DCAU #208: You Can't Cheetah an Honest Man!

IN THIS ONE... Cheetah's plot to absorb Wonder Woman's powers using a sacred dagger. In the back-up: Poison Ivy attempts to rob a charity cruise.

CREDITS: Written by Steve Vance, art by John Delaney and Ron Boyd; back-up written by Paul Dini, art by Bruce Timm.

REVIEW: Man, Steve Vance, you sure do like long titles AND bad Cheetah puns (one on the cover too)! I'm not even sure they make sense in the context of the story. But look, there's not all that much to this confrontation between Diana and Cheetah, largely because the magic dagger that's meant to steal the Amazon's powers is never used. That's a level of jeopardy that could have added a lot of tension to the story, but we never get there. Perhaps the time spent on characters like Mike the cop and the priest of the Cheetah goddess, who don't really make a big difference, could have been better used.

Still, there's some fairly good action between the two women, and it's the first time Gateway City felt to me like it was in Northern California. The redwood forest makes a good locale for the climax. The final page has a light touch that's appreciated, and Vance makes sure, as per the previous issue, that the heroine's origin is quickly recapped for new readers, which I'm sure a series like this had its fair share of. Still seems kind of slight though.
I don't know what the deal is with "Cruise to Nightmare", a Batman story that obviously belonged elsewhere as Vance, Delaney and Boyd normally took care of the back-up too, and it seems to be slight off-format (a squatter page). Something that was cut out of a Batman project relegated to the slush pile? Whatever the case may be, I like Poison Ivy's seaweed dragon - a neat idea - and you can't usually go wrong with the Dini/Timm team. But even more than the main story, it's very slight.

IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: Wonder Woman is wearing the costume John Byrne gave her in this era, with only two stars on the bottom, and she has the same supporting cast, i.e. Helena Sandsmark, who works in antiquities, and Mike Schorr, the cop; the story is set in Gateway City.

REREADABILITY: Medium - Set-up, fight, cute moment at the end. Both stories don't really provide more than that, but they're still quite readable.



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