Despair in the Denouement in Wonder Woman 24

by Ryan Mogge

Wonder Woman 24

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

In a classical Greek tragedy, no matter whether they achieve their goals, the protagonists of a story end up worse off than they started. In Wonder Woman 24, everyone is at once successful and miserable. Greg Rucka focus on three women living in pain even after reaching their objectives.

After seeing her mother and being only a step away from Themyscria, Diana is distraught when she returns. Rucka indicates that Diana is not her usual self in the way that she carelessly leaves Cheetah behind. It wouldn’t necessarily be careless if a regular person did it, but Wonder Woman has set standards of empathy and kindness that even she cannot always live up to. When Etta calls her out, it only takes a moment before Diana is ready to take action. Even in her guilt, she is committed to making things right.

Then there is Dr. Veronica Cale, who chooses instead to wallow when her decade-long quest to help her daughter ends with Isabel in paradise. While nominally a successful outcome, Cale can only see their distance as a curse. She returns bitter, pushing away even her closest ally. Dr. Cyber’s response to Cale’s claim that it was “all for nothing” is heartbreaking.

Then Dr. Cyber, in turn, reverts into her pain. Cale doesn’t even look up until her only friend is gone. Another tragedy to toss on the pile. When Cheetah arrives to finish her off, it seems like it may be a blessing.

Dr. Minerva submitted to becoming Cheetah in order to protect her friends. That task complete, there is only pain left. In every panel, Cheetah’s eyes are bursting with tears of rage. Cheetah tries to fulfill one of Barbara Ann’s greatest wishes, but is rejected by Themyscira.

When Diana arrives, she calls her naive, but her face doesn’t lose it’s misery until the choke hold takes effect. For all her bluster about Cale embracing herself as the villain, there is a sense that Cheetah is trying to convince herself of the same. That glimmer of hope is what makes the end of the issue feel like things could be headed away from tragedy.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

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One comment on “Despair in the Denouement in Wonder Woman 24

  1. You would really hope that DC actually cared enough to respect Wonder Woman, this year of all years. They’ve just announced the new main writer for Wonder Woman, to write after the temporary filler they are doing after Rucka. Now, it is impossible to do something more distasteful than Rucka after the homophobic shit he pulled (after that, there is literally no Rebirth book that I wouldn’t rather read than Wonder Woman. Of all the shittiness Rebirth has had, Rucka managed to be the only writer I have actually lost respect for. I have the latest volume of Lazarus unread on my comixology account, and I keep finding excuses to read anything else other than fucking Rucka. And I used to love Rucka). But urgh, they came close

    After a movie that engaged the entire world (despite my issues with it, I will happily call it a good movie), they seem to be spitting on everything that people are engaging with. A story told by woman, centred on women? Of course not. It was probably unfair to think that Rebirth’s misogynistic editorial would let a woman write Wonder Woman in anything more important than a filler arc, but could you at least get a better writer than James Robinson? What was the last work of his that actually worked? When was the last time anyone actually loved the writing of a James Robinson book? As a writer, his name is basically a warning sign.
    And yeah, at this moment where Wonder Woman is being celebrated for being the superhero movie that finally tells stories about women, the comics are going to do a big story about Diana’s brother. Because apparently this is the right time to make a Wonder Woman story all about a man.

    At least Robinson hasn’t pulled any of the shit Rucka has yet. I guess that’s progress

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