Well, yesterday was National Equality Day, so let’s take a look at two books that feature strong women – Wonder Woman 5 and Batgirl 2 – and a team book that includes some strong women – Teen Titans 23.
Wonder Woman 5
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Liam Sharp
The third part of “The Lies” story, running through the odd-numbered issues of Wonder Woman continues with an issue where… well, nothing really happens. We get introduced to a pre-Flashpoint character that hasn’t been seen in a while, Greg Rucka continues to eliminate everything about Diana that was introduced by someone other than him and Diana accidentally stumbles into a rescue of Steve Trevor and his men.
We see Diana’s confidant, Etta Candy, discussing Steve Trevor’s mission problems with a woman named Sasha, who readers who were around during the last few Crises before Flashpoint will recognize as Sasha Bordeaux, who was introduced – by Greg Rucka – during the “Bruce Wayne: Murdered?/Fugitive” story. She was later drafted into spy group Checkmate and then turned into a super OMAC by Brother Eye. We’re left to assume she’s still working for Brother Eye – or another something evil – by the final conversation we see her have. Maybe Brother Eye is still upset over Diana snapping Max Lord’s neck in the lead-up to Infinite Crisis.
Oh God, we’re getting the return of Max Lord in Wonder Woman, aren’t we?
Meanwhile, in the jungle, Wonder Woman and The Cheetah head towards the evil lair where the bad guy has Steve Trevor and his men, as Trevor is being turned into a vessel for a god. So, we’re setting up a fight between Diana and Steve in an upcoming odd-numbered issue. And that would be great, had Geoff Johns not already done this a few months ago over in Justice League.
I really want to like this book, because Wonder Woman has a lot of potential, but Greg Rucka is making it really hard.
Written by Hope Larson
Art by Rafael Albuquerque
After getting direction from an aging Japanese hero named Fruit Bat in the first issue, Batgirl skips town into Singapore to become an MMA fighter – but only for a week or so – to track down the her latest mystery. She has her old friend and new crush Kai in tow and the issue splits between her training for an MMA fight with someone known as The Moth and building up a romance with Kai – who she doesn’t fully trust yet.
The second issue is full-on build for that MMA fight in Singapore and we end the issue mid-match, after Babs recognizes a tattoo on the Moth’s arm, identifying her as the teacher to the student who attempted to attack Kai in the first issue. The realization distracts her and, well, getting distracted in a mixed martial arts fight doesn’t really bode well for your chances.
Batgirl continues to be one of the more fun books in the DC Rebirth line and Hope Larson is setting up a fun story for her first arc. The question is, how will Nightwing feel about this Kai guy? Because you KNOW that meeting is coming…
Teen Titans 23
Written by Tony Bedard
Pencils by Miguel Mendonca
Inks by Diana E. Conesa
And here’s the end of the line for what may be the worst iteration of the Teen Titans (likely until the next one) DC Comics has ever produced. The final issue before the Rebirth reboot that sees Damian Wayne taking over the team from Tim Drake hit this week, and the book ends with a whimper.
After what would have been a great ending last issue – pitting the Teen Titans against Amanda Waller – this month’s chapter sees the team being used as pawns to take down the HIVE Queens. And yes, Tim Drake’s Red Robin was the one using his partners. He is a Bat-character, after all. He can’t do it without help from Raven, though, who has become an all-purpose mystic who can do whatever the situation calls for. Much like Superman’s powers in the Silver Age.
We also get a scene early on that sets up Red Robin leaving the Teen Titans to join up with Batman’s army over in Detective Comics. So at least there’s some continuity going on over there.
I won’t miss this version of the Teen Titans, or really much of what happened in the New 52 with the teen heroes. Superboy, Impulse and Wonder Girl were all turned into criminals or sociopaths and a lot of great characterization of the new generation pre-Flashpoint were just tossed aside for shock value. Good riddance. I’m not sure the Rebirth team will be any better, especially with Son of the Bat leading the team, but I’ll likely give it a chance.