Wonder Woman enter uncharted territory in her redebut in Infinite Frontier. Rather than returning to the main DC Universe after turning down the offer to become one of The Quintessence, somehow Wonder Woman ended up in Asgard’s Valhalla along with other dead warriors who were locked in eternal fighting. How and why Wonder Woman ended up in Valhalla is a major mystery that was made even more complicated after it was shown that something is causing the dead warriors to vanish from Valhalla. What is next for Diana Prince? Let’s find out with Wonder Woman #771.
Writers: Michael W. Conrad and Becky Cloonan (Wonder Woman: Afterworlds); Jordie Bellaire (Young Diana: Lessons Learned)
Artists: Travis Moore (Wonder Woman: Afterworlds); Paulina Ganucheau (Young Diana: Lessons Learned)
Colorists: Tamra Bonvillain (Wonder Woman: Afterworlds); Kendall Goode (Young Diana: Lessons Learned)
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Wonder Woman finds Thor and confronts him over not doing anything about the slain warriors staying permanently dead. Thor brushes this aside as he only cares about his side of the battles winning, which is what they are doing. Wonder Woman brings up how the Valkries have disappeared and Siegfried is among the missing dead. Thor believes even with what is going on Yggdrasil will survive and tells Wonder Woman to send his regards to the missing warriors.
Later, Ratatosk leads Wonder Woman to Nidavellir. Murk Elves burst out of the Nidavellir tunnels and attack Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman fights back but the Murk Elves numbers give them the opening to toss a giant boulder on top of Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman suddenly ends up in purgatory-like realm once again. There the voice tells Wonder Woman that she is needed in Olympus for some unclear reason.
Back in Valhalla, Wonder Woman bursts out of the boulder that landed on her. She then quickly takes out all of the Murk Elves.
Afterwards Wonder Woman and Ratatosk enter Nidavellir. There they find Dr. Psycho crafting weapons. Dr. Psycho wonders why Wonder Woman is not on Olympus. Wonder Woman says her memories are foggy but needs to know what happened to the Valkyries. Dr. Psycho is not sure what Wonder Woman is talking about.
Wonder Woman grabs a lasso she finds and turns it into a Lasso of Truth. She uses the new Lasso of Truth to get Dr. Psycho to provide information on how to unlock the Valkyries’ Fortress.
Later, while walking Ratatosk asks about Wonder Woman’s history with Dr.Psycho. Wonder Woman says she is not sure as her memory is still foggy. She mentions the snake that Dr. Psycho says lives where they are. Ratatosk says the snake is named Nidhogg, who is prophesied to eat the world and Gods one day. Wonder Woman suddenly ends up tripping and falls off a cliff.
After Wonder Woman recovers from her fall she finds Nidhogg. Wonder Woman asks about the Valkyries’ Fortress. Nidhogg demands food in exchange for the information on the fortress. Ratatosk promises to get Nidhogg an eagle egg and a promise is made for a trade.
Wonder Woman then begins to climb Yggdrassil to get the eagle egg to feed to Nidhogg. Once she reaches a certain level Odin appears out of nowhere.
Wonder Woman explains what is going on in Valhalla. Odin says that from what he just listened to Wonder Woman already figured things out by finding the Unknowable. Wonder Woman is confused by this. Odin leaves before revealing what he means by this.
Wonder Woman then hears the battle horn to begin the next battle. She then suddenly senses Siegfried’s presence. She promises her friend that she’ll bring Siegfried back.
At the top of Yggdrasil the giant eagle agrees to help Wonder Woman and Ratatosk by handing over one of its eggs to them.
After sliding down Yggdrasil, Ratatosk convinces Wonder Woman to get inside the egg so they can trick Nidhogg and have Wonder Woman get the key to the Fortress of the Valkyries from inside its stomach.
Later, Ratatosk presents Nidhogg with the eagle egg. As he does so Ratatosk mentions that that the eagle ate Wonder Woman. Nidhogg eats the eagle egg whole. Afterwards Nidhogg mentions that Yggdrasil continues to weaken with each passing day and he will soon be free so that Asgard can learn of its hunger. End of main story.
The Good: Wonder Woman #771 doesn’t move the plot of Diana Prince in Asgard very much. Instead, the focus of this issue is to place you in the same spot Diana finds herself in as we are learning about Asgard and how things work on Valhalla alongside her. It’s not the normal superhero storytelling that we are used to getting from a DC Comic book which I appreciate.
Leaving it up to the reader to discover alongside Diana as to what is going on has made every piece of information that Michael W. Conrad and Becky Cloonan reveal something you dig into. They are doing a lot of work to establish how the DC Universe version of Asgard works differently from Marvel and other tellings of the Norse mythology. We see that specifically with how both Thor and Odin are presented. With Thor we aren’t really presented with a heroic version of the character. Rather, this version of Thor is simply a warrior who just likes to fight and mead. He is unconcerned with anything else. Which could very well just be this version of the character but also speaks to how Thor, Wonder Woman, Siegfried, and all the warriors on Valhalla are stuck fighting day after day. Having been doing this for as long as he has Thor likely just got used to the routine that there is some form of Stockholm syndrome with the character.
This is something that Odin seems to hint when talking with Diana at a later point in Wonder Woman. Odin himself is not the same regal All-Father we normally know him to be. This version of Odin came across more Loki-like. The choice in dialogue by Conrad and Cloonan that we are still given the idea that Odin knows more about what is going on than he reveals to Wonder Woman. Why Odin acted in the way he does adds to the greater mystery of what exactly is happening in this story.
All of this works well to add to how Wonder Woman is figuring things out as she is going. With her foggy memories and visits into the purgatory-like realm its clear that there is a bigger reason why Wonder Woman ended up in Asgard. There seems to be a greater conflict with the Gods that could very well tie into the events at the end of Infinite Frontier #0 where Darkseid killed all of The Quintessence.
Conrad and Cloonen slowly show us that Wonder Woman has possibly grown stronger with how she was able to recognize that she could use one of the ropes in Dr. Psycho’s forge as a Lasso of Truth. This along with Dr. Psycho’s appearance on Asgard further emphasizes how there is a greater power that is impacting Wonder Woman’s journey.
Ratatosk also continues to be a standout character as Wonder Woman’s partner in this story. It was good to see that Ratatosk is genuinely helping Wonder Woman out rather than just betraying her to Yggdrasil. Ratatosk has add some light heartedness to the story with his dialogue. At the same time, Ratatosk knowledge of Asgard and Yggdrasil continues to come in handy as he is the one to come up with the plan to trick Nidhogg. This points to there being more to Ratatosk than we even know. This question around Ratatosk’s motives along with how Asgard and Olympus are possibly connected to what is going on with Wonder Woman makes things interesting for how things will go moving forward.
Travis Moore’s artwork continues deliver great looking artwork. He gives this version of Asgard a good mix of clean snowy look with Valhalla that is complimented with the seediness of how Yggdrasil and Nidavellir are designed. Having these different setting makes the world of Asgard feel bigger even if don’t see Wonder Woman go that far. The action is also well done to show the speed and power that Wonder Woman shows off with how she deals with the Murk Eleves.
The Young Diana back-up story is a nice change of pace to give us a more light hearted story. The story is doing a good job of presenting how different Diana was as a kid compared to the adult we are used to seeing. This Young Diana story could very well spinoff into its own series targeted like the Teen Titans Go and other titles DC has published targeted towards a younger demographic.
The Bad: Not everything about Wonder Woman #771 works as well as intended. While we are presented with the idea that whatever is going on in Asgard is a giant conflict the scale doesn’t always appear on screen. We are really only shown Wonder Woman, Odin, and Thor in this issue. Outside of that we aren’t shown the scale of the battles going on anymore.
Showing the battlefield once again with Thor in the middle would’ve helped get over Wonder Woman’s current mission. Without showing that we don’t really know how desperate things are right now. Which ends up taking away the sense of urgency that the story tries to present as Wonder Woman having in her search for the Valkyries.
Overall: The mystery around why Diana ended up in Asgard and what is actually going on around her was a good continuation of the story started in the previous issue. Michael W. Conrad and Becky Cloonan add to the world by bringing in more classic elements from Asgard and giving them a DC Universe spin to make them standout. It all adds to you as the reader questioning what is next in this story.
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