Wonder Woman #48 // Review
Wonder Woman #48, written by James Robinson, with art by Jesus Merino and colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr., is part three of The Dark Gods arc, and it still feels like Robinson has barely scratched the surface of this story. Last issue, a previously unknown set of Gods made their way to Earth, which started to drive religious people inexplicably mad, even causing people like Cheetah and Supergirl to attack Wonder Woman. Just when the Gods arrive, Diana was dragged away by the alien Zamarons on a separate mission, leaving her brother, Jason, to fight them by himself.
Jason is the focus of this issue, but that’s no surprise, because he has essentially been the main character of Robinson’s entire run. Robinson has clearly fallen in love with writing the character, and that’s fine. It’s normal for a comic book writer to favor a new character they created in a book they’re writing. Unfortunately, in this instance, Wonder Woman has taken a backseat in her own series in order for Jason to get the spotlight and character growth. Oddly, this was compensated for by having Diana show up to save an incompetent Jason. Hardly any Wonder Woman in the issue, and Jason grows none as a hero. The story arc isn’t over, but this just seemed like sloppy writing.
Robinson does seem to be course-correcting on certain things he’s done wrong in the past, though. For instance, the lack of inclusion of the Justice League in the Darkseid arc, when Diana had plenty of time to call them, was mind boggling. This time, when Jason stands alone against Gods, the League and Supergirl show up to help. It doesn’t do Jason much good when they are easily removed from the fight, but at least the logic that they would show up to such a big threat to the Earth was addressed.
As mentioned above, Robinson’s pacing is all over the place, but that seems to be his M.O. lately. The first two issues of this arc were just establishing the effects these God villains had on the world’s religious populace, with Cheetah attacking Wonder Woman, and then Supergirl doing the exact same thing in the following issue. Part three finally gets the story moving with the arrival of the Gods, only to have Wonder Woman disappear for the entire issue and Jason fumble along, getting nothing accomplished until she shows back up. That pretty much results in barely introducing your antagonists in three issues worth of comics. Not a great start.
Jesus Merino continues to do a great job as a Wonder Woman artist, doing masterful work drawing the main characters, as well as designing the new Gods that are attacking the planet. They each have a distinct look lining up with their identities, and they could be a ton of fun in the right hands. The colors of Romulo Fajardo Jr. are fine, though seem a little dull in some scenes, such as the arrival of the Justice League. He does manage to make the Gods pop in their entrance, though.
In the end, Robinson is failing to sell this story to readers when he’s barely gotten to the point of the arc three issues in. It also feels like the readers have seen this from Wonder Woman before. The whole story seems uninspired, as if Robinson is just trying to fill his time left on the book. Hopefully, he finds inspiration as he moves forward, because he is a talented writer (Starman is one of the best comic book stories of all time as a whole), but so far, this story is dead on arrival.