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‘Wonder Woman #761’ (review)

Written by Mariko Tamaki
Art by Carlo Barberi, Matt Santorelli
Published by DC Comics

 

I always wondered what the weakness to Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth would be. Whoever touches it cannot lie. What a perfect way to interrogate anyone.

However, the lasso’s effectiveness depends entirely on what you ask the person bound by it. If you don’t know the correct questions, then you don’t get the best answers. You don’t get the full story.

Diana is still far from piecing together the full story in Wonder Woman #761 written by Mariko Tamaki, with pencils by Carlo Barberi and inks by Matt Santorelli. However, more of the pieces come together as Kamaki’s story takes us closer to the main event.

The story, “Enemies and Allies,” begins with Diana waking up in a military infirmary.

She has no memory of attacking two squadrons of Marines – that’s 18 soldiers – in downtown Washington, DC. In fact, Diana thought she was under attack from Apokaliptian parademons.

Etta Candy shows up again, reprising her role as an exposition ferry system. Will we see Etta in the field with Diana at some point? That would be nice.

Barberi’s art doesn’t do much for me; it’s reminiscent of ‘90s stuff with a touch of anime. Lots of pointy chins, oversized mouths and impossible hair styles.

His Wonder Woman looks like a muscle-waif paired with the longest torso, an extremely swanlike neck, and the widest hips, pressed into unnatural poses. (His men aren’t so ornamental in their poses – totally surprised.)

Through Etta, we find a link between cases of people trapped in these illusions just as Diana was, and still is. At one point, she closes her eyes and hallucinates Cheetah, growling and sneering for a fight, before Diana snaps out of it.

Kamaki does a masterful job of introducing us to the latest brainwash victim, and the catastrophe unfolding in Flagstaff, Arizona. As Wonder Woman rushes into the fray, behind her comes – Maxwell Lord?!?

Etta reveals Lord is working with the authorities to crack the case of the brainwashings. Under the thrall of the golden lasso, Lord says he did create the means behind the brainwashings, but he himself is not doing them.

However: Just as the truth becomes murky when you don’t know what questions to ask, the lines get blurry when judgment is mixed with anger. Ever the warrior, Wonder Woman yokes up Lord by the neck with one hand upon the very sight of him.

As an issue in of itself, Wonder Woman #761 gets the job done. Lord, even though he ostensibly done no evil, still gets some monologuing in about the nature of heroes and villains. And it introduces an interesting aspect to a supervillain: what happens if a supervillain discovers that their scheme is futile?

Is there more truth that Lord is not revealing, simply because no one asked him? Is he the mastermind after all? There’s no way of knowing just yet. But a plot turn predicted in my previous review rears its head just in time for the next cliffhanger.

Here’s to hoping Mikel Janin returns on art for the next issue.

 

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