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‘Wonder Woman #57’ (review)

Written by James T Tynion IV
Illustrated by Emanuela Lupacchino
Published by DC Comics


“I don’t have time for metaphor. There must be a way out of this place.”

You just keep telling yourself that Diana.

One thing I like the best about James Tynion IV’s work is his pacing. He has a knack for creating enjoyably wild situations, building them up, and setting them loose with lots of energy behind them. The first several issues of Justice League Dark were exactly like that, and while it maybe took just a little bit longer to get the current set-up rolling, this month’s Wonder Woman – the fourth issue in his Witching Hour Saga – achieves the same level of cinematic, barreling down the tracks with the bridge blown out, sort of feel.

Good fun.

Assisting him with the cinematic part is the artistic team of Emanuela Lupachinno, Ray McCarthy and Romulo Fajaroo Jr., and hats off to them all for keeping up and keeping the tone(s) of this book just right.

Comics being the short-form storytelling that they are, one of the things that good comics storytellers know how to do well is to introduce that one element (or two) that changes the whole scenario, for good or bad, keeping us guessing, keeping us hoping, even though we all pretty much know that victory for our heroes, in the end, is almost always in the cards. Or at least some sort of victory.

But then if things were always completely certain, it wouldn’t be much fun, would it?

So, usually that twist of fate and plot, arrives as tensions reach an unbearable pitch, or at least an alarming one. We get both in this issue. In fact, Tynion’s got us on the brink of a wholesale restructuring of reality – because, hey, why think small? Why indeed?

Things look bad.

Wonder Woman has gone from having full possession of Hecate’s witch-marked power, to being fully possessed by it in turn. Hecate has set her, and Manitou Dawn, and Black Orchid, on a destructive rampage against the earth’s great magical lines of power – the green, red, black and grey at last count – and nothing it seems, can stand against them.

The team is in a rout. Dr. Holland is getting shredded with the Parliament of Trees. Bobo, Kirk-Bat, and Dead-Man are hiding the fractured soul of Rama Kushna in the Oblivion Bar, with Manitou Dawn hot on their heels. And Zatanna and Constantine-Light are facing down Witchy Wonder Woman in what remains of Nanda Parbat. Matchsticks in a hurricane.

Just to be clear Hecate is winning. Handily. Not only is she obliterating the holy seats of magical power in the world, she’s rewriting the very rules of magic. Hard to fight back against power like that.

Well. Almost.

As for Diana… well Diana, (or, what little of her volition remains), is stuck in the silvery world of Hecate’s subconscious mind…

…or is that the world’s? And is there a difference? And if there isn’t, what does that suggest about the literal pools of power she’s immersed in?

Diana’s going to have to figure that all out quickly. Because even with a few well-placed plot-twists to give us all hope, and at least one to dash them, you can bet Hecate is nowhere near enough down for the count yet.

And by last reckoning, there’s still another unknown player on the board…

Justice League Dark and Wonder Woman the Witching Hour #1 is the finale to our 5-part epic, so be sure to grab it next Wednesday before you go Trick-or-Treating to find out how everything turns out for our mystical, mythical Justice League, and the magical worlds of Earth.

(Come to think of it, where the heck are all the other magic users of the DCU right now…)

Next issue: By the silvery light of the moon…

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