Review by Frank Plowright
The opening chapter of A Twist of Fate covers several bases. Most prominently David Finch redesigns Wonder Woman’s costume. His design is overly fussy, but far more practical than the bathing suit she’s worn for most of the time since the 1940s. A new enemy who’ll occupy most of the volume is also introduced and there’s a sweep around reconnecting with several elements hanging over from Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman.
Meredith Finch’s first outing on War-Torn was poor, really only saved by her husband’s dynamic art, but A Twist of Fate is an improvement, if still having poorly considered moments for the sake of story convenience. It’s surprising to discover the mythical fates, the three women who weave the destinies of every person, can be killed so easily, but what plays out from that is the viable idea of the gods being vulnerable, yet it’s eventually under-developed.
Artistically Finch brings out the dynamism of any given situation, although it’s funny to see him reviving the American comics tradition of presenting London as a place as mythical as Olympus in its own way. He goes to all the trouble of meticulously recreating the classic Routemaster double decker bus, yet the last of them was withdrawn from service in the mid-1980s. His wife plays her part by use of phrases dating back even further. Perhaps they might have thought to consult British artist Ian Churchill who fills in very effectively for a chapter of discovery.
The primary villain is Aegeus, well characterised as a whiny, self-entitled kid who believes his ancestral heritage going back thousands of years means he deserves to be numbered among the gods. He considers Wonder Woman is failing her duties when it comes to war, and he’s the ideal replacement. It’s contrasted with the experiences of Donna Troy, regretful about her previous behaviour resulting in countless deaths and seeking a form of redemption, and eventually leads to a discussion of why war is necessary, at least from the viewpoint of the gods.
Finch the writer is inexplicably keen on death without considering it’s the easy method of cheap shock, but A Twist of Fate is readable Wonder Woman. It delivers mystery, emotional tension and largely credible people, and it offers belated reasoning for the inexplicable behaviour of the Amazons in War-Torn, which is welcome. A closing chapter featuring old enemy the Cheetah is pleasingly drawn by Miguel Mendonça, and plays out an ethical conundrum. The quality curve is definitely up, and this run ends with Resurrection.