Wonder Woman and the Furies
1-3
(and Flashpoint in general)

Issue #1, Aug. 2011: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning—writers; Scott Clark—penciller; Dave Beaty—inker; Brian Cunningham—editor. "The Arrangement"

Issue #2: Sept. '11: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning—writers; Agustin Padilla—penciller; Jose Aviles—inker; Brian Cunningham—editor. "The Sacrifice"

Issue #3: Sorry, couldn't stomach any more.

cover to issue #2

And DC pushes a non-Diana Diana farther into Hell.

The story begins: "Themyscira was always SEPARATE from the world. A secret place of serenity, proud and enduring... its noble ideals and achievements veiled by MYSTICAL ILLUSIONS as old as time..."

And yet the rest of this story gives us Amazons who are neck-deep in violence, a man-hating "martial culture" and not one of the serenity promised us. This being a parallel universe or somesuch, character names appear in places we wouldn't expect them. Diana is still princess of the Amazons, daughter of Hippolyta, but Phillipus is merely her bodyguard now. She cannot stop Diana from taking a boat and escaping the island to find the outer world.

No sooner has she spotted modern ships and planes than a "baby" kraken grabs and stings her. She is able to defeat it with her sword. Aquaman watches, tells her, "You're FIERCE." (See Diana's first appearance in the nu Justice League in 2011, when Superman tells Diana, "You're STRONG." Golly, these men are brilliant!)

Aquaman/Arthur introduces himself and tells her that the sting can be fatal. As she faints into his arms, he tells her to hold her breath (!) and takes her to Atlantis.

FOURTEEN YEARS LATER she with Atlanteans in tow reappears on Themyscira. Now, I first thought: 14 years? The story actually works if it were 14 MONTHS, but imho someone made a mistake and then ran with it. The story doesn't work well at all with 14 years. But then, the story doesn't work well at all in any fashion.

Anywayz, Arthur and Diana are in love. Wait, they aren't. No, they are. Or not. They are nobly going to save a too-volatile world from itself by marrying and uniting their nations and... something. Within a month the outer world is informed of both nations' existence and reporters come to document the wedding.

A Subway (sandwich shop) adventure interrupts the story with something more logical, even if it does feature a butt-shot of Diana.

Skinnier than Keira Knightley, Diana joins Arthur on stage. But Artemis, disguised in Garth's armor, kills Hippolyta, thinking to kill Diana instead. Or maybe she was aiming for Arthur. Who knows? Who cares? Artemis then kills Garth, saying she's taking revenge. We discover that Artie and Hippy's sister, Penthesilea, are the chief traitors within the Amazons, and that Orm is their equivalent within the Atlantean forces.

In issue 2, which boasts this wonderful cover with a pigeon-toed, murderous Diana, we switch artistic teams to an even worse one. We are told via flashback that Diana and Mera have loved each other like sisters, though they are insanely jealous of each other. Though the previous issue pretty much told us that Diana and Arthur loved each other, we discover that they do not, and it is arranged that after the marriage Mera will be Arthur's mistress.

Coming up in time to just after last issue, we see that no one among the Amazons has reacted with any kind of logical process at all. Well, they're just wimmen after all, thinking with their hormones, you know. When Atlantean ships arrive in force—and just what was the supposedly peaceful Arthur thinking with that approach, do you suppose?—saboteurs release an attack that both think is coming from the opposite camp, even though both sides are getting pummeled.

Idiots.

Being a man in this men vs women story, Arthur is the one who speaks sense, but Diana attacks him and releases the volcano under Themyscira to destroy the island and everything on it. Why? You got me. But the Atlanteans escape and so do the Amazons, so it's all just for comic book show.

And then a Subway (sandwich shop) adventure interrupts the story with something a little more cohesive and exciting.

The next we know, it's a year later and the Amazons have conquered the British Isles and are threatening the rest of Europe. Diana is being called "Wonder Woman" for some reason, and because all women are man-haters and stick together no matter what, the female capes of the world (except those who are under the controlling thumbs of strong men) have allied themselves with her and her bloody Fascist forces.

The Amazons and Atlantis are at war. Arthur still spouts words of peace, though he's okayed using King Brion (Geoforce) as a living weapon. Apparently the two sides, so keen on straightening out the too-volatile world from itself, are plotting to blow up everyone instead.

At the end of issue #2 Queen Mera of Atlantis attacks Diana, but literally loses her head to her. Diana then puts on Mera's still-bloody helmet. "I take it not as a spoil of war... but as a REMINDER of what this war has cost all of us."

Sure, sure. Who writes this mindless, violent dreck? I've had enough. Go to Wiki if you want to see how it ended. Bleah.

a contrasting of the two very different art styles between issues

As for Flashpoint, Steve Trevor and Lois Lane figure into this thread of the story. The Amazons are portrayed as castrators and such among the Brits; women are such men-haters. It's the hormones, you know. Oh, those hormones! That's why Hippy's sister and Arthur's brother—two people in luv—are the real villains behind everything. If wimmen are involved, it's got to be a plot about luv. That's the only frame that some writers (and editors) can imagine women characters being involved in.

And it's all such an easy way to destroy seventy years of comic book legacy.

It is also very much a symptom of the Wonder Litmus Test (which I don't have an index button for, but will at some point), in which an upper-level male character's machismo factor is, ah, inflated just because they're hanging out romantically with the number-one woman around, Wondie. (Donna Troy has a version of this that applies to secondary-level male characters.) If the guy ever gets to bed with her, he is certified the All-Supreme DC Badass of the Universe and All Time. DC honcho Dan Didio is an Aquaman fan (and anti-fan of WW), and plans were afoot to increase Arthur's standing in the nuDC without him being involved with her in her own upcoming book. Thus, he had to bag WW in this, or come darned close to it. He had to be recognized by her to be her choice among all men.

Flashpoint was the alternate-universe maxi-series that led into the all-violent nu-DCU reboot of Sept. 2011.

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