Wonder Woman #65 // Review
After a wobbly start to her latest arc, writer G. Willow Wilson course-corrects in Wonder Woman #65, with pencils by Jesus Merino, inks by Andy Owens, and colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr. Previously, Veronica Cale reignited her feud with Wonder Woman, using the goddess Nemesis to bait her into a trap. Once Diana attacked the deity, Cale claimed that Nemesis was her employee and that Wonder Woman had attacked her without cause. This event led to Cale’s announcement that she would be suing Diana, stating that superheroes should have to be held responsible for their actions just like everyone else.
This issue does a complete about-face from the previous one, and while it’s all for the sake of improving the story, it also might make one wonder if Wilson knew where she was going with this arc from the beginning. Sometimes, it’s cool for a writer to zig when you think she’s going to zag, but this kind of abrupt change in direction might give some readers whiplash. Luckily, all of the perceived weaknesses from the first chapter of the story are thrown in the garbage in favor of a much better overall direction.
The strong point of this issue is the relationship between Wonder Woman and Veronica Cale. Starting back in Greg Rucka’s run, Cale has always been presented as a complicated character with a streak of pettiness running strong through her. Wilson has picked that characterization up, and combined it with Diana’s infinite kindness, managing to present one of the best scenes this book has seen in ages. When Wonder Woman confronted Veronica Cale with nothing but love and compassion after being raked through the press and called a criminal by this woman, the scene becomes a testament of the strength of both characters. Anyone writing the Diana/Cale relationship in the future should always look back on this issue for reference.
Merino’s pencils, while not as strong as they have been in the past, are substantial enough to carry the story but just barely. It doesn’t help that the rest of the art team (Owens and Fajardo) don’t seem to gel well with his style. Combined, the three talented artists become dull and forgettable. If there was a lesson to learn from this issue, it’s that the powers that be need to find a new mix of people to get this title’s art department back to its A game.
Overall, this issue was a marked improvement over the last, which was a worrisome start to the new arc. So far, Wilson has been hit and miss, but she has produced more good issues than not, and her general understanding of Wonder Woman as a character is among the best in the history of this book. Hopefully, she is just getting her plan for the larger picture of her run together, and things will continue to even out.