Wonder Woman #39 / Writer: James Robinson / Pencils: Emanuela Lupacchino and Carmen Carnero / Colors: Romulo Fajardo Jr. / Letters: Saida Temofonte / Published: January 24th, 2018
Someone once wrote, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” In Wonder Woman #39 Diana learns this, as the woman she once saved is now trying to kill her. The innocent Vanessa Kapatelis is gone. Now she is the evil Silver Swan and proving to be quite the challenge for Wonder Woman.
Robinson gives us a good story and he keeps the action going, constantly escalating the stakes, leading us into the cliffhanger finale. The story is pretty straightforward. Most of the issue is surrounding the fight between our hero and the evil meta-human. Silver Swan is the classic trope of a friend turned enemy, and I always appreciate a fun way to spin tropes. Diana is holding herself back at first, trying to reason with Vanessa, but Silver Swan fights with ferocity, never giving an inch to Diana. Everything changes when Jason shows up and escalates the stakes for everyone. I liked the inclusion of Jason; it challenges Diana and marks a turning point for her in the fight. However, the issue is a bit light on substance and isn’t much more than a long fight scene. I would’ve liked to see more of Darkseid and the larger story arc surrounding his return and a shorter fight sequence.
Lupacchino and Carnero’s pencils and Fajardo’s colors work well together. Silver Swan is a great design and the action is fast and frenetic. The fight is well laid out, and we can easily follow it from panel to panel,Although it gets a bit unclear at the end with exactly how wounded everyone is. Of course, that is probably intentional and will be resolved in the next issue.
This issue is a solid Wonder Woman story and is a great example of the things we love about her. We see her compassion even towards her enemy, her refusal to back down, as well as the lengths she will go once she knows she can no longer reason with them. But, I feel it could’ve used a bit more depth and exposition to balance out the action.