Diana Prince: Wonder Woman Vol. 2
Collection: Wonder Woman #185-#189, Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane # 93, The Brave & The Bold #87 © 1969, 1970
Publisher: DC Comics © 2008
Writers: Mike Sekowsky, Robert Kanigher
Art: Mike Sewkowsky, Irv Novick
Inker: Dick Giordano
Wonder Woman created by: William Moulton Marston
You may have remembered our previous and first foray into the world of Diana Price, we continue on here where things begin to get sillier. I will be up and front that I did like the story structure here with two issues under one plot, then two separate self-contained issues and finally the last three issues under one story. This made for easy reading, not needing to digest it all in one sitting and just makes it more pleasant to read given this book is silly. Personally, I do not mind the first book in this series of Wonder Woman being without her powers and the 60’s spy angle. Reading throughout this one I got to the middle and I was beginning to wonder how long they could keep this up for.
The first issue was a warm welcome to change as Diana deals with a smaller, more local problem in helping a young girl who has run away from home and is in a world of trouble. Granted, this story could have taken a much darker turn had the Comics Code Authority not existed back then. I felt with that said they could have done something else with Cathy (the girl she’s helping) with running away from home and what happens next. I will not say what that is, but it is a real problem that existed back then and still does today and this comic almost sets it up. Therefore, it feels it was at the back of Sekowsky’s mind but he knew he could not really get away with it. The story had a slightly more grounded approach within the first issue but gets really silly in the next, nonetheless it was a romp of a read. Then you have the Lois Lane series comic which I have no knowledge of. This comic was infuriating as it almost makes Superman look like an easy-going, turn-coating cheat of a man! Where did this side come from him? Superman & Wonder Woman? Remember, this pre-dates the New 52 series where they’re a couple. Meanwhile the Brave & The Bold issue brings us Batman racing. Wonder Woman is there to help save the day in regards to this race but it feels a bit underwhelming and Batman behind a car only racing is hardly thrilling. Finally, there is the plot where Diana & I-Ching go to China and this gets awkward. The comic shows its age with Hong Kong under the British still and Diana doing yellow-face (is that really a thing) and this was beyond offensive and downright stupid. The notion of Diana sneaking into Red China during the Cold War has my utmost attention but execution was poor. It is problematic in that we introduce another male protagonist with Patrick to help Diana out. By the end, the comic feels less like Diana’s comic. She gets side-lined by this walk-on character as she turns into something of a useless, helpless female trope and akin to a side-kick. The Neal Adams cover of her with a gun in Chinese garb had me excited but the story itself brought very little.
Mike Sewkoswky takes over writing now. It’s safe to say he was better as just penciler before to some degree. His Greek based story in the last volume was fine, but not this. His art feels cheapened and rushed compared to last. I understand, this is the 60’s – 70’s and cannot be compared to more contemporary and polished work of today. Every now and then his line work shows with some decent panels. Yet, the colors are everywhere with dark and thrilling scenes set to green for example. The 60’s pop is gone. The Lois Lane issue under Irv Novick stands out with superior line-work and busy, yet detailed and exciting panels throughout the entire issue.
I am starting to notice this trend of Diana always having male patrons to help her throughout this series no matter what. Adding further insult to injury is men always asking her out to dinner. Apparently now Diana, Wonder Woman is something of a prize to be won. The first volume was a fun experimentation but already this novelty is over-staying its welcome. If you’re a die-hard completionist then sure get it. Otherwise, I’d argue you are missing nothing here.
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