Wonder Woman Vs. Short Pants

Wonder Woman: Odyssey, written by J. Michael Straczynski and Phil Hester, illustrated by Don Kramer, Michael Babinski, Eduardo Pansica, Allan Goldman and Jay Leisten (2010-2011): The misshapen twin of equally misshapen Superman-arc “Grounded” also began life written by J. Michael Straczynski before rapidly being handed over to another writer (Phil Hester). And Hester pretty much did a hero’s job of making this lengthy Wonder Woman arc interesting.

Some sort of time-travel thingie causes Wonder Woman to be erased as-is from the DC Universe, replaced by a younger, less powerful version of herself without any memories of having fought crime for years or being a member of the Justice League because she never was — instead she’s been kept in hiding by the last survivors of the Amazons, pursued by a mysterious, genocidal enemy.

Oh, and she gets a new costume. With pants!!! When Batman gets a revised costume, it’s simply Wednesday. When Wonder Woman gets a new costume, it’s an event because a lot of people want poor old Wonder Woman stuck in short pants forever. Can’t she have at least one costume with pants, even Capri pants? No, she can’t. And it’s not like Wonder Woman originally wore short shorts. She started off with a relatively demure skirt. Basically, the costume problem is all Linda Carter’s fault.

Anyway, Wonder Woman spends 15 issues (which is really a lot!) trying to get back her old history while also trying to stop a villain with nefarious designs on the universe. And then none of it actually matters because the storyline ends with the line-wide DC reboot a week away. Soon there will be a new Wonder Woman, and the promotional materials suggest that she’s back in short pants. Hoo ha!

Phil Hester does terrific damage control here, patching up the story outline he’s stuck with and keeping Wonder Woman interesting and sympathetic. The work by main artist Don Kramer is solid, as is that of his fill-in artists. This kept me reading Wonder Woman for 15 consecutive issues. That’s a long time. And I would have kept reading it after Odyssey concluded. So kudos, Hester and Kramer. Too bad a new creative team takes over in September. Recommended.

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