Review: DC Retroactive: Wonder Woman – The 1980s – Double, Double…

DC Retroactive 1980s - Cover by Rich Buckler and Kevin Colden

DC Retroactive 1980s – Cover by Rich Buckler and Kevin Colden

Retroactive: Wonder Woman – The 1980’s
Written by
 Roy Thomas
Art by Rich Buckler, Tim Smith III and Carlos Rodriguez (pencils), Joe Rubinstein, Jack Purcell, Norman Lee, and Carlos Rodriguez (pencils), Kevin Colden (colors), Travis Lanham (letters), Rich Buckler, and Kevin Colden (cover)
Double, Double…
Released August 03, 2011
DC Comics
Rating: 3.8 out of 5

I’m not very familiar with Roy Thomas’ work on Wonder Woman in the 1980s. In fact, when I heard that the Retroactive – 1980s issue of Wonder Woman was notGeorge Perez, I was a little hesitant. As it turns out, there was no reason to be.

A young girl is almost run over by a limo running a red light, but is saved by Wonder Woman. Or is it? The woman is especially violent and angry, and can *fly* (something Wonder Woman had never been able to do at that point). Diana Prince arrives at work at the Pentagon in time to see a news report that Wonder Woman was spotted moments ago hoisting a car above her head. Surprised that her alternate identity could be doing anything without her, Diana changes into Wonder Woman and searches for the culprit. Turns out Doctor Psycho and the Silver Swan are up to no good!

Perhaps because I have less knowledge of this era of Wonder Woman than I do of the 1970s era, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I enjoyed Retroactive: Wonder Woman – The 1970s. The story was interesting and fun to read. The dialogue felt very much like the characters. The writing certainly reflected the 80s era. I did find the ending a little…shall we say, odd. It seems like Wonder Woman is uncharacteristically nonchalant about death. Perhaps that was how she was in the 80s? I guess we’ll see when I get that far into my reading. The important part is, unlike the Retroactive 1970s issue, this story is complete and actually has a conclusion!

The art…well, there were three different artists for this one issue. As such, the art tends to fluctuate. Rich Buckler’s pages were very detailed and action-packed. Though there were a couple of shots of Wonder Woman that bordered on terrible, the story manages to explain it. There were some panels that I absolutely loved. Buckler’s art was certainly the highlight of the issue (pages 1-14). Tim Smith III’s art (pages 15, 19-26) were a bit sillier. Though pretty, they tended to take a more anime inspired approach. At times, that can be a good thing. Here, it just falls incredibly short and took me a bit out of the experience. Carlos Rodriguez’s (pages 16-18) art really should have been used for the entire climax of the book, rather than just three pages. These three pages are some of the best looking in the book, and the action scenes really shine.

My comic shop owner kind of implied that he did not expect me to enjoy this issue, so I was a little surprised to find out I did. The issue was very enjoyable and certainly made me want to read more of the 1980s pre-Crisis Wonder Woman. The inclusion of a reprint of Roy Thomas’ first issue of Wonder Woman (1982’s issue 288 – “Swan Song,” featuring the origins of the first Silver Swan) was also an enjoyable read. It’s really a shame that DC doesn’t make it a point to have more Wonder Woman stories from pre-Crisis released in trade format.


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