Release: September 1987
Writer: Len Wein
Pencils: George Pérez
Inks: Bruce D Patterson
This is a strange comic to be coming back into Wonder Woman vol 2 with. It is ostensibly the set up of the next arc, but manages to feel as if it’s returning from a long hiatus in being full of recaps and reinforcing a status quo slightly different than we remembered in #7 of this book. Equally as strange, it’s a comic mostly written as a series of letters and diary entries, all penned by the various women in Diana’s orbit about her time in man’s world, with only brief scenes taking place in present tense.
Also, inexplicably, most of the first half of the book is about recapping Diana’s seemingly very brief participation in a DC event crossover called Legends, which is (I guess) where she met Superman and Batman and everyone else, because now that’s totally just a given and not at all weird to just drop in without an explanation. I dunno, go wiki Legends or something, I didn’t read it.
Anyway, in short, the government seems to have no clue what to do with Diana, but she’s way too popular for them to be against. Russia doesn’t believe that she saved them from Ares because she’s dressed in basically an American flag swimsuit so they think it’s a false flag operation. Religious groups and atheists around the world object to the idea that Greek gods, of all things, are real and supposedly acting on the modern world. Myndi Mayer’s PR campaign is raking in the money, which has made Wonder Woman a household name and also launched a foundation to empower women over 40. Vanessa Kapatelis had Diana speak at her school and maybe she’s met a cute boy.
Not all of these stories are that compelling, fate of the world stuff.
I’m generally down on these sorts of prose narrative comics. They’re insufferably wordy but still targeted at the same audience, so it ends up being a barrage of words that not only are badly in need of editing but also feel like they’re written by someone who has never actually written a letter or diary entry before. Also, many of the entries are in a handwritten font, which is almost universally hard to read. So the whole thing just feels soggy and bloated, and these comics are already way longer and slower than modern comics.
Diana is supposedly wrapping up her time in man’s world, soon to head back to Themyscira to keep her word to Hippolyta that she’d return within a reasonable amount of time. But Barbara Ann Minerva, the Cheetah, has other plans. She concocts a scheme to steal Diana’s lasso, believing that the girdle of Gaea would be a priceless treasure. So the last letter is written by her, to Myndi Mayer, a formal letter that identifies Barbara Ann as an archaeologist that has supposedly uncovered the first lasso, crafted for Hippolyta back when Amazons lived among the Greeks.
Myndi, hoping to give Diana something interesting to keep her from being too tired of the bullshit she has to put up with day to day, jumps on the unique opportunity, and schedules a meeting between the two women. But Barbara Ann is pretty ruthless, and the comic ends with the police investigating the mysterious death of her partner in crime, savagely murdered for asking too many questions of Barbara Ann and her mysterious cabinet. You know, the one that holds the Cheetah fruit? I don’t really know how that works yet.