Christmas With Wonder Woman (1989)
Christmas With the Super-Heroes #2 (Wonder Woman)
Words/Art – Eric Shanower
Colors – Tom McCraw
Editor – Mark Waid
On the Third Day of Christmas on Infinite Earths… in July, I head into some sorta uncharted territory (though not as uncharted as tomorrow’s offering will be!)… Wonder Woman! Never been a big Wonder Woman reader… though, for whatever reason (hoarding, mostly), I find myself with hundreds of comics bearing her name, I’ve never actually been able to get into her story.
Hopefully that fact won’t hinder my enjoyment of the story we’re about to share!
We open with Wonder Woman being stirred awake by a nightmare. Zeus keeps pushing “gifts” upon her… and, well… this clearly makes her uneasy. Worth noting, we do get a dead-Myndi sighting here. From here, we jump into the real world where Pastor Sharon SomethingorOther has arrived to celebrate the Holidays with the Kapatelis family. I’m at a bit of a disadvantage here. Not being much of a Wonder Woman reader, I can’t really say if these are long-standing characters.
We learn that Pastor Sharon is being cheated on by her husband… and is about to get a divorce. This is a big no-no in the Church. Divorcing Pastors have to be transferred to a new Congregation, and she’s just not sure she’s up for it. She’s considering returning to school, perhaps earning her Doctorate.
Just then, Vanessa Kapatelis bursts in the room, finally free from school for a couple weeks. She excitedly asks is Diana had arrived yet. Ya see, she’s a hyooge Wonder Woman fan… which, as mentioned, might be old-hat if you’re actually reading the Wonder Woman title.
We jump to the next morning, and Sharon is standing in the backyard collecting her thoughts. She is soon joined by Wonder Woman herself. They talk about their respective “duties”, and although they worship different Gods, understand and respect each other’s point of view. Wow, how very un-“current year”! To be fair, Sharon takes a little convincing that the Greek Gods are a “thing”, Diana doesn’t go so far as to prove it… but assures her that she chats them up all the time.
We join the gals for their Christmas Eve… they bake cookies, break bread, and listen to carolers. That night, Sharon is having trouble falling asleep… and so, she heads into the living room. There, she finds Wonder Woman lost in her own thoughts.
Diana shares with Sharon her own fears and feelings of inferiority when it comes to working for and with the Gods. Gotta remember, this is still very early in her post-Crisis career. She feels as though no matter how hard she fights for Peace, Love, and Truth… that nobody’s listening. Sharon assures her that the “hardest” work is the most important… which kinda sets off a light bulb in her own head.
We jump to Christmas Morning, where Sharon reveals that she will stick to her mission, and take the transfer to the new Congregation.
This was pretty good! I feel like if I were more well-read in post-Crisis (or any) Wonder Woman, I might’ve gotten a bit more out of it… but I don’t feel like it really hurt me to come in “fresh”.
What we have here is a couple of personal “crises” running parallel. I think it was Erikson who suggested (and I’m about to butcher this) that our development is predicated on crises. It’s how we deal with and overcome that makes us who we are moving forward. Here, both Sharon and Diana are faced with either change of… or adherence to “duty”. Both are very trepidatious about what’s to come, and their roles moving forward.
In coming together and sharing their insecurities, they are both able to find the strength to carry on. Sharon, ashamed that her husband had been fooling around with another woman in the Church… unsure if she can continue her “mission”. Diana, tasked with ever-so-much from friggin’ ZEUS… finds herself only seeing the futility of her calling. It’s pretty deep stuff, and I think it was handled quite well here.
There’s something to be said about coming-of-age stories occurring around Christmas. That’s the time of year when it feels like most anything is possible… at least if you ask me. I think placing this story during the Holidays really added a warm and familial element… which made it all the more special.
The story and art come to us from Eric Shanower… who, to be honest, I only know from Marvel’s “Oz” series-of-series’s that came out in the mid-2000’s. I was actually rather surprised to see his name on this story. He delivers a nice, personal story… and the art is really very good! Vanessa might look a little demented, and Diana might’ve looked like she was enjoying her Christmas Eve chat with Sharon a bit too much… but, still… I really dug it! It’s too bad we didn’t see more DC work from Shanower!
Overall, a nice story… and, one I’d recommend.
2 thoughts on “Christmas With Wonder Woman (1989)”
As the son of two Methodist ministers I particularly liked how being a woman of the faith was addressed and dealt with. It wasn't heavy handed, pandering, or off putting. That takes a deft hand. The art was also excellent. I've got to look for this book, I've enjoyed all the stories so far.
I agree on all fronts! Anytime religion is brought up in comics, I get a bit skittish that we're about to get "learned" a thing or two by some writer with an ax to grind. This was very respectful, and hearkened more to similarities than differences. Certainly not something I'd see happening during "current year"!