Mad Adversary

June 7, 2004

Wonder Woman #202: Leaks
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Stephen Sadowski

By Avi Green

Veronica Cale, the pharmacy researcher from Dallas who’s sworn to take down princess Diana of Themyscira, whether by media defamation or even deadly force, is now reeling in anger at the abortive attempt to use Doctor Psycho as a weapon, and now is trying to come with plan B, and we also get to know her motives for wanting to see Diana destroyed.

Rucka, aside from having come up with a line that I found brilliant in the 198th issue, has here done another good job in delving into what it is that’s driving the decidedly very mentally insane for vengeance Veronica Cale to want to defame our beloved Amazon princess. She was the daughter of a blue-collar woman who’d earned some of her living working in a strip bar in Dallas, and had been the mistress of a married bigshot who hung out there in his spare time. He’d later made her pregnant, and soon afterwards threw her out of his life, and she’d taken to working in being a janitor in order to support her daughter when she was growing up. Worse still, her mother later became seriously ill when she was in her late teens and getting ready for college, and while Cale managed to persuade the bigshot who’d used her mother to pay for medical bills, she passed away some time later.

She certainly is more than a bit mentally off balance, to say the least, percieving Diana as naive, when that is but a mere perception, and aside from not being the fool that Cale apparently wants to make her out to be, while she may have born to royalty, it was royalty via tragedy, given what kind of hell the god of strength Heracles and his army put the Amazons through centuries before. As one of her victims here argues, her hatred is irrational and illogical, and is akin to the jealousy she harbors towards Diana.

The thing that impresses me most about the story is that it's almost like a comment on the enemies of FOX News and Australian businessman Rupert Murdoch, owner of both that and 20th Century Fox film corporation, the parent company of the news division.. In other words, Cale is in the role of such a figure as LA Times editor John S. Carroll, and Diana is in that of Murdoch (or Roger Ailes, the FOX News manager).

While previous artist Drew Johnson did some splendid work here, Sadowski’s is even better, ditto the cover artist.

2012 Update: I no longer stand by this review. I've since written off this story as pretentious.

Copyright 2004 Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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