Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wonder Woman in "The Angle Menace"

Here's another Super Sugar Crisp minicomic from 1980, this one featuring Wonder Woman in "The Angle Menace."

In this story, Angle Man steals an Egyptian stone tablet from a museum because that's the kind of thing that DC supervillains steal.

I have to say, "The Angler" is a pretty dumb name for Angle Man's weapon. Why not just "Angle Gun"? And what exactly does this weapon do? Sure, it opens up triangle-shaped portals and bends stuff, but it also shoots blasts that aren't particularly angular and circumvents alarm systems. I think it exceeds the purview of the gimmick.

I don't really get the sense that Angle Man has wholly committed to his gimmick. Or, at the very least, he tapped it out long ago, relying on more vaguely defined geometrically based crimes. In fact, he's a pretty lame villain overall, but that seems to be par for the course with Wonder Woman. Her rogues gallery begins with Cheetah and ends with Dr. Psycho. If you have to go three deep, you get Angle Man, and at that point, the barrel's bottom is scraped. Of course, the creators of these minicomics needed villains that could be handily defeated in about 30 panels, so the inclusion of Angle Man makes sense here.

Following the robbery, Wonder Woman is called in to investigate, and she takes one look at the stone tablet and quickly figures out Angle Man's plan.
That is kind of a show-offy way to exit.

Wonder Woman's invisible jet takes her to Egypt, where she catches Angle Man in the act of stealing a pyramid:

I see what Wonder Woman is trying to do there, using parallelism to equate Tuk-Hotep with Angle Man, but isn't it a bit of a stretch to call Angle Man "greatest of super-villains"? Maybe it's just PR. If she says it enough, maybe people will starting thinking he's a real threat.

Angle Man then fires some decidedly nonangular blasts at Wonder Woman, which she deflects with her Amazon bracelets while also explaining that she is deflecting the blasts with her Amazon bracelets.

We also get a sense here about how ridiculous Angle Man's plan is. He's stealing the pyramid to "loot it at [his] leisure." What? This seems simultaneously lazy and inefficient. And where is he going to keep this pyramid while he gets around to looting it for treasure? I can tell him from my own experience with projects that I would eventually get around to--it's just going to collect dust in his garage.

Clearly sensing that defeat is inevitable after his stupid angle gun is destroyed, Angle Man tries to make his escape by distracting Wonder Woman with a falling pyramid.
Once again, Wonder Woman helps the reader along by explaining exactly what she is doing in these panels.

Finally, Wonder Woman messes up Angle Man's ride, Kool-Aid Man style:

Wonder Woman misses an opportunity here to close the deal with a humorous and demeaning quip. I would have gone with, "That was 'a cute' attempt to escape, but now you're going to jail." Or, "You would have to be pretty obtuse if you thought you could get away with this." Or, "You thought you had the right angle, but it turned out to be all wrong!" Or, "Multiply one-half the base times the height, and the answer is some serious jail time!"


Naked Bunny with a Whip said...

So, uh, we never find out what Angle Man was after, I guess?

If this story happened today, it would be a two-parter and involve at least three gruesome civilian fatalities.

Anonymous said...

Dr. K's commentary on WW in "TAM" helped me understand the central problem with Ahab's Wife, quite probably the worst book I've ever read: the narrative keeps telling you what the story means, but the story keeps telling you it doesn't mean what the narrative says it means.

Thanks for the most instructive explication since Danny Drennan's Weekly Wrap Up of 90210 circa 1996.