Review Date: 07/25/2008

Wonder Woman #20
Release Date: May 14, 2008
Publisher: DC Comics
Storyline: End of the Earth (Part 1 of 4)
Writer: Gail Simone
Pencils: Aaron Lopresti
Price: $2.99

DC decided to reinvigorate Wonder Woman last year by rolling the numbering sequence back to #1.  The run is currently up to issue #23.  A new 4-issue story arc began in issue #20, so I recently gave it a read to see whether or not I would recommend that the loyal D.C. reader give the new story arc a try.

As you know from my reviews, I regularly (and boringly, by now!) mention that I'm a classic D.C. fan.  As such, the "holy D.C. trilogy" of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are on an A-list pedestal for me.  I've been a fan since childhood of all of the various incarnations of Wonder Woman.  Regarding the current run, there's been a lot of mainstream media attention to the fact that writer Gail Simone (of Birds of Prey note) is the first female writer to be handed writing duties for the premier D.C. female superhero character.

Issue #20 is Part 1 of a 4-issue story arc entitled "End Of The Earth," and is written by Simone, penciled by Aaron Lopresti and inked by Matt Ryan.  The story alternates between two sub-plots; Wonder Woman meeting-up with Beowulf in a snowy village while on an Old World fantasy quest, interspersed with Diana Prince a.k.a. Wonder Woman in her role as a government agent back in the bureaucratic world of Washington, D.C. trying to make her way in a Dept. of Homeland Security-type job while dealing with mythological creatures and situations.
At first read, I felt that the overall plot was of high quality but moved much too slow.  However, on second thought I realized that actually Simone hit the plotting nail on the head when it comes to Wonder Woman, and I changed my recommendation to a thumbs-up.  Wonder Woman stories have always been like those plots of T.V. movies made for The Lifetime Network, really slow and steadily building. The Wonder Woman issues traditionally have a comic book structure with a higher-than-average conversational dialogue in between shorter-than-standard scenes of comic book action.
I don't mean this at all in a sexist way but rather as a literary complement; Simone keeps-up the Wonder Woman tradition of it being a well-crafted chick lit comic book.  And that's a good thing; the comic isn't in the cookie-cutter mode of many other bang-bang blow-up-the-world comics. It continues to be a bit more cerebral and literate than some of the other mainstream comics. 
I'm glad that D.C. and Simone are still out there doing this title up this way.  As such, I'd recommend that the eclectic D.C. reader mix this one into your monthly reading pile, unless you're completely addicted to quick-fix story arcs and over-heavy action comics.

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