Wonder Woman #44 Review
Wonder Woman #44, by writer James Robinson and penciler Emanuela Lupacchino, is the fourth part of the Amazons Attacked and it finally delivers on the action that’s been promised to the readers since two issues ago. Darkseid has boom-tubed a large chunk of the ARGUS headquarters to his base in the jungle in order to get his hands on some powerful relics in their possession. Along for the ride are Wonder Woman, her brother Jason, and Steve Trevor, with a handful of his ARGUS soldiers.
Robinson delivers an all action issue, and in a very satisfying way. Jason finally steps up and saves his sister from interference by Grail (Darkseid’s daughter) and the Furies a couple of times, while also showing off the full extent of his elemental powers. Diana also gets the spotlight, as she should in her own book, taking on Darkseid by herself and actually holding her own with him out of pure anger. This is a great fight that lasts most of the length of the book, showing that Wonder Woman is a force to be reckoned with, up against a foe that has taken on the entire Justice League by himself several times. The only thing missing was seeing Diana block a blast of Darkseid’s Omega Beams with her bracelets, but I suspect that will be happening at some point over the course of the next couple of issues, given the cliffhanger ending.
The audience also gets to see Darkseid’s use of the relics come into play when his minions open up a portal to Themyscira, Wonder Woman’s home that she has not been able to get back to in years due to a banishment by the gods. This is a nice moment provided by Robinson, with Wonder Woman having to watch helplessly as Grail travels via portal to Themyscira to attack it. All those years, and Diana finally lays eyes on her home only to watch it be assaulted by her mortal enemy.
If there is a missed opportunity in this issue, it’s that the Darkseid/Wonder Woman fight wasn’t more brutal. As mentioned above, Darkseid doesn’t so much as fire one Omega Beam at Diana and that makes very little sense, considering he really seemed to be struggling against her. Those beams are the most devastating weapon he has in his arsenal and they’re capable of bringing Superman to his knees, so why would he not use them? Hopefully, Robinson is just saving them for a special occasion.
The art team, consisting of Lupacchino on pencils, Ray McCarthy on inks, and Romulo Fajardo Jr. on colors, brings this issue-long fight to life in spectacular fashion. You can practically feel it in your teeth when Wonder Woman socks Darkseid in the jaw in the opening scene. There are a few confusing panels, due to the sheer amount of characters fighting on any given page, but, overall, the art team turned in a stellar issue.
This issue was light on character work, but still managed to work in a few satisfying moments while giving the audience the action it had been sorely missing the last few issues. If Robinson can continue this pace for the remaining issues of the arc, he should be able to deliver a pleasing conclusion that would make up for the weak start to the story.