With “Teen Titans” appearing to finally settle down and turn into a stable and interesting book again, having a “Wonder Girl” one-shot tying into the current run sounded like it had great potential. Let Cassie shine in her own comic, and remind us why the character’s stuck around since her introduction in John Byrne’s “Wonder Woman” run so many years ago.
J.T. Krul goes back to the character’s roots a bit, placing her in a museum with her archaeologist mother and then fighting a villain from Wonder Girl’s “Young Justice” days. It’s a good idea, and while it’s not bad, there seems to be a bit of a spark missing. Maybe it’s the hasty wrap-up of the conflict between Wonder Girl and her mother, which seems to just evaporate for the sake of it ending. (Perhaps a casualty of the shift from 22 to 20 story pages?) On the other hand, one of the things I did like about the one-shot was that the story involving Lady Zand wasn’t wrapped up neatly and in a bow; I like that it looks like we’ll be getting more of this story down the line (although even if it doesn’t, the conclusion as it stands works for me on that plot).
The big draw, I suspect, is Krul’s introduction of Solstice, who’s been teased in her civilian guise in the previous issues. Aside from “upbeat” she doesn’t have much of a personality yet, but I’ll take “upbeat” over “brooding” easily. But she’s got potential, and hopefully future issues of “Teen Titans” will flesh her out a bit more.
Ever since I saw Adriana Melo draw “Rose and Thorn” for DC I’ve enjoyed her work, so her presence here was much appreciated. I love that she draws Wonder Girl as someone who looks strong without having to resort to just big muscles, and Solstice zooming all over the page comes across as energetic and fast. And while I didn’t buy the writing on the final pages with Cassie and Dr. Sandsmark, Melo gives their faces the emotion that makes it somewhat more palatable.
At the end of the day, I can’t help but feel like we got a little shortchanged when it comes to Wonder Girl herself, and that it was Solstice who got the real spotlight. On the plus side, at least it does make me more interested in seeing the character appear as a superhero in “Teen Titans” down the line. I don’t think “Wonder Girl” ever quite hits its level of potential, but it’s a nice extra chapter of “Teen Titans” if nothing else.