Monday, December 5, 2016

Review - Wonder Woman '77 Meets The Bionic Woman #1 (@DynamiteComics @DCComics)


"I see I'm not the only one with strength!"

Wonder Woman is an icon of DC Comics and--heavy metal riff aside--garners tremendous respect from other characters within that universe. Bionic Woman is a character created with some of the same abilities and the same penchant for wanting to help those who need it. Wonder Woman '77 Meets The Bionic Woman #1 from Dynamite and DC Comics is a mash-up of two great characters in a very era-appropriate setting. The issue is written by Andy Mangels, illustrated by Judit Tondora, colored by Michael Bartolo and Stuart Chaifetz and lettered by Tom Orzechowski and Lois Buhalis.

Party like it's 1977 in this cross-over event fans have wanted for decades - but never thought possible! Now, Diana Prince meets Jaime Sommers... or should we say, Wonder Woman meets The Bionic Woman? In this action-packed mini-series, the two television titans team up to fight a rogue cabal bent on wreaking havoc and stealing deadly weapons. Can CASTRA be stopped before their real targets are revealed and lives are lost? With super powers, bionic enhancements, surprise villains, and an invisible plane, just about anything is possible!

Mangels starts the issue extremely effectively, introducing the reader to the 1977 version of both Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman as personified by Linda Carter and Lindsay Wagner respectively. From there, Mangels moves the two on a parallel track that's completely believable (relatively speaking) and taps into the core of why both characters are so similar. That core is a sense of duty to protect those who need protecting and root out evil--two traits that many superheroes demonstrate on a daily basis. Added into the mix is the tone of the 1970s that Mangels parlays into a tale of more modern themes that emphasize worldly espionage and terrorism. Mangels does an excellent job of pacing the issue in a way that gives the reader time to meet the lead characters and watch as they evoke trust in one another.

Because the two main characters are so iconic (and are leaning to on-screen representations) Tondora doesn't get a whole lot of wiggle room in their appearance; thankfully though, she captures the look of Carter and Wagner well. Both Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman look readily recognizable to the reader, as Tondora emphasizes their features with bold lines. There are some instances where characters are viewed from a distance and Tondora goes light on the detail, offering the characters as somewhat amorphous beings interacting with one another. The action sequences in particular though feature fully-realized backdrops for the two heroes to fight their way through while the panels are a dizzying array of insets and overlays that mimic the combat prowess of Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman. Colors by Bartolo and Chaifetz are pretty basic, but there's a bright richness to them that make everything pop.

Wonder Woman '77 Meets The Bionic Woman #1 is a pretty unique crossover in that it pairs together two characters, one of whom is clearly inspired by the creation of the other. Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman are teaming up though on a mission that will test the mettle and abilities of both. Mangels' script is pretty lighthearted yet efficient, getting to the core of their talents as they team up. The artwork by Tondora is pretty solid as it showcases both characters in all their easily-recognizable glory. Wonder Woman '77 Meets The Bionic Woman #1 is a lot of fun and should be an entertaining series as it progresses.

Wonder Woman '77 Meets The Bionic Woman #1 is available December 7.

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