Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Justice #12 (August, 2007)

"I head the team that goes to Cheetah's city. Superman should not have put me in charge of this. I don't know how long I have left. How long before the Centaur's Poison undoes the blessing of the gods?" Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Batgirl, the Flash and Plastic Man went with Wonder Woman to the African-style plain, but she sent them away to evacuate. Diana sensed that they were being hunted, and wished to draw out and distract the Cheetah while the others did good.

The former Priscilla Rich lunged at the former Amazing Amazon, tearing her armor. Diana removed her helmet to show the poison's handiwork, giving her cracked obsidian "skin" like molten rock and a wicked case of alopecia. "You can't hurt me anymore, Priscilla... Did you really think I would be patient forever? Did you really think I would let you take away the very people I left Paradise Island to serve? Did you... Cheetah?"

See what she did there? See, Brainiac was going to turn everyone in the cities into Coluan organic robot thingees and Diana had all this compassion for Priscilla's mental breakdown but then the villainess crossed the line and Diana called her by her evil name and ooo sick burn! Also, Diana blocked one swipe of Cheetah's claws with her bracelets, then headbutted her unconscious, implying that Cheetah was a wimp who had only succeeded in the initial poisoning through Diana's misplaced grace. Way to neuter the kitty cat.

The Flash helped Wonder Woman walk across a Plastic Man bridge as they led the exodus from Cheetah's city. "We'll stop this curse, Diana. We always do. We'll figure out a way. You don't have to die."
"They're safe, Flash. Don't worry about me. They're safe."

Nine pages later, Wonder Woman reappeared in a spread located on a Paradise Island beach. Diana had suffered death by reversion to clay #34, so Queen Hippolyte prayed to the gods, who restored Diana as part of a fresh mound of pale clay, leaving a black ol' husk behind. If the subtext is troubling, add to it the fact that Superman had spent the prior two pages reviving a helpless Zatanna through CPR after she nearly died in outer space. Were any male heroes rescued from certain death by heroines? Heck, there weren't even any non-female heroes at the brink of death in the rest of the series. Aquaman had a chunk of his brain carved out and just grew it back while laying on an operating room table. I should also mention that Diana 2 was of course naked, and that neither Steve Trevor nor Donna Troy were present at the revival ceremony, because it's all about maintaining the integrity of the character with these guys.

"Chapter Twelve" was plotted and painted by Alex Ross. The script was provided by Jim Krueger, and the penciled layouts by Doug Braithwaite. I guess the moral of the story was that Diana was naive to think Cheetah's soul was salvageable, so once Diana was willing to give Priscilla up to damnation, the princess could herself be saved. All, she's selfless and stuff and things. Gods, what I'd give to re-segregate the DC Universe and allow creator's concepts to remain true to their intent. Praise Hestia I don't have to read any more of this pretty ugly self-important vacancy.

Continue the story through these character-specific posts:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

2006 Wonder Woman: From Bruce Wayne's private files in the Batcomputer

Pencil art by Doug Braithwaite painted over by Alex Ross from the back pages of Justice #5 (June, 2006.) Text by Jim Krueger writing as Batman:

Her name is Princess Diana. Sometimes she hides her nature and identity, if such a thing were possible, under the name Diana Prince. By combat and contest she was chosen to represent an island nation of Amazon women who claim to be descendants of the Greek gods. She was one of the first members of the Justice League of America, and lives not to fight, but to work for peace. It is a mistake many make to categorize her as a warrior. She is far more than her training and skill suggest.

Evidence of her divine lineage includes a number of gifts, like those in myth, given by the gods. She carries a 'Golden Lasso." It is unbreakable, and those confined by it are compelled to speak the truth. Its nature, by my inspection, is not scientific, but mysterious. I can find no reason for its properties. She wears bulletproof bracelets that she uses to defend herself, and has an invisible jet that allows her to travel the globe undetected, even by radar or heat-sensitive tracking devices.

Some have suggested that she is a perfect woman. And it is easy to see why popular speculation would see her as a possible mate for Superman. But I do not believe such a pairing ever to be possible. She understands too well the role we have chosen. She knows, unlike many in the League itself, that we cannot risk loved ones. They could become targets, our vulnerabilities.

GAH! I hate this series so much! Krueger just listed Diana's powers and accessories for two paragraphs, then turned it over to a shipping discussion. There's no insight into the character here, aside from being defined by her (lack of) prospect as a Superman love interest. ARGH!

The Batcomputer Files