Comic Book Review – Wonder Woman by George Perez Volume 4

Wonder Woman by George Perez Volume 4
Reprints Wonder Woman V2 #36-45, Annual #2
Written by George Perez & Mindy Newell
Art by Chris Marrinan, Jill Thompson Steve Montano, Colleen Doran, Jan Duursema, & more

George Perez’s reboot of Wonder Woman in the late 1980s is just so unlike anything else that came before or after. Wonder Woman was always a strange comic when compared to others, being a female-led title when such a thing wasn’t trendy. The world of Wonder Woman was so unique pre-Crisis and continued to be different when it came to the tone. In the early days, there was more of an effort to incorporate Princess Diana’s stories with the DC Universe proper. We saw that in previous volumes with Millennium and Invasion tie-ins. This period of Perez’s run felt like it was drifting away from the larger universe, become more insular with Diana’s supporting cast.

The arcs in this collection are relatively lowkey when compared to today’s constant high stakes storylines. There weren’t a whole lot of earthshaking events at this point in DC Comics, and so character just did their things in their own books. Perez spends a lot of time on supporting characters like Hermes and Julia Kapatelis. There really aren’t any villains, just a couple short stories where Silver Swan and Eris. The majority of the issues here are about developing interpersonal relationships and exploring tensions between cultures.

One major arc sees a diverse group of visitors being selected to visit Themyscria. This includes reporter Lois Lane with a couple of issues told from her perspective. Wonder Woman becomes a partial enemy when she’s replaced with a clone by the goddess Eris. Perez really leans into exploring the cultural clash outsiders have with the Amazons. A Jewish rabbi has arguments about the pagan religion he observes and perceives anti-semitism from his fellow guests. A debate is had between some misogynistic guests and feminist ones. Perez was definitely not afraid to explore mature themes and ideas in this title.

I can’t say I enjoyed a lot of this book. Like volume three, Marrinan’s artwork does a lot of harm, especially after coming off of Perez’s art on the title. Marrinan’s work is very amateurish and looks more like an indie title than something worthy of the mythic qualities of Wonder Woman. A cursory search shows that Marrinan hasn’t done much art since his days on Wonder Woman, and I can honestly see why. By the end of this volume, we get Jill Thompson on board as the regular artist, helping to tell the story of Prometheus and Pandora. That story has me excited as we move into the final chapter of Perez’s run on Wonder Woman.

Because I don’t want to wait another year for DC’s volume five and because I want to wrap up my years-long reading of Perez’s Wonder Woman, we will be finishing it this summer. I have my hands on Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus Volume 3, which will see the big finale go down in the epic War of the Gods. I’m excited to see just how Perez takes his bow on this series.

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