“Wonder Woman” #50 is a milestone of sorts, as the series hits one of those magic numbers that so many readers and publishers love to celebrate. However, the story Meredith Finch, David Finch, Johnny Desjardins, Miguel Mendonca, Scott Hanna and Sandu Florea serve readers feels less celebratory and more like a continued dismantling of the previous run by Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang and company.
The main storyline continues Meredith Finch’s story, where Diana tries to get to the bottom of Zeke’s mysterious illness even as Hecate guides her to find mysterious artifacts held within Olympus. On the plus side, “Wonder Woman” #50 finally starts to address the fact that Diana is still the God of War, even though Ares has since been reborn. I like that the portfolio of War is desired once more by Ares, and that it’s not something as simple as handing them off to someone else. It’s a confrontation that needed to happen, even if it’s still unresolved. It’s also nice to see some more ancient Greek myths coming to the foreground; in this case, it’s Typhon (or referred to here as Typhoeus), the father of many of the myths’ monstrous beings. It’s a nice touch to see a being that so rarely makes an appearance in modern interpretations of those stories.
On the other hand, Finch’s script feels determined to bring down the pantheon of Olympus yet again. Hephaestus was a character who had his ups and downs within Azzarello’s run, but he ultimately had a strong and noble conclusion. Here, it feels like we’re going over that ground to make him bad once more, removing yet another one of Diana’s allies. Considering that Hera’s been made untrustworthy in this storyline too, it’s hard to not see a trend. Diana also feels insanely naÃ¯ve in this storyline, trusting the witch Hecate without batting an eye. While it may turn out to be warranted, it feels like Diana is just foolishly careening towards a double-cross at the moment.
David Finch and Johnny Desjardins’ pencils match fairly well (perhaps due to Scott Hanna inking both of them), and it’s all perfectly acceptable. While there are no panels that particularly stand out, that’s true both for the good as well as the bad. When the chasm opens between Diana and Ares, the use of negative space is a good touch, and Typhon is certainly an imposing dragon. On the other hand, a lot of these poses feel very familiar and perhaps even stock. There’s little that makes one excited for more. While that’s perfectly fine, it’s just not thrilling.
Finch rejoins with Miguel Mendonca (who drew “Wonder Woman” #47) to give us a backup story involving Donna Troy as she learns about her new role as the singular Fate. It’s a very odd story that tries to give us inevitability wrapped in a strange twist ending, and it doesn’t work. Donna’s attempt to do good as Fate is a reasonable idea, and I like that she quickly learns it’s not as easy as it seems. On the other hand, the attempt to make the person she saved into a killer leaves a bad taste in my mouth; this doesn’t come across as a good thing at all, and it’s ultimately deeply unpleasant. Very few creators seem to know what to do with Donna Troy beyond her initial introduction, and this is sadly no exception to that rule. Though Mendonca handles the action sequences well by making them dramatic and easy to follow, Donna Troy often looks like two entirely different characters depending on how he draws her face. It’s a mixed bag here, similar to the story itself.
I’m eager to see what the next creative team will do with this series when the Finchs’ run comes to a close in May. Meredith Finch has certainly improved greatly during her time here, but it’s still not quite at an even keel; often, the basic ideas feel like they’re just lacking the level of polish needed in the execution. I do wish her well with future assignments, though, and hopefully that continued growth will continue. In the meantime, it feels like “Wonder Woman” is due for a new set of hands to guide her forward.