Whenever a major super hero film is released, a small amount of the audience will seek out their local comic book store to continue the excitement that they witnessed on the silver screen and to engage with the “source material” of the film.
While we all wish that population was larger, people do find their way to comics through these multi-million dollar movies. And even if it doesn’t always result in a visit to the local comic shop, new fans can also discover the medium through digital means or a graphic novel order from an online bookstore.
Since these films present a unique opportunity for publishers to grab new readers, most will launch movie tie-ins or a new writer/artist team to appeal to these curious individuals right around a film’s launch date.
DC Comics most likely had a similar idea, planning Wonder Woman #759 to coincide with the highly-anticipated Wonder Woman sequel, Wonder Woman 1984. Although this didn’t happen due to a world-wide pandemic, Mariko Tamaki and Mikel Janin’s opening issue of their new run on the title would have served this purpose perfectly. Wonder Woman #759, beyond any marketing plans or concerns, is a perfect jumping on point for new readers or those that haven’t picked up the title in recent years, as it hits all the right marks for one of the greatest heroes in comics history.
Tamaki, the recipient of 2020’s Eisner Award for Best Writer for her work on Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, and Archie, shows why she deserved the prestigious honor with a tight script that captures the essence of Princess Diana in both a real world setting and when she is called into super hero action.
Readers are quickly brought up to speed with the character’s exploits through a beautiful mosiac by Janin, featuring battles with parademons, The Cheetah, and Ares, Janin’s proportionally realistic looking Diana is all action and determination and tells someone who has never picked up a comic book in their lives what she is all about when the fighting starts.
After this impressive art piece, Tamaki begins to explore what really makes Diana super: her compassion and wide-eyed, positive outlook on life which many super heroes lack. Tamaki does this with a funny “moving day” scene and the introduction of neighbor Emma, who immediately asks her if she wants to go furniture shopping (and Diana says yes, of course). These moments clearly display her personality in a effortless, natural way, and clues in readers that they don’t need to catch up on continuity or back story, they can just enjoy a comic book for a change.
Janin’s art serves these “slice of life” scenes equally well, and there is a fluid motion to his art. The best example of this takes place on page 14 which consists of ten panels. The top and bottom border take on a cinematic quality, and the middle “jump” scene (with perfect hurdling form from Janin and Wonder Woman) is the perfect way to engage readers, without getting muddled (or confused) by the modern tendency to “break” panel walls and shoot across the page. Janin’s page is traditional and yet creative; a perfect combination of old and new style.
The story does take a darker turn at the end of issue, with Wonder Woman confronting a villain she has true disdain for. As far as starts, this issue could serve as a blue print for how to kick off a new story arc. Let’s hope that this creative team gets the chance to continue the fine work that they’ve started over the next few years.
Wonder Woman #759 is currently available at your local comic book shop and digitally.