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‘Wonder Woman #768’ (review)

Written by Mariko Tamaki
Art by Rafa Sandoval and Jordi Tarragona
Published by DC Comics
Buy it Digitally from comiXology

 

What, Deathstroke’s in this?!?

That’s what I said to myself upon seeing this issue’s extreme cover. And there he is, Slade Wilson, diving with Diana into a pile of evil Alice in Wonderland characters.

And yes, Deathstroke does appear.

The big fight we’re hoping for from the cover doesn’t really happen, which I feel cheated on.

However, this issue winds up being another build-up issue to another big fight where we get more of Emma Lord/Liar Liar’s back story.

Why didn’t we find out about this back story before, you may ask?

Well, one, it’s in the script. This is clearly the part where the hero finds out the tragic origin of the villain, setting up the final showdown that likely will involve the hero invoking some piece of the villain’s past in order to defeat them.

Right? I’ve been down this road a million times. It’s good, standard story beats.

And, two, it works because while we know from the previous issue’s cliffhanger that Liar Liar stabbed her father, Maxwell Lord, our heroes don’t know that yet.

Deathstroke shows up when Etta Candy hunts down this super-secret file on Emma Lord, but luckily for her, Wonder Woman caught him with her demigoddess senses and smashes through a window to take him out.

They tear up some asphalt before Slade spills tea about who sent him on this kill mission.

Meanwhile, we catch up with Liar Liar and what’s she’s been up to these past few issues that led up to her stabbing Maxwell Lord and being baited into this new confrontation with Diana.

I don’t want to give too much away, because this issue lives in the character details and the themes of truth, lies and trauma that are Mariko Tamaki’s focus throughout this creative run. What does the truth mean if certain conditions change how you perceive reality?

An objective truth does exist. However, it’s more fragile, more emotional and messier than we often admit to ourselves.

For Liar Liar, the reality she sees evolves into a new, more powerful form: A knight on a quest to kill the “King of Lies,” Maxwell Lord. You can guess whom she picks as Lord’s queen.

Diana fights for the power of truth, but how can she break through Liar Liar’s perception of a reality quite other?

This issue has me hungry for the next one.

I wouldn’t mind if penciller Rafa Sandoval and inker Jordi Tarrgona stick around, either. Their art carries some of the clean simplicity of Stuart Immonen, and I could use more of that in my comics.

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