Wonder Woman Annual No. 1.
Published by DC Comics. Story and plot by Allan Heinberg. Pencils by Terry Dodson. Inks by Rachel Dodson.
The Deal: This comic acts as the last chapter in writer Allan Heinberg's run on Wonder Woman. The storyline actually started in the regular pages of the monthly comic. But after suffering from chronic lateness, DC made the decision to publish the end of the story in a stand-alone annual format.
The Good: As much as folks complained about this Heinberg-penned arc -- about how the story was slow and fairly uninspired -- I've got to admit that it ended on a high note. Honestly, the story, featuring Wonder Woman's cheesy rogues gallery, didn't start out too great. It really seemed like Heinberg was crafting a standard superhero yarn that happened to star Wonder Woman, a character rooted in Greek/Roman mythology. But this issue redeems Heinberg and sets the story up as a significant emotional event in the life of Wonder Woman -- not a throwaway tale. On the art side, the Dodsons come through with their usual flair. The pen-tastic pair are, at this point in their careers, art gods in the world of comics. Any book that is blessed with their talents is a book worth buying.
The Bad: Obviously, the severe lateness of this issue is a bad thing. Serial fiction, such as comic books, thrives on the notion that once you get a reader hooked on a product, you must deliver it on a regular basis. If you wait too long between issues, you allow a reader to lose that sense of urgency. So, we'll see who actually cares enough to buy this book.
The Verdict: This was a great ending to a decent run on Wonder Woman. But it may not be a bad idea to buy this in trade paperback.
Omega The Unknown No. 1
Plot and script by Jonathan Lethem. Pencils and inks by Farel Dalrymple.
The Deal: This is sort of a sequel to a comic that Marvel published back in the 1970s. The original series told the story of an alien who was on the run from robots and shared a strange link to a human boy ... I think. It was a weird book. The alien died in the last issue of the comic and we never really found out what happened. Fast forward to the 21st century and Marvel creates this new Omega series. Will it tie up the loose ends left by the last book? I guess we'll find out.
The Good: This is a weird book. And, yes, that is a good thing. The art isn't your typical Marvel fare; it exudes more of an "indie-book" flair. Dalrymple's work is minimal, slightly cartoony, outlined with a heavy black line and acts as a great complement to Lethem's rather odd story. Speaking of Lethem, he's crafted an interesting mystery here. This issue sets the ball rolling on a number of strange elements, and it will be interesting to see how everything shakes out. And I'd be nuts not to mention Lethem's amazing talent for dialogue. Read the book and you'll see that he's not exactly putting conversational dialogue in his character's mouths. But he does make them say really funny and engaging stuff that firmly cements their personalities.
The Bad: Truthfully, I have no idea what the hell is going on in this comic. Seriously. Can I get some CliffsNotes? I mean ... I need help. Marvel? Lethem? Help.
The Verdict: Got some extra cash and want to try something new this week? Buy Omega The Unknown. If you're broke, stick with this month's edition of The Walking Dead.
Reviewed materials furnished by Heroes Aren't Hard To Find: www.heroesonline.com.