interesting and fun - but my issue with this is more that it's not the Wonder Woman or Diana I'm okay with. There's something to be said about a Wonder Woman who's both above it all while trying to integrate herself with her adoptive society. Even though there have been failures with the character in modern times (and some of the stories are rough, partially why we got this reboot). The story is really all over the place, and things seem to happen for no reason other than the plot demanding it. By trying to reboot the character in order to escape the trappings of the story, it has instead fallen into the same rut that so many mediocre Wonder Woman runs have fallen into.

I'll read the next trade because I enjoy Wonder Woman and because it's the last of the run before the New 52 reboot, but there's absolutely a problem that needs solving with this arc, and I'm hoping the next volume gets there.

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