Wonder Woman #57 // Review
Wonder Woman and the magic community continue to fight against Hecate, the Goddess of Magic, in Wonder Woman #57, part 4 of “The Witching Hour” story, written by James Tynion IV, with pencils by Emanuela Lupacchino, inks by Ray McCarthy, and colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr. Previously, Wonder Woman, Witchfire, Manitou Dawn, and Black Orchid all found out that they were marked by Hecate, each of them carrying part of her power. Now, she’s back to collect, and has taken control of these magical heroines to rewrite the rules of magic, even if it means destroying it all and starting over from scratch. With Witchfire already dead and Wonder Woman under Hecate’s thrall, it’s not looking good for the DC universe.
If you’re a longtime fan of DC, particularly their magic-based characters, it’s pretty hard not to like this story. Tynion makes great use of forgotten DC cast members, such as Witchfire, Manitou Dawn, Black Orchid, and Traci 13 to weave a fun story that gives everybody something important to do while showing you what some of your old favorites have been up to. This story is worth reading just for nostalgia alone.
Unfortunately, Wonder Woman herself doesn’t have much to do this issue. She spends the entirety of this chapter stuck in Hecate’s metaphorical moon dimension, talking to the recently-dead Witchfire, while her body goes berserk on Earth. That wouldn’t be so bad if she were working on some way to get back in control of her body, but she mostly just comes to the conclusion that she is helpless, and then, somehow, things get worse. It’s a pretty disappointing show of character for Diana, especially in her own book, but it’s probably safe to assume she’ll end up being the hero of this story, eventually. It’s just odd that one of her own book’s chapters would make her out to be so frustratingly powerless and out of character.
As stated above, the magic community gets to shine in this issue, but the real standout heroes were Constantine and Zatanna. They’re always an entertaining team, but Tynion makes great use of their unique chemistry, and plays to their strengths as masters of misdirection and skilled exorcists. They even have a quiet moment for some decent character development, where Zatanna has to remind Constantine of who he is and what he does. If only Tynion could write a team-up book starring these two full time, DC would really have something.
Lupacchino’s pencils are strong this issue, and that’s saying something, given the large amount of characters and action she has to jam onto each page. McCarthy’s inks are also put to good use, particularly in the “moon” scenes between Diana and Witchfire, where shadow and light factor in heavily. Similarly, Fajardo does impressive work in those scenes, where everything shines in silver and light. This was a well-chosen art team for this leg of the story, as the visuals turned out to be the best part of the book.
Overall, not much happens for Wonder Woman in this chapter of The Witching Hour, but the story around her was enough to keep the average person invested, and the threat of the rules of DC’s magic being completely rewritten is more than enough to draw readers back in for the next issue. Even if you’re not picking up the rest of this story, Tynion has done a fine job of making the Wonder Woman chapters self-explanatory, so it’s not completely necessary to spend the extra money so far.