Wonder Woman ’77 Meets The Bionic Woman #5 – Attack of the Fembots!
Wonder Woman ’77 Meets The Bionic Woman #5
Written by Andy Mangels
Art by Judit Tondora
Colors by Roland Pilcz
Letters by Kathryn S. Renta
Edited by Matt Idelson
Published by Dynamite/DC
The creative team of writer Andy Mangels and artist Judit Tondora, along with colorist Roland Pilcz have for the past four issues of this crossover given us a ton of treats both visually and narratively. Wonder Woman ’77 Meets The Bionic Woman has at different times been heartwarming, charming, hilarious, fun and exciting.
Reading through it one can’t help but fall in love all over again with both Diana Prince and Jaime Sommers. With the cliffhanger at the end of the last issue they pulled the rug out from under the reader’s feet and reminded us all that anything can happen, that no hero is perfect (or invulnerable) and despite the lighter tone of the story at times there are real stakes involved.
The mustache twirling and evil plotting of Castra comes to fruition as they now invade Paradise Island with the aid of an army of Fembots. This campy description doesn’t do justice to the fact that this issue reads more seriously than previous ones but does so in a natural way that isn’t too jarring of a tonal shift. The heightened tension and suddenly serious stakes do not negate anything that has happened before, it just makes those moments more precious and the threat to our characters more dire and real.
While previous issues have often taken a minute to breath, to enjoy a quieter character moments, to dwell on something poetic, this issue is wall to wall action. This chapter has a decidedly frantic quality with the battle seemingly happening on all fronts with numerous characters.
The symbolism here is obvious but still poignant in that we have the lush, natural and well…feminine world of the Amazons being attacked and potentially overrun by a mechanical soulless robotic army. The robot being perhaps the best oppositional symbol to what the world of Diana and Paradise Island represents with Jaime Sommers being the one “in-between” the two worlds and the perfect combination of both.
This issue is more about Sommers and her chance to shine as a character (and fembot butt kicker!) more so than Diana. Mangels uses this opportunity to show why the Bionic Woman is every bit the equal of Wonder Woman in battle and in will power. Culminating in Jaime’s acceptance into the world of the Amazons with her very own feminum power bracelets and battle armor.
The dizzying action set pieces demands much of artist Tondora, who at times seems hard pressed to convey in adequate detail the demands required of the script. But Tondora, like our besieged heroines knows when and where to make it count. Sommers concern over Diana, the attack of Max the bionic dog, and the admittedly comedic smashing of fembot heads (love the googly eyes) are all beautifully rendered. And closing the issue is a lovely and iconic mirror image conversation between Jaime and Diana that showcases Tondora’s strengths as well as reminding us what this book is really all about – the touching sisterhood between these two characters.
No issue of this crossover would be complete without some abstruse Easter eggs from Mangels and while I won’t spoil all of them I was thrilled to see the Purple Ray and Transformation Island. Both concepts that go back to the earliest days of Wonder Woman comic canon with the Purple Ray first being shown in the retelling of Diana’s origin in WW #1 and Transformation Island several issues later in #4. both from 1940
Mangels and Tondora rev up the action and tension but never lose track of what has made this series so special – the emotionally driven storytelling, the friendship between the two main characters and the joyous love of their respective canons.