The battle is joined! Wonder Woman drops in on Cheetah's all-out assault on the Amazons, in a frenzied bid to get their goddess Hera's attention!
Seeking to mitigate any more damage done to her Amazonian sisters, Diana uses her newest Invisible Jet to forcibly remove Cheetah from Themyscira.
Cheetah damages to the jet's wing, though, and causes it to crash in a densely-populated tourist area of Boston!
Neither combatant realizes, though, that they've brought their fight right to SILENCER's doorstep! And she isn't happy about it!
Now that the table-setting of last issue is out of the way, Steve Orlando’s Wonder Woman tenure gets down to business. And what business it is: slam-bang action right out of the gate, followed a resolution that flawlessly highlights Diana’s strengths and individuality as a character.
Cheetah is, by and large, generally positioned as Wonder Woman’s primary arch-foe. Whether or not she has historically lived up to that claim isn’t something I am well-read enough in WW lore to speak to; but here, she’s a pitch-perfect counterpoint. Whereas Wonder Woman embodies love, Cheetah thrives on hate. Wonder Woman is about patience and forgiveness; Cheetah vengeance. And so on. And the tragedy is that at one time, these two women were not just friends, but sisters. Diana, naturally, hopes to reconcile their differences not for her own peace of mind, but rather, as a balm for the anger fueling Cheetah. Ultimately, she would rather place her own life in danger than continue a pointless fistfight with Cheetah that would put innocent lives in danger. It’s a risky move, but so great is Diana’s love for her foe, and she believes in Cheetah’s inherent goodness so much, that it’s a calculated risk she’s willing to take. All of these competing philosophical differences are brought to a head when, after so much pitched combat, Diana lays down her arms, looks at Cheetah, and says, “I will meet your anger with loving submission.” It is such a perfect Wonder Woman moment.
And it almost works, if not for an x-factor Diana couldn’t have possibly counted on: the untimely intervention of the Silencer, mad as hell that their skirmish endangered her family. Silencer’s appearance here could have felt shoehorned or unnecessarily contrived, but instead she serves as a second counterpoint to Diana’s: her solution to the Cheetah problem is to put a bullet in her head, full stop. Her addition to the fray means that Diana is now fighting a battle on two fronts both physically and philosophically, which adds a welcome dimension to the scenario and additional tension. One of the few characters to still be actively getting page time from DC’s short-lived New Age of Heroes line, Silencer is an interesting study in contradictions herself: a loving wife and mother on the one hand, an assassin on the other. She plays off of Wonder Woman so well, I’d be more than enthusiastic for future appearances by her in this book.
The art is a lot of fun this issue too, despite having two pencillers and three inkers. There’s a light and bouncy (but not too light and bouncy!) feel to the pencils, and an energy to the page that’s undeniable. Cheetah bounces around much like her namesake, nimble and lithe and ferocious all a the same time. But check out Wonder Woman’s body language by comparison: she generally takes defensive postures, doing everything she can by comparison to contain the battle and limit damage to her opponent. It’s a great, great lesson in expressive blocking that a lot of artists could stand to learn from.
Steve Orlando's Wonder Woman run finds its heart and starts running this issue. With next month being the big #750 blowout, it's great to see that his run already has such steady focus!
Wonder Woman #83: “I Will Meet Your Anger With Loving Submission”
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
Art - 8.5/108.5/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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