It’s time for a new era of Wonder Woman. Following any fan-favorite run is an unenviable task, especially one as critically acclaimed as the epic, three-year run that the previous creative team provided readers. Furthermore, the cards of public perception were stacked against the new team, who’s announcement was met with, at best, trepidation by fans. David Finch’s artwork has been a polarizing in recent years. The series’ writer (and David’s wife) Meredith Finch has been criticized for her inexperience with mainstream comics, having written only a few issues for Zenescope. Having endured all the media hoopla, the day has finally arrived where their run finally begins.
Wonder Woman #36 is full of surprises, both good and bad. The biggest surprise is how good Meredith Finch’s script is, and by that I mean that it isn’t the worst thing ever. While the plot is fairly standard, and the dialogue is clunky at times, Meredith shows promise as a writer. The elements at play, such as Diana’s love for humanity and stress from fulfilling multiple roles, feel genuine and appropriate for the character. The moment where she pours out her heart to Aquaman about the difficulty she’s having balancing her life was the issue’s stand out moment. The reader can feel the burden on her shoulders, a surprising moment of humanity that has recently been elevated to a god-like status.
The same cannot be said for the work of Meredith’s husband, artist David Finch. After three years of having Cliff Chiang render Diana as a strong, powerful woman, she now looks like a teenage girl. Her features border on child-like at times, especially her face. In other instances, Finch renders her to look like a porn star. Whether or not this is a twisted case of wish fulfillment, it’s a disappointing regression for the crown jewel of superheroines.
The art is not a total wash. Finch’s art may not be my cup of tea, but it is certain to have its fans. Furthermore, the layouts are pleasing and without an overabundance of splash pages. However, Sonia Oback’s colors are the standout feature. Rich and vibrant, they pop out at the reader on each page. Lush greens and yellows fill a swamp setting, while the buildings of Themyscira exchange shade of red and brown against a cool, dark blue sky. It is pleasing to see the Queen of the Amazons given the royal treatment, all least in terms of colors.
Wonder Woman #36 is certain to be a polarizing issue. Despite the art issues, the series seems to be in the promising, if not capable hands of writer Meredith Finch. Hopefully, she is able to build off a solid, though unspectacular opening chapter.