Wonder Woman: Love and Murder is written by novelist Jodi Picoult and illustrated by Terry Dodson, Drew Johnson and Paco Diaz and published November 2007 in hardcover by DC Comics, retail price $19.99. New York Times bestselling author, Jodi Picoult makes her comic book debut and it’s a pretty decent effort. I requested this title for review because I wanted to see what Ms. Picoult would contribute to the series of one of the most popular American icons of the DC Comic Universe. For full disclosure, I haven’t read any of the Wonder Woman comic books. No, I grew up watching the television series reruns with Linda Carter. However, Ms. Picoult brings us newbies somewhat up to speed so I wasn’t completely lost since supposedly this hardcover collects issues #6 to 10.
A brief history: Princess Diana is a descendant of the Amazons who goes by the alter ego of Wonder Woman. She has many superhuman strengths along with her trademark lasso of truth and her indestructible bracelets. When we meet up with Princess Diana, we learn that she is now a Federal Agent for the Department of Metahuman Affairs working under the guise of Diana Prince. She is partnered with Tom Stresser aka “Nemesis” and their first assignment of the day is to “babysit” a reality TV show winner at a theme park. Meanwhile, Diana starts to realize rather quickly that Wonder Woman is no longer a favorite with the public. At the theme park she notices that her Wonder Woman merchandise is on clearance and that the “Wonder Woman Milkshake” has been discontinued. Besides being unpopular, Diana has problems blending into society and relating to her human counterparts. Her secret identity of being “human” is often a challenge for her.
At headquarters, their boss informs them that Wonder Woman is now a fugitive and their assignment is to bring her in for questioning. Special Agent Diana Prince faces a dilemma: how can she do this without revealing her secret identity? Also, Diana spends much of the story in self-doubt which is supposed to make her appear more human. Meanwhile, trouble is brewing on the horizon. Ms. Picoult decides to bring back villainess Circe and Queen Hippolyta, leader of the Amazon Warriors to stir up trouble and end the story arc on a cliffhanger.
While the story is readable, it is forgettable. I found myself underwhelmed when I reached the end. The cliffhanger at the end doesn’t even make me want to continue reading the series, sorry to say. For fun, the author throws in some bits of pop culture along with a bit of tongue in cheek type of humor that raised my grade from a C to an less than enthusiastic B. There’s some fighting with a bit of flirting between our two superheroes. The artwork didn’t exactly blow me away but then again I can’t draw two stick figures to save my life. Other superheroes in the DC Universe make token appearances whose purpose seemed to serve more for comic relief than plot. The underlying themes that the author was going for like self-doubt, self-identity and confronting past beliefs was mostly repetitive and partially achieved because the author decides to leave the climax unresolved until the next issue. I’m afraid that I won’t be continuing forth for the highly anticipated denouement. It was a quick and fun read while it lasted. My grade, B-.
[tags]Wonder Woman: Love and Murder, Graphic Novel Review, DC Comics[/tags]