Wonder Woman #40

Wonder Woman #40: The Crows
The last time I reviewed the current Wonder Woman, she was battling the forces of darkness in the form of evil doppelgänger Genocide - a creation of war god Ares. That turned out to be part of a larger plan to destroy the Amazon nation. The chaos that created provided cover for Ares to impregnate a couple of Amazons. Divinely conceived children grow up so fast; so it wasn't long before they graduated to terrorizing the DC population with their creepy mind control powers. They're an obvious homage to the The Midwich Cuckoos, except in this issue they're referred to as the Crows.

Wonder Woman #40: Serpent God
They also continue the recent fad of victimizing the gods of other pantheons by inducing a Meso-American feathered serpent to swallow some commuters. But Wonder Woman easily defeats the wayward god. It's a basic rampaging monster smackdown to establish the hero's credentials. Penciller Aaron Lopresti gets to show off his creature design skills yet again, which doesn't change my opinion from the last review. But for writer Gail Simone, Diana is different breed from the usual ass kicker: First she beats you up; then she talks you to her side. So Diana shows concern for both the serpent god and its regurgitated victims. This is also the DC universe where WW, labeled as one of the big three, is supposably deified to ludicrous levels. Even a little skepticism from the public is treated as a major crisis. So the Crows naturally start working on undermining her reputation. Didn't she once get a lot of flack for killing a villain in self defense? I guess people have moved on.

Wonder Woman #40: Etta Candy
The in-universe perspective hasn't always reflected her real world treatment. But Simone loves WW's history. As with Superman and Batman, the reverence can be pretty annoying. But it's made a bit more palatable by old school fan service. Giving Diana a squad of super-powered apes bought back some Silver Age wackiness to the title. Bringing back supporting characters Etta Candy and Steve Trevor was another fan pleasing move. Etta in particular has imparted some much needed levity since her reintroduction as loyal sidekick; and the centerpiece of this issue is an explanation for her suddenly improved fighting abilities. There's also a lot of personal affirmation of sisterhood; something missing in previous recent interpretations of the character. But fan service works both ways. One moment WW's bonding with her best friend; next she's being pummeled by a clearly enchanted Power Girl - DC's walking plot device for angry irrational female superhero. The reader will have to wait till next issue to see how WW will talk her out of that spell.