REVIEW: Wonder Woman #40

WONDER WOMAN #40 / Writer: James Robinson / Pencils: Emanuela Lupcacchino and Carmen Carnero / Inks: Ray McCarthy and Carnero / Colors: Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Hi-Fi / Letters: Saida Temofonte / Cover: Jesus Merino and Alex Sinclair / Release Date: February 14, 2018

Wonder Woman and her brother, Jason, have survived their initial encounter with Silver Swan, but Silver Swan has escaped and is wreaking more havoc and destruction. Wonder Woman is trying to not only stop Silver Swan’s attacks but also to save the good person Silver Swan once was.

The last issue was heavily focused on the first encounter between Diana and Silver Swan. This time, the focus is more on Jason and Diana. He has great power, but it still feels undefined. We don’t yet know the limits of what he can and can’t do. I think Jason, as a character, still doesn’t fully realize what he can do either.  He knows he has these abilities but doesn’t seem to quite know what to do with them or how to act the role of the hero. Instead, he feels he is more of a liability to Diana, which leads into the finale and the setup for the next arc.

Silver Swan shows much more of her brutality here. In the last issue, we saw her kill an innocent family for pulling Wonder Woman’s attention away. This time it’s an entire hospital and it’s far less personal. It does make us wonder how much of Vanessa is really remaining inside the monster that is Silver Swan. She is a fascinating addition to the rogue’s gallery both because of her powers and her complexity. She is love turned to loss, a very tragic character.

Robinson balances the story well, giving us the action and thrills but also the heart and some character development. Lupacchino and Carnero’s pencils and layouts keep the story moving and visually interesting even during the slower moments. Additionally, McCarthy’s inks and Fajardo’s colors do a lot with not much room on the page. We only need to see one or two panels of the hospital to understand what has happened there.

Unfortunately, the Steve Trevor and Darkseid plot still feels shortchanged. We get a one-page spread that feels like a last-minute addition or a scene to explain away where Steve was during this issue. We are teased with an interesting fight between Trevor’s commando group and Darkseid’s Furies but it’s presented with almost no context or weight to the battle. I’m almost positive that it will be addressed in the next issue and feature in that story arc, but here it just feels like an afterthought. Either give me more of that story or hold that scene for the next issue.

I really enjoyed Silver Swan’s story. It seems clear that they are not done with this character yet, but it’s unclear what role she will play in the future. This issue gave me a lot to enjoy, but I felt it was dragged down by that one moment breaking the tension and flow of the book.

Verdict 3.5 out of 5

Opinionated geek and writer born in the desert, raised on the beach, and now living in the mountains, Paul is a lifelong nerd who loves Star Wars, costuming, comic books, and all manner of geeky things.

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