You May Find Yourself


On Wednesdays I look at various chapters in Wonder Woman’s history. Click here for previous installments.

I reckon some stuff is fixin’ to be revealed. Or something.

Wonder Woman: Odyssey vol. 2, DC Comics, 2012.

We’ve been looking at J. Michael Straczinski’s weird 2010 partial reboot of Wonder Woman, in which her whole look and history was suddenly changed and she and we had to find out why. The first few parts of this arc can be found here, here and here. By now Phil Hester was stepped in as cowriter to help JMS finish what he started, and the art’s handled by a rotating roster of pencillers, including Geraldo Borges, Don Kramer and Eduardo Pansica.

That’s a lot of bull.

Wonder Woman #607, DC Comics, March 2011.

Holy crap, are we already on chapter 7 of this “Odyssey”? It seems like not a whole lot has happened, which isn’t quite true. It’s just that not a whole lot of note has happened.

So, for reasons unknown the Morrigan—a triumvirate of war goddesses—had Paradise Island destroyed and all the Amazons killed. Or tried to, anyway. Some of them survived, including Princess Diana, who grew up on the run. This, of course, isn’t at all how Diana grew up in “our” reality, but time has been altered somehow, and she doesn’t know any different.  Still, there are constant hints of the traditional Wonder Woman that no one recognizes anymore. Child’s drawings, dolls found at a ritual site, and now a mosaic of Wonder Woman and other Amazons fighting the Morrigan. What could it mean? Well, I reckon we’ll find out.

In the last issue, Diana was faced by an army of skeletons. Well, in this one she fights that army of skeletons. Last issue a guy ensorcelled into a minotaur by the Morrigan kidnapped a little kid, son of a friend of Diana’s. Well, in this one she tracks down that minotaur.

Nice try. She’s had enough of your bull.

Finally, the Morrigan turned three Amazons into new versions of Giganta, Cheetah and Artemis, telling them that their sisters left them for dead. Well, now those three attack the Amazons while Diana’s otherwise occupied. So if you read the last issue, which ended the first trade collection of this arc, you already have a pretty good idea what happens in this issue.

Yeah, that’s not good. And she was only two days away from retirement!

There’s one surprise, anyway. Diana uses the magic lasso to command someone for the first time in this new reality, and when that guy suddenly dies, his soul is still caught in the lasso. That’s kinda messed up.


Wonder Woman #608, DC Comics, April 2011.

Diana comes home and finds her stately manor in ruins and pretty much everyone dead. So naturally she gets into a knock-down, drag-out fight with the perpetrators, the three new manufactured villainesses.

Clearly her Spidey-Sense isn’t working too well.

Meanwhile the Morrigan (currently down to two goddesses because one of them died before we met them) toy with the Trojan War hero Ajax, who’s their slave for some reason seemingly related to the sword sticking out of his chest. They also have a kind of gross visitation from their dead third part, Enyo, who lets us in on two plot points: (1) They’re scheming to make Diana the new third part of their trinity, though nothing they’ve done so far has indicated that. (2) They’re working for an even bigger bad guy—or bad gal, rather.


Other revelations: Those veiled figures dwelling in the sewers that we saw way back at the beginning may not be Amazons at all. Here they appear to Diana like some ghostly apparition and give her some otherworldly advice. We also learn who this cloaked figure is whom we’ve seen skulking around on occasion, and it’s the first unaltered familiar face we’ve seen so far in this arc. It’s our old pal Doctor Psycho! Now, he’s always been big on using his psychic powers to mess up other people’s sense of reality, so there’s a pretty good chance that he may be behind this whole mess, right?

That’s a world full of Wonder.

Wonder Woman #609, DC Comics, May 2011.

Nope! It seems that Doctor Psycho isn’t behind this at all. He just can see through the changed reality because, being not quite right in the head, his grasp on reality is pretty darned malleable in the first place.  In fact, he wants Wonder Woman to wake the heck up. He leads her through a dreamscape of alternate histories, telling her she’s lived many lives, and in each one she’s been a great leader of women.

Call her Pirate Wondy.

Note that this has never been part of Wonder Woman’s history before, that she’s a many-times-reincarnated heroine, and it smacks of Buffy the Vampire Slayer lore. Still, the eternal warrior woman thing is kind of cool; it’s just that it may as well be for an entirely new character.

You know, if you think the character is absurd, you don’t have to write her.

Similarly, I don’t know that JMS and Hester’s take on Doctor Psycho exactly rings true for the character as we know him, that he’s her enemy to “be close to” her. Because he’s not a soulful character—he’s hateful and slavering, sadistic and misogynistic. But as a device for this particular story, it’s strangely touching.

Aww. Who knew?

I like the idea of archenemies having a certain attachment to and fondness for each other, deep down. By far my favorite moment in the Alex Ross, Jim Krueger and Doug Braithwaite miniseries Justice is when Captain Marvel pleads for help fixing the near-catatonic state of the mad scientist Doctor Sivana. “This is my greatest enemy,” he says with deep sincerity.

Now that’s a great scene.

Now she has to reclaim herself in some vague metaphorical way, swimming and climbing and flying past a gallery of her past costumes with an internal monologue of a lot of portentous nonsense.

You cannot be eaten when you are the sandwich maker.

And she wakes up in a hospital bed attended by nurse Diana Prince (whaaaa?) and Doctor Etta Candy (huh?).  I’d say someone has some ’splaining to do if I thought any of this would actually be explained.

See, she’s piecing the puzzle together. Get it?

Wonder Woman #610, DC Comics, June 2011.

As the Morrigan try to figure out who the heck is helping Diana, we learn that they, at least, are perfectly aware that Wonder Woman isn’t what she used to be. And they’re very, very aware that the Olympian gods are missing, leaving them and their mysterious “mistress” free to do what they will.

Is it just me, or is Diana Prince way more attractive than Wonder Woman all of a sudden?

And this new pocket reality just gets weirder, with Diana faced with Nurse Diana Prince and Doctors Etta Candy and Steve Trevor (who’ve never been doctors before). But the other Diana takes Wondy to see an elderly coma patient named, unsubtly, Myra Clotho—Clotho, of course, being the youngest of the three Moirai, or Fates, the one who spins the thread of life. This, of course, leads to a whole lot of exposition in which we learn that Diana actually owes her new life to Clotho. Diana was actually killed by her still-unnamed new enemy, whom we’re told is a female avatar of vengeance (hmmm—there are plenty of those in comics, of course, but also plenty of others in mythology) bent on destroying humanity (which she hasn’t shown any sign of starting to get around to yet), but Clotho spun a new strand for Diana, “a second life woven just below the surface of the first.”

Well, that explains that. Kind of.

With a slightly better idea of what the hell is going on here, Diana is immediately attacked again, first by the Keres and then by the new Giganta, Cheetah and Artemis, and in both cases finds inventive uses of the lasso of truth—both new uses and old—to make them not a threat anymore. This new Wonder Woman is really getting the hang of things, just in time for the old version to come back again—which in turn will be just in time for the universe to be rebooted and yet another new version to take her place.  Got all that? Well, you’ll have to wait till next week to see how it plays out, as we finish up with the last half of Odyssey vol. 2.

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