It’s a celebration of one of the greatest characters ever, with the release of DC Comics’ Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special. Wonder Woman also plays a small part in the latest issue of Dark Knight III.

Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special 1
Created by Various Writers and Artists

wonder-womanCapitalizing on the character’s creation all the way back in 1941, the 75th Anniversary special gave a number of writers and artists the opportunity to tell a tale about the various sides of Wonder Woman’s personality. From warrior to ambassador of peace, the short stories in this book cover a good chunk of what Wonder Woman is all about. I especially appreciate the presence of a number of female creators, many that I would gladly support getting a run on the main Wonder Woman title at some point.

I think my favorite story in the anthology was the Legend of Wonder Woman tale by Renae de Liz and Ray Dillon, pitting Diana against Baroness Von Gunther in 1945 Poland. It showed Wonder Woman’s determination to find a peaceful resolution to conflict before taking up arms against an enemy. Renae de Liz’s writing and pencils were gorgeous, accented by the inks and colors by Ray Dillon. Another fun story was Hope Larson and Ramon Bachs’ tale of Diana looking to furnish her apartment by taking a trip to “IDEA,” with the store getting attacked by the Human Tank because his girlfriend kicked him out and he needed to buy new furniture. On the touching side of things, the 4-page story written by Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl – with amazing art from Kerschl – really tugged at the heart strings.

The one part of the anniversary special I didn’t really care for was an “interview” of Diana by her close friend, Lois Lane, a prose piece by current Wonder Woman writer Greg Rucka, with illustrations by Liam Sharp. I don’t think the six-page piece really landed the way that the creators would have hoped, as it was a very meandering piece that didn’t really seem to have a point. Maybe I’ve just developed a dislike for Rucka’s work on the character, and his tone was apparent from the outset, despite not being listed as the writer until the end.

Outside of that one rather large misstep, though, the Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special was a great read that provided a lot of insight to the character’s history and what she means to the world she inhabits. While a bit pricey at $7.99, I think it was worth it overall.

Dark Knight III – The Master Race 6
Written by Brian Azzarello and Frank Miller 
Pencils by Andy Kubert and Frank Miller 
Inks by Klaus Janson

With every new issue of the Dark Knight III miniseries, I wish they had decided to cancel Dark Knight Strikes Again, the meandering, sub-par sequel to Dark Knight Returns. I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t even really a great fan of DKR, either… but I can appreciate it’s place in the comics zeitgeist as an important event. It does seem to make more sense to me when you consider Batman is really the villain in all of the Dark Knight stories.

Regardless, the third miniseries continues in this issue, with the Kryptonians calling for Gotham to accept them as their conquerors. It’s a request that’s not met with any type of agreement, as the Kryptonite rain Bruce has concocted weakened the would-be world beaters, enough so that the Gotham citizens can rise up and revolt. Thankfully, a fully-returned Superman is wearing a suit of lead, so he isn’t adversely affected. Of course, it’s not that easy – because there are several issues left – and one of the leaders of the Kryptonians shoots a single heat vision beam through Batman’s heart. And once again – AGAIN! How many times has this happened? – Bruce Wayne’s heart stops beating.

Anyone else doubt it’s going to last? He’s like Dracula or Freddy. He always comes back.

The back-up tale sees Batgirl Carrie Kelly confronted by Lara, the daughter of Superman and Wonder Woman, who has taken up with the invading Kryptonians. Thankfully, Lara’s mother shows up to keep her daughter from turning Kelly into a pile of goo…

There are, apparently, three more issues left in this miniseries. I’m really hoping that once it’s finished, we lay the Dark Knight universe to rest.