Wonder Woman: The Contest By William Messner-Loebs

Even though this is the next trade after Destiny Calling, I guess a whole bunch of issues happened in between these 2 collections? Which is a bummer because, as I said, I was interested in the continuation of the stories started in Beauty and the Beasts (volume 3, issues 15-19) which didn't get touched on in Destiny Calling (volume 4, issues 20-24). It's also jarring, because this opens in the aftermath of clearly some major events. [This volume collects issues 90-93.]

In this volume, Messner-Loebs retcons a bunch of the origin story (Diana couldn't use her powers on the island, the competition for who would be the emissary to Patriarch's world was done without the competitors in masks -- and mostly without clothes ... why you gotta be like this, comics illustrators?) which was particularly jarring, having read volume 1 of this series literally 2 days ago.

The idea that Hippolyta (who was skeptical of opening up Paradise Island to men in the first place) would be disappointed and frustrated that Diana has not done more to teach men the way of peace is understandable, but it's only been months in Diana's time (versus ten years in Hippolyta's time, because dimensional rift and magic spells) since the two of them last checked in with each other, so her frustration seems a bit excessive. And from there the story turns Hippolyta into an increasingly unlikeable character (I literally kept thinking we would find out she was possessed or someone else in disguise or something) -- also retconning Heracles' assault on the Amazons toward that end.

At least it reads quickly?

Also, 1563891948 Bienvenida Wonder Woman al estilo de dibujos de los 90. Lo más cercano al Image o Marvel con personajes posando y siluetas perfectas. El tomo se resume en el apartado gráfico de la mano de Mike Deodato se daba a conocer en las grandes ligas, dibujaría en esos momentos a Thor y los Avengers para Marvel, editorial más afín con su estilo.
Por lo demás es la despedida de William Messner-Loebs con Diana perdiendo su derecho a ser Woman Woman en manos de una nueva amazona llamada Artemisa, con esa personalidad bien de su época donde la violencia prevalecía sobre la razón.
Borran toda la bondad y buen hacer de la reina Hipolita y la reemplazan por una persona egoista y con secretos. Eso más una guerra de bandas, Chetah, Circe, el Joker y muchas splash page.

Asombra como se pasó de toneladas de letras en los tomos de George Perez a todo lo contrario. 1563891948 I read this last year in the new collected edition Wonder Woman by Mike Deodato which collects #90-100, #0, #85.

I have really mixed feelings about this story. Purely looking at the plot, it's actually not a terrible idea. It's actually kind of cool. This is right around the same time when Doomsday killed Superman, and Bane broke Batman's back (alliteration), putting him out of commission. So it makes sense to then have something happen to Wonder Woman.

While the idea is pretty good, the execution fell flat. I did overall enjoy it, but I recognise the flaws it has. For starts, the artwork. I did really like the colouring but the drawings were just cringe. They were just really offensive and oversexualised. It looked like if Playboy got into the comic business. Artemis is depicted as having a tiny torso with double Ds and giraffe legs. Diana's thighs are very long, while her lower legs are shorter. It's clear what Deadato was trying to emphasise. There's also a lot of side-boob, just really degrading to the character. But, if you can get passed that, then there's the plot.

So again, I'm not entirely opposed to the plot, I think it's interesting and made sense in light of what was happening to the other members of the trinity around the same time. Diana returns to Themyscira only to find that her mother Hippolyta is very disappointed in the lack of progress she's made in man's world. She then decides to have a new contest to pick a new Wonder Woman. This is where Artemis comes in. Artemis competes in the contest and her and Diana are basically the two front runners. In the end however, Diana slips and falls, enabling Artemis to win the contest. Diana is then stripped of her title and Artemis becomes the new Wonder Woman. This was actually really a frustrating story to read in ways. Especially since Artemis doesn't understand what it means to be WW at all and how to bring peace to man's world. Artemis is a ready, fire, aim kind of person and ends up being a really destructive Wonder Woman. And she's also a huge bitch to Diana. Diana also returns to man's world and starts her own operation in a new costume (which makes her look like a biker-stripper) and a new title.

The fact that Artemis was able to beat Diana also doesn't make much sense. Artemis was the best of the Bana-Mighdall Amazons which means she's basically like a lower-tier to mid-tier regular Amazon. This is explained (poorly) by the fact that Diana doesn't have her superpowers when she's on Themyscira. But she's still the best Amazon. I guess Diana had relied on her powers too much while Artemis was hitting the gym everyday. John Byrne later retcons this and makes it even worse with some stupid spell that Magala cast on Diana on behalf of Hippolyta, making it so that Artemis drains away Diana's strength, speed, and ability when she's near her, which is even more stupid, but very fitting of Bryne's run.

Anyway, it was an entertaining story, but very frustrating and felt kind of unnecessary. I feel like it could have been really good if it was done better. The plot is promising and a somewhat cool idea, but it wasn't done properly. The writing isn't that great. The dialogue is very average and the execution just wasn't there.

Rating: 5/10. 1563891948 Oh, 90's Wonder Woman. Never change.

The Contest, like its successor The Trial of Artemis, is a frustrating blend of good ideas with overtly baffling execution. I liked the new status quo of Antiope's Amazons living on Themyscira and the resulting tensions between both groups of Amazons, as well as the premise of Diana losing the mantle of Wonder Woman. Unfortunately, the means of accomplishing these story beats involve messy pacing and retcons that drag Hippolyta's character through the mud. To the book's credit, Artemis is established as a potentially worthy candidate for the Wonder Woman mantle, and her interactions with Diana are mostly enjoyable. Diana's genuine interest in Antiope's Amazons regardless of her sisters' prejudice is classic Diana, and I wish we'd had more time to flesh out Antiope's faction.

I understand Mike Deodato Jr was something of a fan-favorite artist on this title when it was coming out. While I respect that other people enjoy his work, I don't share the same admiration. The proportions are all over the place (especially with characters' legs), the women in this volume have pencil-thin waists, and there are occasions where Diana's butt is bent at such an angle that it nearly touches her back. Credit where it's due, I enjoyed Patricia Mulvihill's colors, but I wouldn't say they're exceptional here.

Arguably the lowest point for me was the retcons made to the Amazons's banishment. I'm fine with new creative teams making changes to the canon, but it's clear Messner-Loebs wanted to build off of what George Pérez had already established, and the things he tweaked weren't my cup of tea. Hippolyta has gone through some drastic changes over the years, but I felt these twisted her in a particularly dissatisfying direction.

I will say this - reading The Contest made for an entertaining look at this odd era for Wonder Woman, and I at least enjoyed that aspect of the experience. That said, unless you want this particular flavor of 90's excess, you should skip this. 1563891948 The only redeeming thing about this volume was the introduction of Artemis of Bana-Mighdall. Her relationship with Diana was good!

The rest of story was awful. The art was sexist because all the female characters were oversexualised. I hate the skimpy outfits the Amazons wore while they were participating in the contest. The Amazons of Bana-Mighdall were also whitewashed. The complete retcon of Hippolyta and Antiope's history was unacceptable. Hippolyta would NEVER betray her Amazon sisters like that. Hippolyta deserved better than this character assassination!!! 1563891948

William Messner-Loebs · 6 Review

After winning a contest of physical and mental challenges, Princess Diana was elected to go to Patriarch's World to teach them the Amazon ways as the super-heroine Wonder Woman. But years later, Diana's mother is unsatisfied with her limited progress to bring an end to all acts of hate on Earth, so she institutes another contest to name a new champion. Attempting to defend her position, Diana enters the games but in the end is bested by the arrogant and powerful Artemis. Now, a defeated and dejected Diana can only watch as Artemis, a skilled warrior with a penchant for violence, journeys to Man's World as the new Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman: The Contest

Like many mid-90s comics, the art here is a love it or leave it type of thing. Everyone looks like they are on massive doses of steroids, everything is hyper sexual, and there is generally a lot more blood gushing than in many other eras of mainstream comics. I was a teen when this kind of style was prevalent, so I feel that it has a certain nostalgic charm. I wouldn't blame anyone for disagreeing, though.

As for the story, it is pretty terrible. I guess whoever was making the decisions at the time felt that Wonder Woman comics needed a big change. That rarely works in comics, and it certainly doesn't work here. Is the New Wonder Woman even a footnote in comic book history? I know I didn't know anything about it until I picked this up. 1563891948 This is the first graphic novel I've read since Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History which was much better. I'm participating in Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge 2017, and since this requirement was the most repulsive I decided to get it over with. Well, comic books, pardon me, graphic novels have changed since I read them as a young girl. There's more violence and the language includes profanity. On the upside - and there are a couple - the English is grammatically correct. Wonder Woman is strong, independent, and her goal is to protect women and children from violence and destruction. If you have to read a graphic novel, this one is not a bad choice, but I can't recommend it. 1563891948 The title of Wonder Woman is at risk!

This TPB collects Wonder Woman #90-93 & #0.

Creative Team:

Writer: William Messner-Loebs

Illustrator: Mike Deodato


Themyscira Island reappears after an absence of several months due to the dark magic of Circe, but although in real time only a few months passed, for the Amazons trapped in another dimension have passed 10 years, and not only that, now the Island of Themyscira is forcibly shared by another tribe of Amazons, the Bana-Mighdall.

Princess Diana is happy to reunite with her mother, Queen Hippolyta, however, Hippolyta is very disappointed with Diana as she considers that the princess has failed to fulfill her mission to achieve peace in the Men’s World, So Queen Hippolyta decrees that a new contest must be held and whoever wins it will be the new Wonder Woman.

Although Diana is back in her home, Themyscira Island, she has never felt more isolated and no longer knows who to trust, since Queen Hippolyta conspires behind her back with other Amazons to fail in the contest, as well as the Amazon Artemis, of the Bana-Mighdall tribe, tells her stories about the Amazons’ past that Diana never heard before and now she does not know the truth anymore.

The Wonder Woman title is at stake and Diana's life will never be the same!

1563891948 If you must read this, do yourself a favor: do not, under any circumstances, read it right after a Wonder Woman book by a writer like Perez, Rucka, or Simone. You know, a book that has good dialog, respect for the characters and their histories, and art that is neither hideously ugly nor exploitative. I'd hate it just based on the art alone. What are they wearing? Especially offensive and jarring when compared to Perez putting the Amazons in stylized chitons. And that's aside from the grotesque poses the artist uses that I guess are supposed to be sexy but really just look like somebody has a very vague idea of how the human spine works. The story is based on a kernel of a good idea but it's so poorly executed that it doesn't matter how good it looked in the planning stages. 1563891948 Fun story with gorgeous, sexy artwork. Very '90's. 😃 1563891948