They were something that started to grate on me early, and increasingly dominated my perception of the books. Compounded with the fact that, for all the promise I saw in the basic premise of the first issue, which I picked up mainly “just because” – specifically because Wonder Woman is the third member of the DC “trinity” of iconic super heroes – I found issue after issue increasingly problematic on several levels, most importantly that the individual issues didn't seem to be telling any kind of coherent story, but also that I found the portrayal of some of the Greek gods downright bizarre. To be fair, in rereading through these issues all at once I came away with a much better appreciation for the overall story, which I found when read at one sitting to be quite engaging, and considerable easing of the disdain – downright anger, really – that I was feeling toward Azzarello only a few short weeks ago. Again, most importantly, the story makes sense and I enjoyed it enough – despite some other aspects of this reimagining – that I'll likely continue reading his Wonder Woman … in collections. I will not be picking up the individual issues, however. I'd much rather buy a collection every six months or so and enjoy it than endure the monthly frustration that this book had become for me, fairly early on.
Having said all that, as I reread those issues a couple weeks ago I noted some of the verbal malefactions that struck me as committed by various characters, and with mid terms finally out of the way and this week's task of catching up on other things I'd gotten behind on due to mid semester grading, I was able to sit down and lay into some scanning to compile a blog entry presenting some – not all – of the to various degrees unlikely word play offenses Azzarello inflicted on the reader over his first year as Wonder Woman scribe.
The most obvious way to do this is to start at the very beginning – because that indeed is when it started, on the very first page of Wonder Woman #1 (Nov 2011) …
|Issue #1 p. 1|
Actually, that being the only example that I caught in the first issue, I don't remember being bothered by it. I probably, on first reading, didn't perceive that here we had a pun that only would work in writing, not orally. And I don't remember being bothered by – even noticing – Diana's witty riposte toward the end of the second issue to Strife's warning that “I don't take kindly to a charge” with “Unless you're leading it.”
|Issue #2 p. 18|
|Issue #4 p. 1|
Actually Strife does manage a much funnier pun on page 8 of the same issue. As context, Strife hit Diana with the shocking revelation over the past couple of issues that the story of her own origins that she (and we) had always known was just not so – that Diana was instead the product of a secret tryst between Queen Hippolyta and Zeus – news that had caused a rift between the princess and her mother, indeed between her and her Amazonian sisters. Strife ends up hanging with Diana and her new charge Zola – pregnant with another demigod progeny of that old tomcat Zeus and thus target number one for Hera – and Hermes, who warns her that it would be best not to keep “trifling” with Diana. Hermes is sceptical that Strife's intentions are anything but antagonistic – “Please. You split a daughter from her mother.” – Strife can't see what's wrong – “I exposed the truth... // … split happens.”
[As an aside, this next is not an example of bad word play, but rather something that has puzzled me since I read it in issue #5:
|Issue #5 p. 7|
Incidentally, I tried sketching out the relationships for clarity … here's the woeful result:
Which brings us to the source for my post title...
|Issue #7 p. 13|
And then there's issue #9 … Strife meeting with her uncle Ares, wanting him to attend the imminent nuptials of … Diana and Hades.
|Issue #9 pp. 2-3|
|Issue #9 p. 7|
|Issue #9 p. 13|
|Issue #11 p. 10|
Apollo declares his intention to “face down” the coming storm even as his kick to the jaw plants Diana “face down” in the mud.
|Issue #11 p. 16|
|Issue #11 p. 20|
|Issue #12 p. 10|
As usual, this is just my opinion, for what it's worth. Thanks for reading – Cheers!