Wonder Woman Vol 2 #7

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Release: August 1987
Writer: Len Wein
Pencils: George Pérez
Inks: Bruce D Patterson

The world is saved and the gods decide to come back to the mortal realm and celebrate. Zeus and Pan talk about how hot the Amazons are and the goddesses all roll their eyes and talk about how they’re convinced the Amazons are a good that needs to be protected from the meddling of Zeus. It’s a time of change on Mount Olympus, even as they turn their eyes to the injured and dying Diana, and offer her the gift of their healing. Indeed, it is a

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It’s interesting seeing how the gods react to Diana having accomplished so much while they were busy turning tail. Even those that believed in her seem surprised she managed to just so thoroughly convince Ares to give up his quest. As a gift to Diana, they heal her completely under the ministrations of Poseidon at the bottom of the sea, and she erupts from the water to the adulation of the Amazons, who welcome their champion back into their fold. Well, most of them. One of them, however, remembers what it means to be in a Greek myth:

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For now, however, Diana is back on Paradise Island and happy and healthy. Reunited with Hippolyta, there’s some question as to whether or not she will return to the world of men. Diana is more serious about her job than ever, especially since Ares gave her a mandate to basically do what she was doing anyway but with his begrudging respect. Hippolyta wants her daughter back on the island, and not out punching bad guys and being in danger, but makes the foolish mistake of appealing to the gods to settle their dispute. The gods create some truly awful looking winged sandals that’ll transport Diana between the two realms, which settles that argument immediately in favor of Diana. Bidding goodbye to her mother, she gathers the medicine needed to fully heal poor forgotten Vanessa Kapatelis, still suffering from Decay’s … well, decay.

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It is baffling that Diana has a casual version of her costume that is basically the same thing but as a tank top and shorts. It feels very modern, cosplay-friendly as a design.

Back in Boston, the military wants to question the returning Diana about just what went on during the Ares takeover, since pretty much everyone involved is dead. Etta and Steve have been debriefed and reassigned somewhere far far away (I assume this won’t stick), so she’s all alone. Julia, grateful that Diana has saved her daughter, manages to help her talk to the military guy interrogating her because while she can speak English she’s not exactly great at it yet. Around this time a glamorous, smooth talking PR manager named Myndi Mayer shows up, insisting that Diana needs someone to manage her public image with all this new attention on her. If she is beloved by the public, then the military won’t touch her, since the whole thing has been a pretty big PR nightmare.

Diana agrees, and spends the last part of this book talking to Myndi about her image and name and all of that. Of particular note, Myndi going with the previously established press-given handle of Wonder Woman because Diana refuses to take up the Diana Prince identity that was her mild mannered name during the golden and silver ages, hoping to keep the public from not mistaking Princess Diana of the UK with Princess Diana of Themyscira. And then, Myndi starts a whirlwind PR campaign, to get Diana noticed and to line her pockets. It should be villainous, but honestly the idea of this woman running her own PR firm and going out of her way to set up money for her charitable client to live on should the need arise (assuming she’s telling the truth, I want to give her the benefit of the doubt) is really sweet and gives an interesting look at other kinds of women in this world. One of the things I really like about this first arc so far is that we’ve been shown plenty of atypical, interesting women who have met Diana and all of them feel dimensional in a way a lot of supporting characters don’t. I really hope it continues.

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As the story concludes, we’re shown an image of England, where in a fancy mansion a wealthy lady is laying about being decadent and watching the news about Wonder Woman and her powerful magical lasso. This is Barbara Minerva, who I know is the Wonder Woman villain Cheetah, who seemingly covets the lasso for its magical power. She also has a black manservant named Chuma who is an unfortunate racist archetype. I’m sure in 1987 logic this is supposed to make her the villain to have a black servant she keeps dressed like Gandhi, but honestly it’s just unfortunate old comics bullshit. I hope this character doesn’t have a whole lot to do, because his appearance in this issue is to get yelled at and go get some … magic fruit? That will apparently turn Minerva into the Cheetah? I don’t know. It wasn’t clear. This Cheetah fruit tree was the tease of the next issue, so I guess we’ll find out then.

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And that’s it, not only for issue 7 but for the first story arc Gods and Mortals. It’s been an interesting journey, and by and large I think it makes for a wonderful origin. It gets all the aspects of the character in I know of, but also paints a Diana that feels young and relevant. She has a supporting cast that’s brimming with potential, and she exists as a hero who doesn’t need a secret identity or a lot of anguish to be interesting. She’s doing her job protecting humanity and spreading the word of the gods, and juggling the demands of the Greek pantheon, her home land, and the humans she’s gathered around her. That’s a lot to set up in 7 issues, and it feels not only confident, but different. In a world where Batman Year One was still really new, Wonder Woman is everything that these newer comics seemingly are not: her world is bright, her struggles magical and philosophical, and her emotional center optimistic. It’s a great place to leave her, for now.

All of the Wonder Woman will continue tomorrow, but we’ll be leaping ahead far far into the future to talk about DC’s current ongoing Wonder Woman title that launched this year (2016) under the Rebirth initiative. I’ll catch up on those comics, and then we’ll return back to Vol 2 for the next issue of this, and I’ll start writing up the Vol 5 Wonder Woman titles as they’re released every two weeks. Thanks so much for following along so far, and come back for more modern adventures tomorrow!

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