Wonder Woman #48
Writer: James Robinson
Artist Jesus Merino
“The Dark Gods” has been a bright spot in what has been a shaky run for Wonder Woman so far. James Robinson has struggled to find solid ground for one of DC’s greatest heroes, mostly due to poor dialogue and a lack of riveting arcs. Still, the current arc has been compelling with exciting antagonists and exciting action. Unfortunately, “The Dark Gods” loses some steam with issue Wonder Woman #48.
Despite the previous issue being full of exposition, it was still satisfying due to tension and an entertaining bout with Supergirl. Unfortunately, despite the constant action, this issue lacks the thrill that has elevated this arc above the rest in the series.
The issue takes place at the same time as last week’s Wonder Woman Annual #2 but focuses on Jason as he tries to stop the gods without his sister’s help. The issue is heavy on narration, with Jason constantly trying to find new ways to defeat his enemies. Unfortunately, Jason’s descriptions of his various abilities slow down the pacing of the issue significantly, derailing the momentum of the last few issues. Using narration to advance a conflict is certainly not uncommon, but here it is used as a crutch to explain the many abilities that Jason has that the reader hasn’t been exposed to yet.
Outside of the narration, this issue is surrounded genuinely good pieces. Jason doesn’t fight the gods alone and receives aid from quite a few heroes throughout the issue. Their appearances are exciting and full of spectacle, but they are also cut short to establish how strong the antagonists actually are. Like the wordy narration, it feels like the other heroes exist to simply advance the plot a little, then be discarded.
These moments make the issue frustrating because this should be a great issue. Jesus Merino’s art in a vacuum looks great, and results in the action coming alive. Ramulo Fajardo Jr’s colors are gorgeous. Every explosion, burning building, and firey blast come to live due to the artists’ effective lighting. The art helps to steady the pacing a little, but the wordy dialogue still makes a difficult to keep the reader fully engaged.
Wonder Woman #48 feels like a wasted opportunity. It should be able to further develop Jason while also delivering an exciting battle but mostly fails to do both of this. The conflict is mostly only exciting due to the art, and the rest of the narrative is full of good ideas with poor execution. If Wonder Woman is lucky, Robinson will find his stride again in the next issue because this arc still has the potential to stand out from the rest.
Wonder Woman #48
Wonder Woman #48 is disappointing when you consider how much potential this arc has.