Wonder Woman #7 Review: A Thoroughly Unnecessary Detour

Wonder Woman and Superman go to the mall in Wonder Woman #7.

In any ongoing comic book series, it is natural to have a one-off issue. It's necessary from time to time to have a moment between arcs where the characters and the readers themselves get a break. It's space to add a bit of color and some context, or  to offer a nice chapter or side quest when a story is otherwise heavy or difficult. Wonder Woman #7 is just that issue and, while the timing of the issue is well-placed (the previous issue saw a dramatic turning point in Wonder Woman's conflict with the Sovereign), the story itself feels out of sequence. Perhaps more problematically, it also reads as being largely out of character for both Wonder Woman and Superman, who joins her on what feels like a low-budget buddy cop, rom-com mash-up trying too hard to be something else.

Wonder Woman #7 sees Wonder Woman and Superman meeting up far from earth at the biggest shopping mall in the galaxy not because there's a crime to solve or conflict to handle but because they are trying to find a present for a man who has everything – Batman. Yes, this issue is already setting out to be a discount version of another DC Comics story, but it is what it is. The issue is largely spent with the pair wandering the mall debating what to get their dear friend, going from store to store unable to find just the right thing. This occurs while glossing over Wonder Woman's current challenges adding a light tie-In to current issues. There's an encounter with an alien who wants to take out Superman that is quickly handled, the appearance of a certain 5th-dimensional imp, and even a mani-pedi before the duo ultimately decide a gift from the heart is the best gift of all.

It's an okay issue, overall. It has its charms, but those charms can't disguise it for what it is. It's filler and it's not especially well-crafted filler. First, the issue is one bad dad joke or poorly assembled gag after another. It feels, at times, like King took every bad sitcom gag he could think of and taped them together to construct the story and never bothered to remove the tape. 

There's also the issue of how King writes Superman or Wonder Woman. Something that has been consistent in Wonder Woman thus far is the poor characterization of Diana. How she interacts with the world and herself is consistently off but it is especially off here. There's a moment early in the issue where an egregiously exaggerated misogynistic alien antagonizes Wonder Woman and her response is decidedly un-Wonder Woman like. Later in the story, when faced with an immature and buffoonish Superman, she behaves like a tired and stern parent. It's odd on its face and simply doesn't work.

However, what does work is the softness of the ending and the understated emotional response Batman has to receving his gift. That, at least, feels right. 

Artwise, Guillem March does an alright job with the issue. Sampere is a tough act to follow on Wonder Woman, but March's style is a good fit for a mall day and helps to elevate the story even amidst its narrative weaknesses.

Wonder Woman #7 isn't an issue that illustrates Tom King's potential as a writer. It tries at being a fun riff on "For the Man Who Has Everything, which doesn't work on its surface, but struggles even further with poor characterization. The idea of a fun mall romp between two-thirds of the Trinity sounds good in theory, but it requires so much more to make that story worthwhile. Maybe this one was meant to be an online shopping trip.

Published by DC Comics

On March 19, 2024

Written by Tom King

Art by Guillem March

Colors by Arif Prianto

Letters by Clayton Cowles

Cover by Daniel Sampere and Tomeu Morey