One of the biggest problems that has been holding this series back (in my opinion) is its lack of forward momentum. The last few issues have shown multiple iterations of the same scenes, with the characters seeming to learn very little from each interaction. Also, there has been a frustrating tendency to hand-wave away the ending of the preceding issue.
The good news is that this issue finally sees Wonder Woman confronting Liar Liar, the newest addition to her rogues gallery. The bad news is that not much at all happens once that confrontation begins. There’s an awful lot of characters standing around and restating what we’ve already seen, but not much in the way of explaining why.
Of course, not everything needs an explanation, but it’s frustrating to have so much buildup for a villain reveal (who has been revealed twice), only to have the character’s motivations or even their plan hardly delved into at all. There’s a sense that Liar Liar wanted to meet Max, but there’s not much to it other than that.
Instead, we’re presented with multiple situations in which something starts to happen, only for it to be quickly dealt with or glossed over. Diana is attacked by a group of soldiers, but on the next page, Etta is the only person around and Diana has talked her down. Liar Liar creates an illusion of a monster, but it’s only seen for a couple of panels. Sure, this is done to show the clever way in which Max and Wonder Woman win the day, but it also just feels like so much of this run has been preoccupied with introducing elements that are very quickly discarded.
There are also plenty of moments that seem like they are supposed to mean something, but the wrap-up feels so rushed that they’re reduced to non sequiturs. For instance, there’s a single panel showing Emma’s rabbit sitting on Wonder Woman’s couch, but it’s not clear what we’re supposed to glean from this image. So much surrounding Liar Liar makes so little sense that there’s no tension in the reader’s final moments with her here.
Carlo Barberi’s artwork is still as expressive as ever, with Emma in particular coming off as more menacing than before. There are a few exciting action beats (it’s always a blast to see WW deflecting bullets with her bracelets), but for a big confrontation, a lot of the issue just feels very static.
Maybe I’m being too harsh here, and this series just isn’t doing it for me personally. It just feels like so much of this storyline has hopped around with inexplicable gaps in the plot. While the dialogue is mostly pretty great, it feels like none of the character beats here were particularly earned.
This issue does set up an interesting new status quo. However, I’m not sure I’ll be sticking with this particular series.
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