Wonder Woman #611

Diana's uninspiring "Odyssey" arc heads toward its unspectacular denouement here. It's hard to imagine a fan of Diana or of her book that won't be disappointed. For even if you've enjoyed the last year, any fan knows by now that it will definitely be undone (except most of the costume it seems) in the fall, post-"Flashpoint."

In this issue, Diana gets a peek at what The Morrigan has in store for her (which apparently amounts to her killing Superman), while her "unworthy" Amazon sisters Cheetah, Giganta, and Artemis fight to the death. It's not wildly compelling stuff and it's hard to feel for this Diana that is busy having visions and crying her eyes out at her potential future, while the women around her are killed horribly. But this is what will supposedly put her on the path for the "final battle" in which The Morrigan tries to get Diana to join with it and become whole again. I'm not sure how Diana joining with The Morrigan to complete the trinity works now that one of the two "originals" appears to be dead, but who cares about things making sense! None of it matters!

Phil Hester has done his best to turn this nightmare around, but there's only so much a writer can do once the hand has been dealt. I'm afraid in this case what can be done is very little. The last year has brought us a de-powered amnesiac Diana that nobody can recognize or find much inspiration in, and a storyline that leaves one stone cold. As readers we've known all along that this story was likely temporary, but there's precious little solace in that after a year of wasted reading. If this had been a particularly entertaining or clever year of stories, maybe the temporary aspect would be easier to bear, but instead it's just felt like unproductive running in place for eleven issues.

Don Kramer and Eduardo Pansica handle the penciling here and, unfortunately, it's more of what we've already seen, namely inconsistent work. There are some gorgeous moments and occasionally perfect panels, but they're sandwiched between mediocrity and storytelling that is adequate, at best. It's a shame all around, because the gorgeous moments really give you a bittersweet taste of what we're all missing out on.

The seeming madness that is "Flashpoint" (at least where Wonder Woman is concerned), has brought us news that Wonder Woman will, in fact, be one of many characters relaunched and her book sent back to #1. In Diana's case, she's in a terrible mess currently, so it's hard to object too strenuously to that plan. At least in this new Diana world there will be Cliff Chiang art. Silver linings folks, silver linings.

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