Wonder Girl (vol. 2) #1, March, 2011: "Growing Pains" Writer: J. T. Krul; Penciller: Adriana Melo; Inker: Mariah Benes; Editor: Rachel Gluckstern; Cover: Nicola Scott & Doug Hazlewood with Jason Wright.

cover to the issue: Wonder Girl flying and whirling her lasso against a large eagle logoNot sure why DC published this book. As you can see from the cover, it was a gimmick month, where just the pictorial logos for the heroes were used instead of a logotype.

I don't follow the Teen Titans, so I have to report from the message board posts that apparently a new, possible member, Solstice, had been seen in a few panels over there. She was an orphan? and didn't have her powers yet? I dunno. But this issue is used to introduce her to us... sorta.

Note for TTitans continuity buffs: according to the writer, this issue takes place before TT #88.

Let's get the plot over with. Cassie flies to London to meet her mother at an archaeological conference being held at a natural history museum. We discover that (1) Cassie is fascinated by archaeology, and (2) her mother disapproves of her being Wonder Girl. Neither of these items has been brought up before.

Helena is drawn as an always-frowning Sarah Palin. She disses her own daughter in front of her friends and colleagues, a major social no-no for women. "She's BUILT like a LINEBACKER," Sarah, I mean Helena, adds. No artist I can recall has depicted Wonder Girl looking anything at all like a linebacker, unless Playboy has an all-female team.

Helena says she waited at the airport for over an hour, but Cassie has flown in on her own (without luggage, though she has a backpack and civvies when she shows up in London). Cassie never got tickets because they'd be too expensive.

Two questions: Why isn't a world-saving hero being given enough of a salary to afford, well, just about anything she wants? And how did Helena know when to go to the airport to look for her daughter, or did she just mosey over there and expect Cassie to appear like magic? (Also: where has Cassie's lack of secret ID gone?)

Oh, don't dwell on it. The story doesn't make sense of any kind.

Anyway, "fascinated" Cassie soon gets bored of the conference, ducks out to study an urn depicting Zeus (so she can mull her heredity), and then is greeted by an Indian girl who wonders why that nature god, who is quite real within the DCU, is represented in a natural museum. Duh!

The girl is one Kiran, who's ready to pal around after ditching her own archaeological parental units. When stone monsters suddenly break out of the floor of the museum, Cassie ditches Kiran (not to be confused with Karen Starr or any Kara in the DCU; why can't DC folks come up with different names for their characters?) to switch to Wonder Girl only to find that Kiran has changed clothes into Solstice.

Solstice seems to be fully-powered and trained, quite confident in the use of her powers. Whatever they are. She can fly and glow gold. Apparently this is enough to break up a few monsters. Cassie uses her fists to wreak havoc, but the monsters revive. Kiran says, "We know WHERE these CREATURES came from." But the story doesn't give us that info.

Cassie recognizes Lady Zand, though she looks quite different from her one previous appearance in Young Justice #50. Zand wants a necklace that she says was stolen from her native Zandia.

Zand transforms herself into an earthen monster, grabs the necklace, and vamooses. Apparently by this time Cassie and Kiran have disposed of the other monsters, or perhaps they just fizzled out. It's hard to tell.

Kiran introduces Wonder Girl to her parents in the musem, which seems to be in good shape even after all that super-bashing, and Helena looks disapprovingly on. Cassie runs after her mother and the two hug, even though Cassie is still in WG garb.

"End." End? End???

What was this story about? Was it to showcase the Cassie-Helena relationship? It didn't show us how the rift between them started and it doesn't show us why Helena suddenly softens up toward her daughter at the end.

Was this to introduce Solstice to good effect? We have zero idea what her powers are, and she seems fully trained and competent, I guess, if I could figure out what exactly she did and how she did it. (A problem of all too many new capes.)

Is this a simple story about how two heroes stop a villain? They didn't. They allowed a museum to be wrecked (how it got un-wrecked for the ending isn't explained) and for a villain to escape WITH the loot she came for. There is no discussion about following her, about "Gee, we certainly lost that battle," nothing.

Fail.

However, the art is okay, and it's a really nice cover. Interior colors are good. As I said, Lady Zand looks significantly different from her previous apperance and I wonder what that was about. No reference work?

All in all, not worth even a Cassie collector's money to get.

 

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