by Bill Wiist
WONDER WOMAN: DONNA TROY
First, a general criticism of the "Girl Frenzy" week covers. I hated the cover design of the "Tangent" books and how they all looked alike, imagine my surprise this week when I saw the "Girl Frenzy" books. Actually, I was not surprised at all. I nearly mistook them all for the old Tangent books. I almost completely overlooked them! Wonder if anyone actually did mistake them for the Tangent line? Hmmmm anyway, on to reviewing our first book:
The story takes place in a Catholic church where Donna Troy has gone to talk to God. Her tough question for God is why does he allow hatred to exist. The action comes via flashbacks. I can think of very few writers who could pull off a story like this successfully. First, Jimenez had to be careful not to lose his readers with the flashbacks. He didn't lose me, but he did confuse me slightly. My main confusion regarding the flashbacks was I never figured out how long ago they took place. A couple of months? A couple of years? Also, the transitions were occasionally clunky. Second, he had to make it entertaining. I was more interested than entertained by the story. The superhero stuff is stock and the overall mood is grim. It's obvious Jimenez just wants to tell a story about Donna struggling with hard questions. Which brings us to the third thing he had to do successfully, give a satisfactory or at least a satisfying answer to the hard questions he raises through the main character. Donna is struggling with the whole meaning of life question. (WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD) We find out in the story that the things which motivate Donna to go on are her loved ones and her work. Seem she believes in God (kind of), but she doesn't find much comfort in the church. Ultimately, her answers to life's tough questions left me feeling unsatisfied. It was more than I expected, but less than I'd hoped for.
The art often reminded me of George Perez's. As Martha Stewart says, "That's a good thing." It kept a very difficult and often ponderous story moving. On a sidenote: I must say that if I learned nothing else from this issue, I learned that I MUCH prefer Donna Troy with long hair and civilian clothes than in her old Troia identity.
My vote: 5 out of 10
SUPERMAN: LOIS LANE
Don't let the cover fool you: This story is much different than the previous. Very light and fast paced. It is marred, however, by too many convenient plot devices. I also found many parts to be (dare I say of a comic book?) just plain silly. Now there is silly good and there is silly bad. This was silly bad, because the silliness detracted from the book rather than added to the fun of it. (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD) For instance, Lois apparently is not only an expert fighter and spy, she also has infra-red vision. "Just a dedicated reporter" indeed. Also, at the end of the book, the boys who were captured are said to be fine - they looked FAR from fine to me!!! (Makes me wish I had THEIR doctors!). And while their names are similar, if I were living in the DC universe I doubt very much if I would confuse Lois Lane with Lucy Lawless.
The art: The layouts were nice, but the finished art could have been tighter in places.
My vote: 5 out of 10