Review: Wonder Woman #798 (Lazarus Planet Tie-In)

Wonder Woman #798 (Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods Tie-In)
Writers: Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, Josie Campbell
Artists: Amancay Nahuelpan, Caitlin Yarsky
Colour Artists: Tamra Bonvillain, Jordie Bellaire
Letterers: Pat Brosseau, Clayton Cowles
Review by Davydh Tidey

Wonder Woman #798 marks part 5 of the Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods crossover, and the reveal from the end of the last chapter is giving way to something really quite unique. It’s God versus God in this showdown, and some pretty major character changes are ahead for our heroes.

Diana

I will ALWAYS stand against tyranny, hatred, and oppression.
– Wonder Woman

Following on from last issue, Diana and her team are in a rough position. With the arrival of the Mysterious Stranger, the scales have tipped ever-so-slightly in their favour, but they’ll have to bring everything they have to win this one. Thankfully, they have a lot to bring. 

The Gods are here, and they’re not going anywhere. They WILL rule the Earth, and humanity, through fear. There’s just one problem for them, though, Wonder Woman stands against them. That’s really somewhere you don’t want her to be. 

Billy

Mary! What have you done?!
– Shazam!

Becky Cloonan & Michael W. Conrad, along with G. Willow Wilson on the main title and Josie Campbell on the Mary Marvel back-up stories, are doing Wonders (sorry) with this event. Wonder Woman #798 shows that Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods is a clearly though-out story, and isn’t some random event that was thrown together off the back of Lazarus Planet. These writers had a plan, and they’re executing it beautifully. Between Diana’s ascension to Godhood giving her more perspective on humanity and her origins, and the major changes to Mary Marvel’s character, we’re seeing something special unfold. 

As always, Amancay Nahuelpan and Tamra Bonvillain deliver great art that fits the tone beautifully. Bonvillain is one of my favourite color artists, her work on Doom Patrol with Nick Derington and Once & Future with Dan Mora were both formative books for me understanding comics and completely falling in love with the medium. Seeing her name on any book pretty much guarantees that I’m going to enjoy it, and this is definitely no exception. 

Mary

You are not a BURDEN, Mary. You are a MARVEL.
– Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman #798 is covertly a Mary Marvel book. Her beats throughout Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods have been some of the most heartfelt, emotional storytelling I’ve seen in a while, and this issue only takes that to the next level. She embodies the spirit of the Silver Age of comics beautifully; dangerous, yet funny and charming, with an innocence and naivety that you can’t help but love her for. 

Josie Campbell is the best thing to happen to this character in a very long time. Where most writers have treated Mary as an sidekick to Billy, just an extension of him and his power, Campbell has gone out of her way to separate them in every way but colour scheme. Her powers no longer come from Billy, they come directly from the wizard’s power, just as Billy’s do. She’s associated with Black Adam’s new “heir”, Malik, and Billy isn’t. She has her own story, one of self-discovery, sacrifice and pure heroism.

Caitlin Yarsky and Jordie Bellaire continue in this vein, with the clean line work and vibrant colours bringing to mind the way an older child would see the world; bright and full of wonder. They were fantastic choices to bring Mary to life on the page. I sincerely hope this isn’t the last we see of this team on her. Under this creative team Mary has become her own hero, and it’s about damn time. 

Conclusion

This is the second to last issue, as we reach the end of the road for Lazarus Planet: Revenge of the Gods next week, and that’s a crying shame. This follow-up event has been a joy to read, and I’ll be sad when it’s over. With new starts on the horizon for Wonder Woman and potentially for Mary Marvel, we won’t be short of stories for these characters though, and I’ll take that. 

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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