Well, I mean, if you guys want a Batbook Club, I could maybe make that happen…
So, I just finished JLD #1, so, to the questions:
1: Well, I need to go reread it still, but when I do, it’ll be the second time.
2: Before I read this, I’d read up on the character a little and knew some stuff from more Justice League-centric adaptations, but her continuity wasn’t my strongsuit. Since then, I decided to proceed through the Post-Crisis series in publication order. I’m still in the middle of Perez’s run, though, so I’m not really up on some of the other influential runs like Greg Rucka’s, Gail Simone’s, or Brian Azzarello’s.
3: This is a hard question to answer, because there’s so much to like. I think I like Perez’s idea of casting Wonder Woman as a quasi-celebrity public figure. In relation to the Trinity, Superman shies away from public recognition because of his humility and Batman thrives on anonymity and misdirection, but unlike them, this version of Wonder Woman isn’t just a hero. She’s an ambassador, and while she’s not egotistical or interested in the fame itself like someone like Booster Gold, she has a message she needs to communicate. This continues to drive a lot of the character drama as the plot goes on. It’s something that’s fairly distinct about the character, but doesn’t feel like a gimmick.
4: Ares is in some ways just an OK villain, and in some ways a perfect villain. Wonder Woman is pursuing a mission of peace, so obviously, her enemy is war. Ares is a great villain in that he is the personification of war, and, in the end, the fact that war is self-defeating and pointless. That said, I find him a little bland as a character. He’s just kind of generically sinister. Later in the run, I found the Cheetah to be a much more engaging villain.
5: Eh. Tynion made the plot work, and Wonder Woman is magic-themed. I think it’s actually a pretty good idea to let her branch out into different kinds of mystical adventures from just the usual recycled Greek mythology concepts. Still, she did feel like kind of the odd one out. For the moment, I think the idea just needs some time to develop.
6: Definitely Zatanna. I think she ended up being written a little weak in order to push the plot forward, so that was disappointing. I think she’s done a more than adequate amount of angsting about her father already. Compare this to her short-lived solo series from just before the reboot. That take had a certain cocky charm that this version seems to be lacking so far.
7: For Wonder Woman, George Perez is my favorite DC artist, so I’ll take this as an opportunity to gush about how amazing he is. One thing I always notice is that he’s really good at giving every character a distinct facial structure, so even if he drew everybody shaved bald and in black-and-white, you’d still be able to figure out who’s who. He must just have an unbelievably steady hand to bring out the level of detail and consistency he does. There are a ton of tiny lines in any given image, but it never looks cluttered or scratchy like some artists. I think his actual best work was on Terror of Trigon from New Teen Titans, but this story arc is up there, especially since he redesigned a lot of the characters for it.
JLD’s art was solid, and the body horror was well-done, but I didn’t really think it was anything special. The colors were good, though. They really set the mood.