After an underwhelming debut, Meredith and David Finch return for the second issue of “Wonder Woman,” and unfortunately, it’s still rocky terrain. But while “Wonder Woman” #37 is almost certainly going to disappoint many, all hope is not yet lost.
The biggest problem here is Finch’s art, which isn’t a good fit for the title. It was a more natural fit when he was drawing “Batman: The Dark Knight,” with its dark and grim undertone. Here, nothing every quite connects with the world of Paradise Island or the Amazons in general. The art falls into the general oddity of women who wear armor but also show off a lot of flesh, which makes you wonder what the point of armor in the first place is. (If the response is that Amazons are super-strong, then why wear the armor? And if not, why only have a metallic bra and a single shoulder-guard from the waist up?)
There are also a lot of strange artistic hiccups going on throughout the issue. When Wonder Woman hears that the island is under attack, we turn the page and discover that it’s shifted from day to night, and Wonder Woman has taken time out to change into an armored version of her outfit. (One which also is careful to now expose her midriff.) I’m also perplexed on why Wonder Woman needs a single metallic garter on her left thigh, or why it then promptly vanishes for the rest of the battle. But then again, there’s a lot of flesh on display in this comic. The less said about the naked form on the final page the better (there’s something slightly creepy about it, but not in a dark and mysterious way, but rather in wondering if we needed so much flesh to not be obscured by the cauldron’s vapors), but it feels like almost every page has characters trying to soak up Vitamin D.
Here’s the frustrating thing: Meredith Finch has some good ideas in here. Wonder Woman juggling the responsibilities of being Queen of the Amazons, superhero in Man’s World, and the God of War all at once is a solid concept. The actual scripting is very rough, with characters speaking back and forth in either exposition or melodrama, but that’s something that could be fixed with time (and perhaps on a less-prominent title on which to learn the craft of writing). But she has clear ideas on what she wants to happen on “Wonder Woman” and based on the pitch you can see why DC Comics would have been interested. Similarly to when David Finch first started writing “Batman: The Dark Knight,” though, I feel like Meredith Finch could stand to have a co-writer step on board to give an assist. None of these characters sound like real people by any stretch of the imagination.
“Wonder Woman” #37 is disappointing on several levels; inappropriate art and a script that can’t bring its plot to life are the two big ones. I’m not willing to entirely give up on the series just yet, because I think that Meredith Finch does have potential. But for now, unfortunately, that potential is deeply buried.