By Cat Wyatt
Issue #42 of Wonder Woman had Jason back home with Diana, trying to be a better superhero (it doesn’t seem to be as intuitive for him as it is for her). He’s still got plenty of flaws and weaknesses, not to mention a grudge against Grail and her father Darkseid. While I’m sure Diana is happy to have him back safe and sound, I’m very worried about where things are going to go from here.
As it turns out, I’m not the only one concerned. Steve is more or less having the same train of thought leading him to a similar conclusion; that Jason is not safe for Diana. Either he’ll betray her again (and thus break her heart, once again), or he’s being used (we still have no idea where the armor is from), or something else is going on. No matter how one chooses to look at it, it’s hard to deny that things don’t look right where Jason is concerned.
So no, I truly don’t’ blame Steve for not trusting (or liking) Jason. His number one priority to take care of Diana, especially from the threats she can’t or won’t see. On the bright side Jason seems to respect his concern for Diana, so rather than taking offense to this blunt statement he’s (mostly) pleased by it.
Granted, I think it’s mostly due to the fact that he’s once again not thinking things through. Steve flat out told him he considered Jason a threat, but Jason hasn’t really processed what that means. He hasn’t considered Steve’s abilities or skill set, nor has he considered the people his opinion could influence. As a budding superhero it’s probably not the best idea to make enemies of anyone that works for a large military force. Just saying.
I feel like ‘not ticking off any military personnel’ should go double with regards to Steve. He’s apparently taken a page from Batman’s book, and literally has plans to take down every member of the Justice League, should it be needed. That includes Diana…and theoretically her weaknesses would be his. And thus the plan for her would work just as well on him (I’d argue it’d work better, since Jason doesn’t have the training and instincts that Diana has).
So now that that is all laid out on the table, where do we go from here? Is it up to Jason to make the next move? Or is it up to Steve? Both care for Diana very deeply (duh), and it’s pretty obvious that she’d prefer the two of them get along.
While the boys were having a heart to heart, Diana was busy beating down the two captured Furies in an attempt to get information out of them. Sure, she could use the lasso to force the information out (I’m assuming it would work better on them than it did for Grail), but Diana would rather they get the chance to give up the information by choice (apparently giving it up after being beat in a fight counts as willing in Diana’s book. Good to know).
I still think the Furies choice of armor and outfitting looks plain strange. The one in the silver getup reminds me of the Man in the Iron Mask – not a flattering comparison, all things considered (unless it’s her goal to look like a caged Leonardo DiCaprio). Anyway, moving on…this should be an interesting fight, since Diana insists on playing it fair (removing their shackles, etc.).
So because there apparently wasn’t enough going on in this issue we’re informed that Darkseid is about to make the next move in his grand plan. Thanks to the last issue we know the plan includes ARGUS (likely to get his hands on the artifacts they’re protecting), but beyond that I’m not really sure what his ultimate goal is, or how he plans on taking out the ARGUS security setup (every team he’s sent so far has failed, and they have yet to go directly up against the facility…so…).
As far as the situation between Jason and Steve is concerned? Steve has decided to be the adult in the conversation, and after talking about his feelings for a bit, he went and offered Jason an olive branch. The way Steve sees it; Jason has to prove himself to Diana (and thus to Steve), but the only way he’s ever going to do that is if he’s given a chance. So Jason can help defend the ARGUS facility from Darkseid’s impending attack (they don’t know when or how, but they know that logically ARGUS will be Darkseid’s next target).
So to give you an idea of how the timeline works for this issue; the man-to-man chat is happening at the same time as Diana’s fight, and both are happening inside the facility. At the same time, Darkseid is making his initial move against ARGUS. This essentially means that our three heroes are on site for what is about to happen next; which could either be a really good thing or horrible timing.
This is one of those issues that spends more time establishing for the next issue than anything else and thus is easily overlooked. However, there’s quite a bit going on here, and more than a little bit of subtext. Along with setting up the Darkseid conflict (because we all knew that had to come at some point), the authors were able to voice the readers’ concerns about Jason (I know I’ve been worried about him since day one), which was refreshing to hear coming from a trusted character. There are also a few points that flip stereotypes on their heads; such as the men having an open and honest talk while Diana gets the snot out of some people. Fans of this sort of reversal and humor will appreciate this issue more than most (I for one loved it).
The artwork for this issue was pretty decent. There were moments that stood out more than others; such as the chaotic scene on the third to last page. I love the use of a fractured image to imply that they all got grabbed by the portal. The swirling nature is nothing new as far as representing portals goes, but the fracturing was new. I liked it. Plus there’s plenty of dramatic poses, and as per usual Diana gets most of them.
Wonder Woman #43