It's something of an understatement that a lot of people didn't like Wonder Woman: Amazons Attack (and some of them even let writer Will Pfeifer know about it). I just read it, and I understand the outcry -- there's a lot wrong with this story. But if you ignore those shortfalls -- and I think Amazons Attack is a story where it's possible to ignore the drawbacks and enjoy it nonetheless -- Amazons Attack actually has a lot going for it on a cosmic, summer-blockbuster scale.
Before the naysayers jump on: I understand the Amazons would likely never act this way. I understand the violence here was considerably gratuitous. I understand Wonder Woman does a lot of standing around and being told what to do by Batman. But man alive, they decimate Washington, D.C. Air Force One goes crashing to the ground. Hippolyta stands in the ruins of the White House, one wall completely gone, and screams for her daughter. Sometimes when I read comic books, I'm looking for strong characterization and intellectual debate, but sometimes, I just want to see the Justice League fight bad guys and watch things blow up. And in the "things blow up" category, Amazons Attack is bar none.
Pfiefer does a good job with the plot he's dealt. Yes, the Amazons act out of character, and yes, never in a million years would they trust the witch Circe. But in terms of the plot, it makes sense -- the Amazons have been brainwashed. I especially liked the final sequence, where Batman, Supergirl and Wonder Girl, Hippolyta, even the Amazons Phillipus and Artemis who didn't intervene, are all called to task for their role in the battle. Amazons Attack is an ill-conceived lemon, no question, but it's obvious Pfeifer tries his best to make lemonade.
Amazons Attack is also a great Justice League story. Yes, Wonder Woman is largely ineffectual here, and yes, Red Tornado and Hawkgirl don't get speaking roles, and yes, Vixen only appears somewhere toward the end. But in a story that mainly consists of a lot of fighting, it's a thrill to see the Justice League fighting in the background together. Pfeifer also throws in a bunch of nice Superman and Superman/Batman scenes; with art by Pete Woods, Pfeifer's Superman looks like he came straight out of Superman Returns.
Admittedly, Amazons Attack represents some of the worst attributes of the crossover genre, and the collection only makes this more apparent. There were so many crossovers connected to Amazon Attacks that each of the six chapters of the hardcover requires a text page explaining what's happening elsewhere. Indeed, some of the more integral scenes, including Wonder Woman's confrontation with the goddess Athena, appear in a crossover issue instead of in this book. Though Amazons Attack has an ending of sorts, the epilogue serves to turn the story on its head in service of Final Crisis; this is hardly a story so much as an advertisement for another story.
The bottom line is, I understand all the negatives about this collection, and I just don't care. Final Crisis is in the air, and I've got crossover fever. The heroes of the DC Universe come together over the skies of Washington, D.C in a big, monstrous battle royale, and I couldn't be happier. It's Amazons Attack -- buy it, shut off your brain, and let it just wash all over you. The collected Final Crisis can't get here soon enough.
[Contains full covers, more text pages than you can shake a stick at, Pete Woods' sketchbook]
Speaking of the Justice League, we're on now to Justice League: The Lightning Saga, and then we'll check back in with Bart Allen just in time for ... oh, you know. Thanks for reading!