You are warned, here be spoilers.
Wonder Woman #36 is thick with continuity, its action predicated entirely on the events of both the previous issue and the previous arc, and yet this issue, more than any other from the past year, feels right as a jump-in point for review.
Wonder Woman has just been told by Tom Tresser that their relationship is over. Most of the issue is taken up with flashbacks of the discussion that followed, and her futile attempts to change his mind. Intercut with these flashbacks is a fight – then team-up – with Giganta.
Diana has screwed up. She’s hidden her real desires – in particular, her desire for children – from Tom, and he’s angry that she’s kept it from him.
I’m a spy, Diana. I lie for a living. I hurt people, and sometimes they hurt me. My luck isn’t infinite. I can’t have kids. I can’t do that to kids. And you didn’t ask.
I think Tom is a touch unfair here – no, she didn’t ask him about kids, bu it’s not like she conceived without talking to him about it. She doesn’t need his permission to hope, especially so early in their relationship, when actual pragmatic talk of kids would be, a least among non-Amazons, wildly inappropriate. But he’s right in that what she wants is something he can’t give, and she’s made it clear to him that it’s a priority for her.
The ongoing plot – that of the Amazons’ replacement in the gods’ favour with a tribe of male warriors – is the least interesting part of this issue. It’s not the strongest plot Simone has come up with, but also it has stiff competition from the earlier scenes with Giganta, and from the apparent conclusion of the Tom Tresser plot. Fortunately, the Amazonian plot doesn’t get much pagecount.
I was delighted to see Giganta, here interrupted while waiting for her date with the Atom. Gail Simone’s run on The All-New Atom – which constituted most of the series’s run – was a joy and a pleasure from one end to the other, and I was saddened to see Simone’s run end, and unsurprised when the series itself ended a few issues later. Wonder Woman popped up a couple of times in The All-New Atom, and I’d love to see the Atom and Giganta return the favour.
The art’s good; Aaron Lopresti’s pencils and Xi-Fi’s colours are what I think of when I think of DC art in general, and DC could definitely do worse in that regard. It’s detailed enough to show expression, to show the movement of cloth and muscle, and yet it has the light, smooth freedom of traditional comic book art.
This issue is not Diana’s finest hour. It is, however, an incredibly solid issue. There’s tremendous chemistry between Diana and Giganta, and Simone waves their scenes together with Diana’s memories smoothly and effectively.