Mariko Tamaki has delivered a solid start to her run on Wonder Woman by bringing in Maxwell Lord to serve as part of the cast for this series. Thus far Wonder Woman and Maxwell Lord have been forced to work together to battle against a new threat that has risen up in the form of Diana’s new neighbor. The turn for Emma as the new Liar Liar villain was unexpected as she seemed to be originally built as a supporting cast member. But now that she has had her villainous turn so quickly as Liar Liar, what are Emma’s plans? Let’s find out with Wonder Woman #762.
Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Carlo Barberi
Inker: Matt Santorelli
Colorist: Alejandro Sanchez
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out o f 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In a flashback to a battle the Amazons had on the shores of Themyscira, Diana Prince remembers the lessons she was taught as a warrior.
Across Washington DC more people freaking out from hallucinations are reported as violence is shown taking place across the city. Wonder Woman responds to a building that is on fire and saves the residents inside.
Over at the Disaster Relief Headquarters Wonder Woman talks with Etta Candy about if they should trust Maxwell Lord. Etta argues that Max Lord has been helping them with this hallucination crisis.
Wonder Woman goes in the interrogation room to talk with Max Lord. Max reminds Wonder Woman that he was not lying when she used her Lasso of Truth on him as he is looking to help humanity.
Wonder Woman decides to trust Max but tells Etta to keep an inhibitor collar handy just in case.
Elsewhere Emma uses a military official to drive her to Max’s location.
Over at a local diner Wonder Woman responds to a guy holding people hostage while under a hallucination. Wonder Woman blocks all of the guys gunfire. Max then uses his powers to get the guy out of his hallucination.
The cook of a diner freaks out over all of this and fires a gun at Max. Wonder Woman blocks the bullet. Max gets pissed off and uses his powers to make the cook think he is a dog. Wonder Woman orders Max to turn the cook back to normal.
While they are on their way to respond to the next lead on who is responsible Wonder Woman questions what made Max turn over a new leaf.
Max reveals that when the Source Wall fell he saw all of his lives in the Multiverse including when he was the Justice League International’s liaison and his death before Infinite Crisis (Wonder Woman #219). Max says he refuses to let his life being dictated to him by fate.
A car suddenly smashes into the jeep that Max and Wonder Woman are driving.
Wonder Woman and Max are able to recover from the hit-and-run only to be confronted by Emma. Emma reveals her villain name of Liar Liar and has Etta and other soldiers backing her up. She tells Max it is good to see him again, calling him dad in the process. End of issue.
The Good: The big thing that I appreciate about Mariko Tamaki’s run on Wonder Woman thus far is that she is not wasting time in getting the plot moving at a steady pace. Wonder Woman #762 is another example of that. This issue hits specific character beats to get you behind the story between Wonder Woman and Maxwell Lord only to end with the main villain in Liar Liar to reveal herself by the end.
The success of all this comes down to pacing. Tamaki moves the story at a pace that keeps all the main players in Wonder Woman, Max Lord, Etta Candy, and Emma/Liar Liar involved. We spend enough time with each character to make sure they are always at the top of the mind for when we get moments like the final page where Liar Liar reveals she is behind everything to Wonder Woman and Max Lord. This allows such a moment to have maximum impact to drive interest in what the reveal means for the remaining chapters in this arc.
Throughout all of this Tamaki does a solid job further exploring the relationship between Wonder Woman and Max Lord. Tackling the antagonistic history these two share head on showed the reader not familiar with their standing with each other as having depth. There is a lot that goes into Wonder Woman’s distrust for Max Lord. At the same time, that same animosity does feed into Max Lord’s own redemption story that he is telling everyone he wants to have. Positioning both characters in this way allows the way their respective character arcs are being explored have greater depth to them.
Brining in the fall of the Source Wall event from Justice League: No Justice was a perfect use of continuity. Tamaki fully presented why the Source Wall’s fall had such an impact on Max Lord’s desire to help Wonder Woman and humanity out. Seeing his previous lives in the Multiverse was a blow to Max Lord’s ego because he saw how other versions of himself failed in the route he was taking. That revelation makes you believe that Max Lord is being honest about what he is trying to do in helping others.
At the same time, Tamaki does keep us on our toes as readers because, like Wonder Woman, we know that Max Lord could turn on everyone in an instance. Keeping up that part of our awareness adds to what Max Lord’s own endgame is with what he is doing. It also gets you to understand why Wonder Woman is still keeping her defenses up.
The revelation that Emma is Max Lord’s daughter was a nice surprise that was set up in the previous issue. What made this reveal work as well as it did was the fact that Tamaki didn’t waste time getting there. We got a hint of this being the case in the previous issue and it being fully confirmed now in Wonder Woman #762. In doing so, Tamaki is able to keep the emphasis on how Emma has made this villainous turn as Liar Liar and question her own endgame with the chaos she is causing. Learning what that endgame turns out to be is a good hook to end Wonder Woman #762 on.
Carlo Barberi’s artwork gave a fun energy to the story we get in Wonder Woman #762. All of the action scenes are dynamic as he gets across the speed that Wonder Woman has as she blocks various attacks and saves people. That sense of motion helps further show how cool the character is.
The Bad: The one part of Wonder Woman #762 that did not work was with the opening pages involving the Amazons. This scene and the inner monologue that was included felt unnecessary. This type of opening is what is expected when establishing the voice for a character in their first appearance. But since we are now a few issues into Tamaki’s Wonder Woman run all this opening scene did was fill out content needed to complete the page count of this issue. The pages for this opening scene would’ve been better used to give more time to develop Liar Liar’s character.
Overall: Wonder Woman #762 was another fun issue. Mariko Tamaki moves the story of Liar Liar at a strong pace with very little filler content. Specifically, the interactions between Wonder Woman and Maxwell Lord drive the investment in the story that Tamaki is developing. The strong chemistry between these two characters and the use of past DCU continuity creates greater interest in whatever plans Tamaki has for run moving forward.
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