The third installment in DC and Young Animal’s crossover event, Milk Wars, hits shelves today… and things are getting weird in this one-shot universe. Shade The Changing Girl/Wonder Woman Special is the third double-sized issue in the Milk Wars event, which brings together the Justice League (from the DC universe) and Doom Patrol (from the DC imprint Young Animal universe), following on from JLA/Doom Patrol Special and Mother Panic/Batman Special, which launched the event over the last two weeks.
The Milk Wars event brings together heroes from both comic universes to battle RetCon, an evil interdimensional corporation with the ability to change the stories of the universe. RetCon has got their hands on DC’s Earth, and is using the radioactive milk of psychic cows to change everything, washing out our favorite heroes and turning them into bland, palatable versions of themselves to appeal to the broadest market… so that RetCon can sell off the universe to the highest bidder! It’s up to Doom Patrol and other Young Animal heroes to free DC’s finest from the thrall of Milk and help them save the universe from RetCon themselves – and this week’s issue may be the weirdest yet, as Wonder Woman becomes Wonder Wife.
Shade The Changing Girl/Wonder Woman Special sees Shade split into several versions of herself, each with power over a single emotion (Inside Out style). The change that comes over Wonder Woman herself is just as massive, as she has forgotten all about her time as a true superhero or fighting in the wars of Earth, and believes only that after she met Steve Trevor, she married him. Now, her ‘heroics’ lie in showing the world how to be a ‘feminine hero’ and good wife: cooking, cleaning, and being quiet and submissive (everything, in fact, that Wonder Woman is not). Things get extra weird when Wonder Wife goes from bathing in Milk to hearing her ‘baby’ cry, and reaching out to breastfeed a swaddled infant – who turns out to be a dustbuster. It seems that only the Shade who controls Happiness is aware that something is very, very wrong.
The rest of the issue enjoys going down the Wonder Wife rabbit hole, as Wonder Wife goes on her own ‘women’s rally’, where she uses Shade to show the women of the world which emotions are appropriate to feel, and why. There are plenty of references to recent real world events and campaigns, too, like signs that read “Nevertheless, She Remained Quiet And Stayed In Her Place,” “Ask Me About My Feminine Agenda” and “My Body, Your Choice.” It’s a dark look at the concept of bland and appealing femininity and conformity of emotion and action, and like the rest of the Milk Wars crossover event, it’s going to have some serious appeal to people who want to see their comics getting extremely strange.
As in JLA/Doom Patrol and Mother Panic/Batman, the double-sized issue wraps up with the Young Animal character helping the DC hero break free from the disturbing influence of Milk, and remembering who they are. Wonder Woman returns, ready to do battle against RetCon (and trade in her oven mitts for her trademark bracelets). Milk Wars wraps up over the next two weeks with Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye/Swamp Thing, followed by the final team up of Doom Patrol/JLA, as everyone joins forces to save the universe from the influences of RetCon and Milk.
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