It’s officially Wonder Woman’s 80th anniversary this year, and with it comes the Super Spectacular extra-sized anthology issue to celebrate the character. DC Comics continues to celebrate its characters like earlier this year with Aquaman and in years past with Joker, Catwoman, and Robin too. This new collection features nine stories all told by some of the best comics creators in the business with great pinup art.
The book opens with “In Memoriam” by Michael W. Conrad, Becky Cloonan, and Jim Cheung. Centered on Steve Trevor’s point of view, the story uses a clever idea to recap a lot of what makes Wonder Woman great along with her villains. Steve is trying to remember her and uses a video he’s working on to capture that. Much of the story is centered on Steve showing Etta what he’s done, which uses narration by him and video he shot or found.
It’s a cool concept that brings a bit more purpose and meaning to the montaging and visuals we see which are expertly done by Cheung. There are some truly beautiful moments shared by Steve with Etta here and it all wraps up in a way that promises more to this story. Frankly this collection would be worth picking up even if this was the only story in the collection.
Next up is “Dreamers” by Jordie Bellaire and Paulina Ganucheau, which continues the young Diana story they’ve been telling in the main Wonder Woman series. The art is beautiful with great colors by Kendall Goode that create a dreamlike story. It’s a storybook sort of feel that you’d want to read to young kids.
“Fresh Catch” by Amy Reeder and Marissa Louise follows next with Wonder Woman being subdued by fishermen. Based on the clothes and expressive style, this story is set in an earlier time in America and it has a retro feel thanks to the art too. Wonder Woman is saved not by a superhero, but by Etta and her Holliday Girls. This story features a lot of Ben-Day Dot shading that adds to the comic book vibe making all the over the top action and moments come through.
Mark Waid and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez are next up with “Dear Diana” which features an old school Justice League and Wonder Woman story. That includes an invisible jet which is prominently featured. The retro look of the characters works well with a different era of Wonder Woman characterization that adds to the overall collection.
Tom King and Doc Shaner tell a dating story with Clark Kent and Diana Prince after being set up by Lois Lane. Appropriately titled “Dated”, this story is super retro with clothing and slang straight from the ’70s. Shaner colors this story to perfection with good use of shadow and light to bring out the characters, be it in the office or a nightclub. It also makes an interesting distinction between Superman and Wonder Woman’s point of view on the world.
“Better Angels” is next up by Vita Ayala and Isaac Goodhart, which features a battle with Cheetah. The style of Wonder Woman’s costume here looks remiscent of the early ’90s which helps define its purpose in the book. It’s a nice reminder of how Wonder Woman can inspire anyone to do good, even Cheetah.
The third to last story is by Steve Orlando and Laura Braga called “Saturn Rising” which features multiple characters who were Wonder Woman in years past. It’s a story that helps define Wonder Woman’s exploits over the decades as doing good for many.
Fans of adventure will dig Stephanie Phillips and Marcio Takara’s story “Immortal Mysteries.” It drops you into the action, features an interesting lead character who serves as the surrogate for the audience, and revels in Wonder Woman’s awesomeness.
“Low Orbit” by G. Willow Wilson and Megham Hetrick wraps up the book and features a story set in 2109 A.D. It’s nice to see a sci-fi story thrown into the mix which gives it a little extra flair to end the book. There’s an interesting idea at work here about Wonder Woman’s immortality juxtaposed with humanities short lives and seemingly constant state of peril. It’s a story about hope and it tugs at the heartstrings.
Wonder Woman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular is a well-curated anthology featuring all sorts of Wonder Woman stories set in different eras for the character. Props to Britany Holzherr for putting together a Super Spectacular that lives up to the name.
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