Comic Book Review: Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth

Details: Written by Paul Dini and Alex Ross with art by Alex Ross. More information can be found at https://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/the-worlds-greatest-super-heroes-2005/wonder-woman-spirit-of-truth

Score: 7.6/10

Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth is a graphic novel from Alex Ross. He’s also worked on a Batman and Superman book in the same vein as this book. All were fantastic exhibitions of his art.

Alex Ross’ art in the comic book world is famous and revered. He uses a painterly style and portrays superheroes in a unique, almost mythological way. Heroes aren’t drawn to look like professional body builders. They look more like ordinary people, yet they don’t due to how Ross portrays them. They look… mythical.

Like the Batman and Superman books, this book seeks to tell a short story about what Wonder Woman is all about. There are many iterations of Wonder Woman, but this one goes back to a more ridiculous version, invisible jet and all. And yet, it is all more believable due to how awesome Ross’ art is. The story is decent though. It’s written by the legendary Paul Dini of Batman: The Animated series fame. It tells a decent, contemporary story about how Wonder Woman fits in a modern world. While the story is fine, it all comes back to the art.

The art is fantastic. Instead of a bunch of squares where each one contains it’s own image, it’s clear that Ross was given free reign to just draw to his hearts content. Every image in this book is a two page spread showcasing Ross’s art. There is very little separation. It’s just splash page after splash page. You could frame every image in this book. This is really more of an art book than a story.

Overall, this was a great book that showcases Ross’ art. The story isn’t bad, but I mostly got my enjoyment just from looking at the pretty pictures.

Comic Book Review: Batman: Three Jokers

Details: This is a three issue miniseries that has ended. More information can be found at https://www.dccomics.com/comics/batman-three-jokers-2020/batman-three-jokers-1

Score: 7/10

Batman: Three Jokers is a story that fans looked forward to at some point, but was delayed by years. This story was pushed so far back that any hype and anticipation you may have had for this story died years ago. The story itself isn’t bad and seeks to replicate the tone from classic Joker stories like The Killing Joke. It somewhat succeeds, but largely fails in that regard due to how short this miniseries is and how little the plot develops.

Years ago in the Justice League comic book, Batman sat in Metron’s chair, a chair that provides one with the knowledge of everything. Sitting in the chair, he asked who the Joker’s real identity was. The chair responded by asking him which one. What fans walked away with was that there were in fact three Jokers over the years and DC teased a comic going into the explanation for that. That was years ago. Delay after delay pushed this story back until finally, this story was published.

What’s disappointing is that I was hoping to gain insight into the origins of the Joker or Jokers. This story offered the possibility of getting a definitive origin story to the character or characters. What I got instead was a retcon that deletes the possibilities offered by three Jokers and tells Batman fans there is in fact only one true Joker going forward. In some ways, Three Jokers is a lazy attempt to reconcile the wild idea of three Jokers with the reality that the story tellers at DC Comics simply have no idea what to do with that idea.

The story itself isn’t too bad. The tone is right. This is a pseudo horror story that uses the Joker for greater character development of the Batman family. Primarily, we get to see a lot of Batgirl and Jason Todd. I cringed a bit at how they talked the relationship between Todd and Batgirl though. It made me feel like I was watching a long running television show where the writers have run out of ideas and decide that all the characters should start romancing each other. Additionally, the ending directly contradicts the reveal of three Jokers in the Justice League comic (although I guess you could argue it doesn’t with some half assed argument that Batman always knows everything).

The art is great.

Overall, this was an okay story that under delivered on possibly insurmountable hype. The delays in publication also didn’t help. If you are a fan of Batman, Three Jokers (and likely the White Knight elseworlds story) is likely a story you need to read for the wrinkles it adds to the Batman mythos.

Comic Book Review: DCEASED (2019)

Details: Currently complete. More information can be found at https://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/dceased-2019/dceased

Score: 7/10

DCEASED is DC Comics’ answer to Marvel Zombies, a very successful series for Marvel that spawned a bunch of spinoffs.

DCEASED is a post apocalyptic alternate world story. In this alternate world, the anti life equation is infected the world and turned everyone into mindless zombies. We now get to watch the DC Universe fall apart.

This is one of those end of the world stories where we get to watch a lot of our favorite DC characters die horribly. I feel like this type of story has been done to death. Even still, this was mildly entertaining because the quality of the art and the story were decent. I don’t what it is, but these kinds of story remain entertaining no matter how many times they are told.

Overall, this was okay. It seems that DC wants to spin this off into a bunch of other books. I guess I’ll read along.

Comic Book Review: Wonder Woman: Dead Earth

Details: More information can be found at https://www.dccomics.com/comics/wonder-woman-dead-earth-2019/wonder-woman-dead-earth-1

Score: 7/10

Wonder Woman: Dead Earth is a four party miniseries that takes place in a post apocalyptic version of the DC Universe. I feel like I’ve read so many post apocalyptic super hero stories that they’re all starting to blend together. Even still, this was an entertaining read and gives some real insights into the character known as Wonder Woman.

Comic Book Review: Fables

Details: First published in 2002. There are 150 issues in total, with a bunch of spin-offs and miniseries. More information can be found at https://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/fables-2002/fables-vol-1-legends-in-exile

Score: 7/10

Fables is one of the most well received books in the past twenty years. I recently started playing through the game The Wolf Among Us and was intrigued to give it a read. I enjoyed the story, but the crux of the story relies on its premise and that premise has been revisited a number of times through a multitude of media. That kind of takes away some of the novelty of the story.

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