Wonder Woman has never been better positioned to expand on her franchise than right now. After being the lead character in Dark Nights: Death Metal, having two of the biggest Future State titles, and role in the greater DC Universe firmly established with Infinite Frontier #0 the sky is the limit for Wonder Woman. One thing that it looks like DC Comics will be doing to build out the Wonder Woman franchise is introduce other forms of mythology into the DC Universe through Diana Prince. That begins with Michael Conrad and Becky Cloonan having Wonder Woman go on an adventure in what looks to be Asgard from Nordic Myths. How will Wonder Woman’s latest journey expand on what has been established about Gods in the DC Universe? Let’s find out with Wonder Woman #770.
Writers: Michael W. Conrad and Becky Cloonan (“Afterworlds” main story); Jordie Bellaire (“Young Diana: Birthday Blues” back-up)
Artists: Travis Moore (“Afterworlds” main story); Paulina Ganucheau (“Young Diana: Birthday Blues” back-up)
Colorists: Tamra Bonvillain (“Afterworlds” main story); Kendall Goode (“Young Diana: Birthday Blues” back-up)
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Wonder Woman wakes up and finds herself being welcomed to Asgard in the middle of a battlefield by a warrior who calls himself Siegfried, slayer of the dragon Fafnir. Wonder Woman wonders if this is the afterlife. Siegfried wonders if that is what “they” call it and asks her for her name. Wonder Woman says she is Diana, a warrior. Hearing that Siegfried throws Wonder Woman a sword so she can join in on he battle.
As the fighting goes on Siegfried reveals that is this afterlife known as Asgard they fight and die on repeat every day. Wonder Woman throws herself in the middle of someone that was about to kill Siegfried and takes the killing blow in his place.
Wonder Woman ends up in a purgatory like place and is told she does not belong there. As the being starts to talk about what is going on with her powers Wonder Woman wakes up to find herself in a dining hall with Siegfried and other warriors.
Siegfried reveals they are currently dining in Valhalla and cheers her joining them as a new sword-sister. Wonder Woman joins in on the party and has fun with everyone in the hall. She then ends up kissing ends up Siegfried.
Suddenly Wonder Woman once again ends up in the purgatory-like location and is told by the being she met there and tries to remind her she is Diana of Themyscira but disappears before they can clarify.
Wonder Woman wakes up at Siegfried’s place. She wonders if she and Siegfried had sex but Siegfried says that he is a man of honor. Wonder Woman gets dressed and decides to go take a walk.
While walking through Asgard, Wonder Woman tries to test out her powers and finds that she cannot fly.
She continues her walk and comes across a talking squirrel with a horn on its forehead. The squirrel creature reveals there name as Ratatosk and leads Wonder Woman to the world tree known as Yggdrasil. Inside Yggdrasil, Ratatosk reveals that Wonder Woman is the only one that can help as Ragnarok is coming. Wonder Woman is confused by what Ratatosk is telling her much to Ratatosk disappointment. Wonder Woman promises to do what she can.
Wonder Woman then takes off to join the day’s battle and promises to return to Ratatosk the next morning.
Wonder Woman joins up with Siegfried and the other warriors to get ready for the next battle. Siegfried gives Wonder Woman a dwarven forged magical sword. Siegfried reveals that previously only Thor would be allowed to wield such weapons but now it is common for all warriors to have similarly dwarven forged weapons except him as he has his own sword named Gram.
Later during the battle Wonder Woman sees Thor battling one of the giants in impressive fashion. As they continue to fight Wonder Woman questions what kind of magic her sword has. Siegfried says that every weapon is imbued with different powers and it is up to Wonder Woman to discover her sword’s power. Wonder Woman says her sword’s power reminds her of someone she knew but can’t remember.
This questioning leaves Wonder Woman open to be struck from behind a killing spear strike by another warrior on the battlefield.
As she is dying Wonder Woman remember how she used to be invulnerable. Siegfried says that he was once invulnerable as well. Wonder Woman asks what happened to that power. Siegfried reveals that when they die that because their bodies are gone they lose their previous physical powers. Wonder Woman tells Siegfried to remind her of that next time so she can fight more carefully. She then passes away.
Wonder Woman once again ends up in the purgatory-like area. The being tells Wonder Woman that the more times she dies the harder it will be for her to leave. The being says that she must remember that she is an Olympian. Wonder Woman questions how she ended up in Asgard. The being says that they don’t know since the bridge to Asgard has been closed for thousands of years and the realm is living on borrowed time. They go on to explain that Yggdrasil’s death is the harbinger of Ragnarok coming to Asgard.
Wonder Woman wakes back up in Valhalla as she now is getting a hang of how things work. Wonder Woman asks around Valhalla for where Siegfried is at. She learns that Siegfried was swallowed up by a sea of blood and iron during the battle.
Wonder Woman rushes out to the battlefield and finds many dead bodies on the ground. Ratatosk appears and tells Wonder Woman that Siegfried is still somewhere in the battlefield as the Valkyries always leave him to wander the battlefield. Ratatosk then reveals that for some reason the Valkyries are disappearing, causing the number of them still lift to shrink.
Wonder Woman realizes that if she helps cure Yggdrasil that Ratatosk will help find the missing Valkyries.
Siegfried suddenly appears and says that he can feel the fog causing him to fade away. Before Wonder Woman can help him Siegfried completely disappears in a green fog. End of main story.
The Good: Over the years we have seen Wonder Woman’s franchise as just being tied to the Greek mythology. New 52 and Rebirth in particular further expanded on Wonder Woman’s ties to different Gods by having her get involved in conflicts with the New Gods and the Quintessence, as seen in Infinite Frontier #0. Wonder Woman #770 further expands on the direction Wonder Woman has been going by bringing in Nordic mythology in the form of Asgard. It’s in that world building of what the DC Universe’s version of Asgard where Wonder Woman #770 finds its greatest success.
Having Wonder Woman go through her own form of the “Live. Die. Repeat” concept seen in the Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt movie Edge Of Tomorrow is a great hook to kickstart this story. Michael W. Conrad and Becky Cloonan take that concept of Edge Of Tomorrow to quickly build out a mystery to what exactly is going on with Wonder Woman. You immediately wonder what is going on and why Diana is going through this after her decision at the end of Infinite Frontier #0.
Each death and resurrection is given importance through the purgatory-like realm that Wonder Woman enters each time she dies. Having the mysterious being in this realm reveal more details to Wonder Woman each time dies provide enough hints to make you want to learn more. The decision to cut of this being in the middle of revealing more details with each visit was a smart play. It gives a sense of urgency as Wonder Woman isn’t being given much time to figure out what is going on.
This also helps with presenting the DC Universe’s version of Asgard as something different from what we know from Marvel. The information about Asgard having cut itself off from other realms in order to delay the events of Ragnarok taking place is an interesting hook. This makes you question what exactly is going on in Asgard since we don’t know who made this decision. It could be Odin, Thor, or some other Asgardian that caused Asgard to become in this state.
The mystery of what is going on is further strengthened by how we learn from Ratatosk that the Valkyries numbers have been diminishing over time, leading to less warriors going back to Valhalla. That particular detail, added to what the mysterious being told Wonder Woman, shows there is more going on than what we are seeing.
Tying all that to the state of Yggdrasil does create the question how that sacred tree works in the DC Universe. As we’ve seen in other uses of Yggdrasil, the sacred tree is what ties the different realms in a universe together. But in the state it is in and how Ratatosk talks about it does not seem that this version of Yggdrasil works in that same way.
Travis Moore artwork made the entire Nordic setting of Asgard look great. The designs for all the different character costumes from Wonder Woman and Siegfried to the normal warriors popped well. You get a good sense of each warrior even if the focus was only on Wonder Woman and Siegfried. The presentation of Yggdrasil as a sacred tree was also well done to give a mood to the story that Ragnarok is near.
The back-up story featuring a young Diana Prince by Jordie Bellaire and Paulina Ganucheau was a nice change of pace for Wonder Woman #770. It was a lighthearted adventure that was a look into a young Diana before she fully went down the road of becoming Wonder Woman. Ganucheau’s artwork for this story in particular stood out. She made the entire tone of the story have a fun vibe to it.
The Bad: Where Wonder Woman #770 was not as successful was presenting a new reader friendly story. With Infinite Frontier #0 being a fresh start for DC Comics we haven’t seen much of that from their ongoing comics. That happened with the Batman and Superman comics and we see that be the case with Wonder Woman. The story comes across as being heavily reliant on continuity even though it is the start of something new.
The other thing that did not work as intended was the build around Siegfried’s character. The character is nothing more than canon fodder that dies not long after he is introduced. The connection he shares with Wonder Woman doesn’t get a lot of room to grow. Siegfried never gets the chance to be anything other than a character that you get most of the exposition about Asgard from. That makes the connection that Conrad and Cloonan try to build between Wonder Woman and Siegfried appear weaker.
Also, while the Young Diana back-up was a fun change of pace it did not feel must read like we have seen with other back-ups we got in Future State. That is largely because it is just another Diana Prince focused story. With this being a time where Wonder Woman’s comics are as hot as they ever been it would be great to get back-up stories that focused on other characters in the franchise. Wonder Woman has characters such as Donna Troy, Cassandra Sandsmark, Nubia, Artemis, and Grail that could use this type of spotlight. It would all help strengthen the Wonder Woman ongoing to show readers how the franchise has a strong cast of characters beyond Diana Prince and the new Wonder Girl in Yara Flor.
Overall: Wonder Woman #770 is a world building focused comic book as Michael W. Conrad and Becky Cloonan bring Asgard into the DC Universe. The Edge of Tomorrow-inspired story involving Wonder Woman was an interesting way to continue her arc that started in Infinite Frontier #0. Now with the foundation built we will hopefully see other elements and characters from Norse mythology developed to build out the supporting cast of this story.
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