Wonder Woman #769
Liar Liar is back and ready for round two against the woman she blames for her damaged relationship with her father. But Diana has learned a thing or two since their last encounter, and this time our hero is headed straight into the heart of Liar Liar's sick delusions. It's the final chapter of the "Saga of Lords," and you won't want to miss it!
Mariko Tamaki’s Wonder Woman run has gotten a lot out of the relationship between Diana and Liar Liar, using it to comment on the weight of legacy, recovering from trauma (especially trauma inflicted by parental figures), and using that to show that change is always possible, even when we ourselves think otherwise. It’s a theme with a lot of meat, a lot of ways to say new things through similar situations. Wonder Woman #769 achieves that with gusto, giving readers insight into how Diana and Liar Liar aren’t as different as they might seem.
This issue mirrors the confrontation from issue #763, with one key twist: this time, Diana decides to meet Liar Liar on her own terms, stepping into the elaborate fantasy she’s using to shield herself from reality, and attempting to get through to her that way. It’s a simple but inspired choice, showing readers that the worlds in our own heads can’t protect us, and can sometimes lead to greater harm. Emma Lord is in pain, unable to figure out what she should do, and simply lashes out because no one else showed her otherwise. Diana stepping in shows that she won’t fight, but she will fight to stop her.
Given that there isn’t much additional plot to the bulk of the issue, the art team deserves accolades for their work here, with artist Steve Pugh and colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr. deftly switching between real and unreal page to page, and sometimes panel to panel. Pugh keeps things easy to read and dynamic, while Fajardo gives the fantasy segments a pastel wash to drive home their weirdness. Letterer Pat Brosseau does great work as always, setting up the flow and pacing of the page very nicely. Also, his font choice is very nice, being clear and easy to read, but with a lot of variation between letters to give it a handwritten feel. It adds a lot to the loose and wild action vibes the comic has provided during Tamaki’s run.
The climax hits with Diana appealing to Emma through shared trauma, both through parentage and shared trauma with Max Lord himself. Tamaki drives home the theme of trauma scarring us, but not defining us, and she does so without it feeling cheap. It’s easy to feel alone and angry when the people you assumed would help end up hurting you, and hearing someone say that they’re different doesn’t change anything. Setting up Diana’s indomitable will not as an avatar of violence but as a person who understands—that’s a powerful message. She offers hope, stability, something better than giving in to violence and hate.
And then the issue ends on a somewhat positive note, with Emma in the care of the Amazons. Things seem to be looking up until Max Lord reveals himself—or maybe not, it’s not super clear to the reader. Whatever the case may be, this current run of Wonder Woman has been a delightful action-thriller romp from start to finish, and the excitement for what Future State holds couldn’t be higher.
Wonder Woman #769 gives the current arc a bit of closure by revisiting and expanding on the central themes of Tamaki’s run.
Wonder Woman #769: The End of the Beginning
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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