Wonder Woman 58: Discussion

by Spencer Irwin and Drew Baumgartner

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

Spencer: Just last week I dug a bit into some of the weaknesses of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps’ space-cop, “lawful good” approach to justice, and now, here comes Wonder Woman 58 to provide a hero on the exact opposite side of Hal’s coin, one who follows her own justice rather than any one set of laws. I’m definitely more on Diana’s side than Hal’s here, to be sure, but G. Willow Wilson and Cary Nord don’t let their hero (and her worldview) go unexamined either. This issue seems prepared to explore numerous approaches to justice, and it makes the full scope of its grand ambitions clear when it asks the hardest question of all: “Is there any such thing as a just war?” Continue reading

Smash-cuts Break Up the Storytelling in Outer Darkness 1

by Drew Baumgartner

Outer Darkness 1

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

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before!

Star Trek

Not a lot of fiction gives you a mission statement quite as clearly as Star Trek. In just a few sentences (and fragments), the opening credits establish the where, what, and why of what of an entire universe, providing fuel for decades of new iterations and reimaginings. The mission statement for Outer Darkness is a bit more complicated, building on what writer John Layman calls “dramas set on spaceships” (in the grand tradition of Star Trek), while also folding in “outer space sci-fi horror,” for which he has charmingly few examples. The result is something obviously more difficult to pin down than that clear logline of Star Trek, but while this issue doesn’t quite cover its entire mission, it absolutely articulates its storytelling sensibilities, as Layman and artist Afu Chan make some distinctive choices to broadcast their tone. Continue reading