Posts Tagged ‘Liam Sharp’

Wonder Woman #19 Review: Back in Action

March 22, 2017

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It’s going to be an abbreviated review this week because your faithful reviewer is in the middle of an absolutely bananas week; so it goes, sometimes. We’ll still get to all the fun of the issue, just more succinctly. First, some good news: The reveal at the end of Wonder Woman #17 was everything we thought it was and Wonder Woman is totally back. The return of Ferdinand sparked her memory and she left the asylum to take on Godwatch. However, things went steadily downhill for her from there. We’ll get into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

Details of this issue will soon be revealed!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

So Wonder Woman’s joyful return quickly took a dark turn when she learned that Barbara Ann had given herself up to Veronica Cale and became the Cheetah again. She also learned that nearly everyone from the Picket was killed. Oh, and that several of her top villains are working together against her. It was a bevy of bad news. Plus Dr. Cyber called her a “self-righteous, arrogant, simplistic little airhead,” which was rude. Then the issue ended with Wonder Woman getting shot through the chest, so yeah. It was a rough twenty pages for our favourite heroine.

It wasn’t the most action packed issue, with a lot of it dedicated to Dr. Cyber’s bloviating, but there were some key developments. There was Wonder Woman’s return, of course, but Etta found Sasha Bordeaux as well, which could mean that another member of the team will be back in action soon. That’s good news, because they need all the help they can get.

There’s also some exciting developments on Themyscira. Initially, the Amazons are unsure if Diana is still alive or not, but the appearance of the Greek gods in their animal form, just as we saw them back in “Year One,” sparked hoped in everyone. My guess is that rather than Wonder Woman returning to her true home for the first time, Hippolyta and a delegation of Amazons may go find her first. Again, she needs all the help she can get, especially after how this issue ended.

The art for this issue was a bit hit and miss for me. Liam Sharp had some great moments; there’s a panel with Diana wearing a red cloak that is just gloriously detailed, for example. But Sharp did this sort of morphing thing with Dr. Cyber where her appearance was constantly shifting and it was a bit odd. Some of them looked cool, but some of them looked a bit messy and overdone. There was also one incarnation of her that was a full body shot where she had metallic balloon breasts for some reason; it reminded me of Cyber-Cat from Jim Balent’s Catwoman run, which is never the best thing to hark back to. Still, when Dr. Cyber looked cool, she looked really cool, and Laura Martin’s colours added a great mood and style to the pages, and to the book as a whole.

Overall, this was a decent issue, if not the best one the team’s done lately. It was more a table setter, bringing Diana back into the mix, moving some pieces around, and closing with a dramatic cliffhanger. You need to have issues like this from time to time, and it was still an enjoyable read. The Amazon bits in particular continue to be great, and Etta’s love for Barbara and her fury over losing her again was really powerful stuff. Things look like they’re going to get intense in the next few issues, and I’m looking forward to it.

Wonder Woman #17 Review: Free Your Minotaur

February 22, 2017

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Things remain bleak for Wonder Woman and the gang. Etta and Steve are on the lam, Barbara is in the clutches of Godwatch and Veronica Cale, and Diana doesn’t know who she is and remains in an asylum. While there is progress on one of those fronts in this second part of “The Truth,” there is a heartbreaking setback in another. All told, it is an issue about balance, about trading life for life and friend for friend, and in the end the gains and losses even out to leave the team no further ahead, except for one key element: Wonder Woman. It was a good issue and we’ll dig into it all momentarily, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I mean, if you’re reading this review then you’ve probably read the issue!

But if you haven’t look away!

I’m going to spoil it all!

So, balance. There was a lot going on in this issue, and it all felt like a scale tipping back and forth with each major action that ultimately ended up just as balanced at the end as it was at the beginning. Everything had its opposite, and Barbara Ann Minerva’s sacrifice was the lynchpin to it all.

Barbara’s been one of the most compelling character’s of this current run of Wonder Woman, and a key player in all four arcs thus far. Her transition from the villainous Cheetah to regaining her role as a trusted ally has been a great story, and her relationship with Etta only made the story better. She even got her own solo issue during “Year One” that dug into her backstory. I’m now very invested in Barbara, which is probably what Rucka wanted; he’s gotten us all attached to her so that this issue would hurt all the more. Veronica Cale forced her to become the Cheetah again in order to save her friends, a sad but noble moment that juxtaposed poignantly with the rest of the issue.

First, we got the return of an old friend, Ferdinand the minotaur from Rucka’s original run on Wonder Woman. Steve and Etta sought him out to help Diana, hoping that her seeing a long lost, friendly face might spur her memory and remind her of who she is. Plus it’s always good to have a minotaur on the team; I think he’ll prove useful in the months ahead. But this joyful return had to have its opposite: The loss of an old friend as Barbara returned to her Cheetah guise and gave up her newfound humanity.

Next up, Etta, Ferdinand, and Steve survived a serious attack from Colonel Maru’s troops. They got blasted with a minigun and explosions; Poison wasn’t screwing around. They made it out alive but, again, there had to be balance. Their lives were spared because Barbara gave up hers to become the Cheetah again. She’s not dead per se, but being the Cheetah means that her true self is buried as her animalistic urges take over.

Finally, it looks like bringing in Ferdinand did the trick. On the issue’s final page, Diana appears to recognize Ferdinand, which would be an excellent sign that she remembers she’s Wonder Woman and is set to return to her heroic role. However, opposites. The return of a hero in Wonder Woman had to be balanced with the return of a villain in the Cheetah. The parallels run deeper as well; both women were trapped in a prison of their own making because they chose to return to their pasts. Diana was mentally shattered because of her journey to Themyscira while Barbara was ensnared because she went back to Godwatch. Moreover, an old ally led to their transformations, with Ferdinand bringing back Wonder Woman and Veronica Cale bringing back the Cheetah. And, of course, all of this action was shown in back and forth panels over the last few pages to underscore the dichotomy of the situation.

All of these gains being countered with losses should leave the team in about the same bleak spot where they began the issue, but there’s one key factor here. Yes, while the return of Wonder Woman is tempered by the return of the Cheetah, if Wonder Woman is back for real then it’s a whole new ballgame. The Cheetah’s a decent villain, but Wonder Woman is an amazing superhero. The scales don’t quite balance; with Wonder Woman fully back, she and her allies clearly have the upper hand now and can begin to move against Godwatch instead of playing defense.

This was a solid issue all around, and “The Truth” continues to weave a compelling tale in ways “The Lies” never seemed able to. I also like that we keep checking in on Themyscira; the Amazons are clearly going to play a part at some point in this story, and I’m excited to see what it is. I’m hoping for a reunion more joyous and less damaging than Diana’s last attempt to return to her family.

Liam Sharp continues to employ different styles for each part of the story, and it’s working well. His Nicola Scott impression on Themyscira is fun, the grit he brings to Etta and Steve’s adventures is fitting, and the combination of clarity and confusion in Diana’s scenes is well done, though I will say that I find the cartoon snake a little goofy. I much preferred that one panel with the skeleton snake; that was way cooler. Laura Martin’s colors remain great, as always, and match each style well. And Jodi Wynne continues to excel with the lettering. This issue in particular had a lot going on in terms of distinctive word balloons and speech; the Amazon language, Ferdinand, the snake, and Dr. Cyber are all unique, and Wynne integrated them seamlessly into the book. She’s done stellar work on Wonder Woman all through this run.

So, Wonder Woman seems to be back? Final page reveals can be tricky, but this one seemed pretty clear. Woe to Godwatch if she’s returned to her full power. And fingers crossed that she can save Barbara and bring her back! If anyone can do it, it’s Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman #15 Review: “The Truth” Is Out There

January 25, 2017

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Today marks the beginning of “The Truth,” a new arc of Wonder Woman that picks up where “The Lies” left off and finds all of our heroes in various sorts of predicaments. Between the revelation that Diana’s memories of Paradise Island were false and Godwatch’s attack on the Picket, everything’s a mess for everyone right now. Add in the fact that Godwatch is a league of some of Wonder Woman’s most fearsome adversaries, and yeah, things are bad. Wonder Woman #15 sets the table for what Wonder Woman and her friends will be facing going forward, and it looks like it’s going to be quite the adventure. Let’s dig into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to discuss key plot points from this issue!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

Also, go read it! It’s good!

So this issue starts with Wonder Woman out of commission, housed in an asylum in England after the revelations about her memory shattered her psyche. Steve, Etta, and Barbara are on the lam after Picket was compromised and destroyed by Godwatch. No one’s in a good spot, and things go from bad to worse over the course of this issue, which was an interesting read that has me excited about where things are going moving forward.

There are dangers in so many areas right now. First, there’s a clear supernatural component going on. Diana’s mental fragility appears to be tied to her snake bite from way back in Wonder Woman #2, as underlined by both her vision/hallucination of a snake coming out of her arm and talking to her and the reappearance of the ominous tree that housed the snake on Themyscira. Something especially sinister is at work, as Hippolyta’s reaction to the tree shows. She was so alarmed that it had me wondering if she knew more about the tree and the snake then she’s letting on. It might just be that it’s the tree that nearly killed her daughter and so she’s being extra cautious, but Hippolyta’s been around for a long time, she knows a lot of things, and she’s been through a lot of stuff. There might be something deeper at play here, perhaps connected to the history of the Amazons.

Back home in America, Godwatch is after Steve, Etta, and Barbara. I love that the story is picking up on the romance between Etta and Barbara that we saw in “Year One” now that Barbara has left the Cheetah behind. They are super cute together. But that fun didn’t last for long. Barbara revealed a past link to Godwatch, and gave herself up to its soldiers to be taken in. She did so in order to allow Steve and Etta to escape and also presumably to get inside the organization and learn what she can about their plans. Etta trusts her, but Steve clearly doesn’t. We don’t yet know her connection to Godwatch, and after years of villainy he seems to be unwilling to put his faith in her yet. But I’m with Etta. Etta’s a good judge of character, and if she thinks Barbara’s on the up and up then I’ll have faith as well.

Speaking of Godwatch, it seems to not just be a team of Wonder Woman’s greatest foes, but a team of Wonder Woman’s greatest female foes. We’ve got Veronica Cale, Colonel Maru and Poison, Dr. Cyber, and hints that the Cheetah and Circe (I assume that’s who they meant when they mentioned “the witch”) are or have been a part of the group. It’s so much fun. I mean, not fun for Wonder Woman. She’s having a terrible time of it. But as a reader, Wonder Woman facing off against her most fearsome female foes is going to be a blast.

Adding even more fun to the book, the last page of the issue appears to be show the return of an old friend, Ferdinand. He’s a minotaur who worked at the Themysciran embassy during Rucka’s first run on Wonder Woman; he was the chef, and quickly became a fan favourite character, but he’s been benched since Rucka left. If it truly is Ferdinand, he’s either fallen on hard times or is laying low intentionally. Either way, there’s a story to be told here, and it’s going to be advantageous to the team to have a minotaur on board. There’s really no situation not improved by having a minotaur on your side, unless perhaps you have to maneuver through a tightly packed china shop.

Greg Rucka pulls together a lot of the strings he introduced in “The Lies” and “Year One” in this issue, picking up on plot points from each and uniting the two arcs into this new story moving forward. Liam Sharp returns after his work on “The Lies,” and his use of different styles mirrors this unification. On Themyscira, he’s clearly aiming for a Nicola Scott vibe, and while his art isn’t quite as lush and gorgeous as Nicola Scott’s, it’s a decent facsimile. With Diana, he continues his style from “The Lies,” and largely does the same with the villains, though there’s a harshness and lack of detail in those pages that makes it the weakest section of the book, visually. With Steve, Etta, and Barbara on the lam, Sharp goes grittier, with a scratchy feel and heavier shadows that creates a moody atmosphere. Laura Martin colors these distinct looks well, adapting her palette and the texture of her colors to fit each situation. The different styles work well and make for a more interesting read, which each reflecting its setting well.

Overall, this was a very solid first issue. “The Lies” was ultimately only okay for, a bit dragged out and underwhelming compared to the spectacular “Year One.” Here, “The Truth” is off to a roaring start with several balls in the air from the get-go, all of them entertaining and exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing where it all goes, and I’m extremely curious to find out how the dual arcs are going to work moving forward. We’ll find out in two weeks when Bilquis Evely joins the team for “Godwatch;” should be fun!

Wonder Woman’s April 2017 Covers and Solicits

January 24, 2017

DC’s solicits were a little bit late this month, but when they finally arrived yesterday they brought a bevy of new Wonder Woman comic books for us to look forward to this April. So let’s take a look at what Wonder Woman will be up to in a few months’ time, starting with her own series:

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WONDER WOMAN #20
Written by GREG RUCKA • Art and cover by BILQUIS EVELY • Variant cover by JENNY FRISON
“Godwatch” part three! Cale launches a desperate gambit to take control of Godwatch, but her plan hinges on two factors she cannot control: the witch Circe, and Wonder Woman!
On sale APRIL 12 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

WONDER WOMAN #21
Written by GREG RUCKA • Art and cover by LIAM SHARP • Variant cover by JENNY FRISON
“The Truth” part four! As the reality of Themyscira is revealed, Wonder Woman is forced to make a decision: defy the will of the gods or betray her Amazon sisters to Godwatch!
On sale APRIL 26 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

The dual narrative continues this April, with Wonder Woman facing off against Godwatch in the even numbered issues and learning the truth about Themyscira in the odd books. Circe’s going to be in Wonder Woman #20, which should be a lot of fun. After her poor portrayal in Superman/Wonder Woman a couple of years back, I’m looking forward to what can only be a better spin on her from Rucka and Evely.

Now onto Trinity:

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TRINITY #8
Written by CULLEN BUNN • Art by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO and RAY McCARTHY • Cover by CLAY MANN • Variant cover by BILL SIENKIEWICZ
A “Superman: Reborn Aftermath” tie-in! In this essential chapter of the “Superman Reborn Aftermath” epic, Kal-El reveals to Batman and Wonder Woman what had happened to him—and how they all may be in danger!
On sale APRIL 19 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

I’ve been enjoying Trinity, but honestly I’m picking it up for the amazing Francis Manapul art and there just hasn’t been much of it. Now eight issues in, it looks like he’ll have drawn half of them at most, and we’re getting a tie-in issue with a Superman event? Not what I’m looking for. Hopefully Manapul is back in full force in May, because otherwise I might be ready to move on, especially with the $1 price hike.

Next up, some Amazon fun:

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THE ODYSSEY OF THE AMAZONS #4
Written by KEVIN GREVIOUX
Art by RYAN BENJAMIN and RICHARD FRIEND
Cover by RYAN BENJAMIN
The Amazons are taken to Valhalla, heavenly home of warriors who have fallen in combat. Hessia learns where the Amazons originated and why their numbers have come to be spread throughout the world. But she’s also determined to find a way back to Earth, to rescue her comrades who have been taken by the Storm Giants. As for the Giants, they are getting ready to go to war.
On sale APRIL 19 • 32 pg, FC, 4 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED T+

This series starts TOMORROW, so we’ll know pretty soon if this is going to be worth picking up in April. While the buzz for it seems to be minimal/non-existent, a lot of great titles fly under the radar so we’ll see what happens. It still just sounds like a Thor book to me, but I’m curious to see what Grievoux, Benjamin, and Friend do. I’ll be checking out the first issue tomorrow and will report back if I have anything interesting to say about it.

Now some classic TV fun:

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BATMAN ’66 MEETS WONDER WOMAN ’77 #4
Written by MARC ANDREYKO and JEFF PARKER • Art by DAVID HAHN and KARL KESEL • Cover by MICHAEL ALLRED
Ra’s al Ghul has discovered the Amazons’ Elysian Well…better known to Man’s World as a Lazarus Pit! Wonder Woman takes Batman and Robin (and Catwoman!) to confront him, but strange creatures live in the same maze, which the Amazons have used for centuries as a prison!
On sale APRIL 26 • 32 pg, FC, 4 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED E • DIGITAL FIRST

I’m so down for Catwoman on Paradise Island. You had me there, and you don’t have to sell me on anything else, DC. I’m super on board.

We’ve also got a few Wonder Woman collections announced. They include:

  • WONDER WOMAN VOL. 2: YEAR ONE TP: Collects WONDER WOMAN #2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14. On sale MAY 3 • 168 pg, FC, $16.99 US. If you didn’t read this in single issues, BUY THIS. It’s phenomenal. Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott hit this one out of the park.
  • WONDER WOMAN BY JOHN BYRNE BOOK ONE HC: Collects WONDER WOMAN #101-114. On sale MAY 24 • 328 pg, FC, $39.99 US. A nice big collection of Byrne’s work on Wonder Woman, which I found moderately enjoyable when I read it. It’s Byrne before he went full on Internet wacko, which is usually worth checking out.
  • WONDER WOMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE OMNIBUS VOL. 2 HC: Collects COMIC CAVALCADE #6-13, SENSATION COMICS #25-48 and WONDER WOMAN #8-15. On sale JULY 5 • 768 pg, FC, $75.00 US. Early Marston/Peter Wonder Woman comics are always a good choice, and this HUGE new collection comes with a gorgeous Darwyn Cooke cover.

So we’ve got a nice selection of books to choose from this April, and some fine collections on the way as well. Should be fun!

Wonder Woman’s March 2017 Covers and Solicits

December 30, 2016

DC’s March 2017 solicits came out a while back, but with the holidays and all I’ve just got around to going through them now. March looks to be another busy month for Wonder Woman and the Amazons, so let’s see what the gang will be up to, starting with Wonder Woman itself:

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WONDER WOMAN #18
Written by GREG RUCKA
Art and cover by BILQUIS EVELY
Variant covers by JENNY FRISON
“GODWATCH” part two! Godwatch grows, and Diana has her first encounter with the ghost in the machine known as Dr. Cyber!
On sale MARCH 8 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

WONDER WOMAN #19
Written by GREG RUCKA
Art and cover by LIAM SHARP
Variant cover by JENNY FRISON
“The Truth” part three! Diana, Steve and Etta come face-to-face with their newest foes—the deadly group known as Poison! But what do they have to do with the plot to unravel Wonder Woman’s life?
On sale MARCH 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

We’ve got Dr. Cyber in one book and Poison (i.e. a group inspired by the classic Wonder Woman villain Dr. Poison) in another, giving us a greatest hits of iconic Wonder Woman villains. Throw in the Cheetah and they’re all doctors too, a web of villainy that reflects poorly on academia but makes for an enjoyable read nonetheless. One has to assume that Dr. Psycho will show up at some point and give us a quartet of dastardly doctors. Wonder Woman‘s been a fun book since Rucka and company relaunched it, and these March issues look like they should be a good time.

Onto Trinity:

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TRINITY #7
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL
Art and cover by CLAY MANN
Variant cover by BILL SIENKIEWICZ
“DIVIDED WE FALL” prelude! America is divided! And now a hero has fallen and it may split the country even more. Can Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman stand against riots while defending a bigoted enemy? Don’t miss the beginning of an epic adventure that will test the ideals of our three heroes!
On sale MARCH 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

I’ve been enjoying this book thus far, but it’s got a lot less Francis Manapul art than I anticipated. It looked like he was going to be two on, one off, but that doesn’t seem to be the case now? Clay Mann is decent and all, but Manapul is AMAZING. He brings so much style and heart to the book. DC needs to set him up on a schedule without fill-ins. It’ll take a little longer, but the end result would be so gorgeous. Anyway, it looks like we’re on to a new arc here. I’m not totally sold on the premise, but we’ll see how the execution goes. The book’s been really good, so I’m optimistic.

Now some Bombshells:

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DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS #23
Written by MARGUERITE BENNETT
Art by MATIAS BERGARA, LAURA BRAGA and MIRKA ANDOLFO
Cover by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
Wonder Woman is back! Take a quick trip to Themyscira where Wonder Woman and Supergirl are mourning the loss of Stargirl. Then, it’s back to the action in Zambesi as Wonder Woman crashes into the fight between the Bombshells and Cheetah, who’s leading the mechanical gods!
On sale MARCH 1 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST

I don’t usually post the DC Comics Bombshells solicits, especially lately since Wonder Woman’s been on the backburner, but she’s front and center in this new issue and I wanted to remind everyone to mark it on their calendar and pick it up. This series is SO GOOD, and if you’ve not been reading it you’re really missing out. Plus it’s set to have a lot more Wonder Woman soon, which is even more exciting!

We’ve got some classic TV antics coming too:

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BATMAN ’66 MEETS WONDER WOMAN ’77 #3
Written by JEFF PARKER and MARC ANDREYKO
Art by DAVID HAHN and KARL KESEL
Cover by MICHAEL ALLRED
Among the world’s greatest secrets is the location of Paradise Island, mythic home of the legendary Amazon warrior women where no man may visit! But what about a BATman? In 1966, the search for Ra’s al Ghul’s trail heats up, and the Caped Crusaders fly to warn Wonder Woman that her hidden home is the villain’s goal!
On sale MARCH 22 • 32 pg, FC, 3 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED E • DIGITAL FIRST

Batman is going to Paradise Island and I can’t wait. What a fantastic premise, to send the 1960s Batman and Robin to the home of Amazons. This should be hilarious and delightful. I love that this series exists.

Finally, the adventures of the Amazons:

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THE ODYSSEY OF THE AMAZONS #3
Written by KEVIN GREVIOUX
Art and cover by RYAN BENJAMIN and RICHARD FRIEND
It’s Amazons versus Valkyries! Hessia and her warriors are closing in on the Storm Giants who are holding their comrades prisoner when a group of fierce Nordic female warriors misinterpret their intent and launch an all-out assault. Will even the Amazons’ new Viking allies be able to help them against these god-like beings?
On sale MARCH 15 • 32 pg, FC, 3 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED T+

I remain very much unsold on this mini-series, but the first issue isn’t even out yet so I’ll reserve judgment and hope for the best. The covers haven’t been giving me a lot to look forward to, and Storm Giants and Vikings and Valkyries sounds like a Thor rip-off but again, we’ll see. This could be a surprise treat. It’s got Amazons in it, after all! The potential is certainly there.

Look for all of these comics in March 2017! It’s going to be a busy one!

Wonder Woman #11 Review: “The Lies” Are Sort Of Exposed?

November 24, 2016

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I’m a day late with this Wonder Woman review; I was on the road all day yesterday and didn’t get a chance to read the book until today. I’ve been really looking forward to this issue, though. Last month’s Wonder Woman #10 finally took us to Themyscira and, shockingly, it was the brutal home of the New 52 Amazons rather than the utopian home of the current “Year One” arc. Clearly some shenanigans were afoot and it looked like the conclusion of “The Lies,” i.e. this week’s issue, would give us a few answers about what’s going on with Wonder Woman. As it turns out, we didn’t really get any answers. Yet, anyway. The next arc of the odd-numbered issues is called “The Truth,” and presumably we’ll find out what’s really going on there. But for right now, we’ve got confirmation that there was a very big lie going on in the “The Lies.” That’s cool and all, but dang this is a slow burn story. We’ll dig into it all momentarily, but first:

SPOILERT ALERT!!

I am about to tell you everything that happened in this issue!

Go buy it for yourself and read it first!

Get it on Comixology if your shop is closed for Thanksgiving!

So here’s the big reveal: The New 52 Amazons are not the real Amazons. This has been pretty obvious since Rucka took over the book, between the arc being called “The Lies” and the completely different version of the Amazons we’ve been seeing in “Year One.” That it took six whole issues to confirm what has been rather clear for the past six months makes this a bit of an unexciting conclusion to the arc. When Wonder Woman tearfully realizes “This is not my home” on the issue’s last page, I’m sure most readers responded, “Yeah, we know. This is old news.”

Look, I absolutely LOVE what Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott are doing in “Year One.” It’s amazing, and will definitely go down as one of the best Wonder Woman stories of all time. But “The Lies” is not as good. And having read the whole arc now, nor is it very good on its own merits. It’s not bad by any means. It’s just fine. Okay. Decent. There were some good moments, but it’s been SO SLOW. This issue is a perfect case in point. It was immediately clear that this Themyscira was not Wonder Woman’s real home. I mean, we’ve known that for months, but even within just this issue itself, we knew something was wrong straight away. And it took Wonder Woman the entire issue to put it together. There was a lot of discussion, a lot of explaining what we’d already seen and put together. Comics are supposed to be show and tell, but this issue was a whole lot of show and then tell. And tell and tell, until the last page sets up a new arc to give us the story that we all expected to get in this arc. It’s all so drawn out, and the arc as a whole has been kind of a frustrating read.

Luckily, the interminable Wonder Woman storyline was supplemented by Etta Candy being a super bad ass. When we saw Etta realize that Sasha Bordeaux was a spy in the preview released earlier in the week, I assumed that this, like everything else in the arc, would be a slow building side story. I was wrong, and happily so. Etta goes right after Sasha, tracking her to her drop off with Veronica Cale and confronting Cale and her evil hounds. It’s so much fun. Etta is resolute and fearless, taking on Cale directly. When Cale arrogantly thinks she’s played her ace in the hole by bringing in Sasha to attack Etta, Etta just shoots Sasha straight in her cybernetic head and forces Cale to move to Plan B. The side story ends with the dogs coming after Etta, and we don’t know how that confrontation ends. Given how tough she is, my money’s on Etta, but Etta going missing would probably make for better story fodder. It could go either way. Regardless, it was nice to have something actually happen and have part of this arc progress at a solid clip.

I really don’t have much else to say about this issue apart from that I was hoping for a lot more, and that’s how I’ve felt about this arc as a whole. It was an arc that tried to do several things; re-introduce Barbara Minerva, Etta Candy, and Steve Trevor, along with the organization they work for, as well as setting up the Big Bad and Wonder Woman’s false history. That’s a lot of balls to juggle, and it wasn’t handled with much finesse, particularly not with the skill I expect to see from veterans like Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp. Again, it’s not a bad arc. It just took its sweet time and didn’t really deliver the story it promised.

Hopefully “The Truth” will proceed with more focus and direction. There were lots of good bits in the “The Lies,” especially the characterizations. Rucka knows how to write Wonder Woman and her friends, and does so enjoyably. Just somewhat meanderingly in this run. And the art is pretty solid as well. It felt like Sharp got a bit bogged down midway through and the art suffered for it, but over the past couple of issues it’s felt like he’s found a good balance between his hyper-detailed style and the constrictions of hammering out 20 pages a month. Laura Martin’s colors are gorgeous as well. In this issue especially, she makes some dull, exposition-heavy pages visually striking with some cool color choices. All of the pieces are in place for the odd-numbered issues of Wonder Woman to be great and rival the heights of the even-numbered outings. The writing just needs a bit of urgency and excitement rather than a slow, wandering burn.

Wonder Woman’s February 2017 Covers and Solicits

November 22, 2016

This February looks to be another busy month for Wonder Woman and her wider world, both in terms of single issues and some fun new collections. It continues to be an excellent time to be a Wonder Woman fan; the movie on the horizon really seems to be ramping up comic production at DC. So let’s take a look at what Wonder Woman is up to in February 2017, starting with her own series:

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WONDER WOMAN #16
Written by GREG RUCKA • Art and cover by BILQUIS EVELY • Variant cover by JENNY FRISON
“GODWATCH” part one! Since the moment Wonder Woman arrived in our world, Godwatch has been waiting. But who are they, and what do they want? Diana’s journey to the truth continues with the origin of what may prove to be her greatest enemies.
On sale FEBRUARY 8 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

WONDER WOMAN #17
Written by GREG RUCKA • Art and cover by LIAM SHARP • Variant cover by JENNY FRISON
“THE TRUTH” part two! As Wonder Woman picks up the pieces of her shattered psyche, Barbara Ann Minerva walks into the devil’s lair to defend her…or is she being led into Godwatch’s trap?
On sale FEBRUARY 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

How great is that Bilquis Evely cover? She did a spectacular job on the Barbara Ann Minerva special issue last month, and I’m so excited that she’ll be taking over the odd-numbered issues for “Godwatch” after “Year One” ends. Nicola Scott is going to be a tough act to follow, but Evely’s already shown that she’s got the goods to hold her own. We’ve got some gorgeous comics in store for us.

In terms of the plots, it will be fun to dig into Godwatch and find out what they’re all about. We know a few of the players now from “The Lies” but clearly there’s something large and sinister at work here. As for “The Truth,” the solicit is a bit vague, but I enjoy that Barbara is remaining a key player in the book. Between her and Etta, it’s great to see Wonder Woman have some female pals.

Onto the always gorgeous Trinity:

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TRINITY #6
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL • Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL • Variant cover by BILL SIENKIEWICZ
“Better Together” part six! The horror that kept our heroes trapped in nightmares of their own making is now loose in the world, and it’s taking possession of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman! When the spawn of Mongul holds the keys to the most powerful heroes in the DC Universe—no one is safe!
On sale FEBRUARY 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

I love this book. I’ve only read the first two issues, but they’re so stunningly gorgeous. The story is a lot of fun too. It’s kind of a chill team up, with the three heroes just being pals. I’m super into it. And it sounds like it’s building to something quite epic. Manapul’s knocking it out of the park so far with this series, and I’m looking forward to where it’s going.

Next up, The Odyssey of the Amazons:

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THE ODYSSEY OF THE AMAZONS #2
Written by KEVIN GREVIOUX
Art by RYAN BENJAMIN and RICHARD FRIEND
Cover by RYAN BENJAMIN
In the frigid lands to the north, Hessia and her Amazons find new allies: a band of Norsemen led by none other than Jon, the Viking Prince. Meanwhile, their captured Amazon sisters learn of the fate planned for them by Groa, Queen of the Storm Giants. And as Hessia and Jon prepare to launch a rescue, a new faction appears! Will these new players prove to be friend or foe?
On sale FEBRUARY 15 • 32 pg, FC, 2 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED T

There’s still a lot of question marks on this one, and it very much feels like a book that should have come out a few years ago, before Rucka and co. revamped the Amazons. But still, it’s Amazons vs. Storm Giants, and that could be cool. We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully the book is a pleasant surprise.

We’ve also got Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77:

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BATMAN ’66 MEETS WONDER WOMAN ’77 #2
Written by MARC ANDREYKO and JEFF PARKER
Art by DAVID HAHN and KARL KESEL
Cover by MICHAEL ALLRED
Bruce Wayne is only ten—and he’s already being hunted by Nazi soldiers and Ra’s al Ghul’s mysterious League of Shadows! Join the chase as he makes a discovery vital to his bat-future and watch what happens when Wonder Woman comes to the rescue!
On sale FEBRUARY 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E • DIGITAL FIRST

The comic appears to be picking up on the split nature of the Wonder Woman TV show; the first season was set in World War Two, while the second and third picked up in the 1970s. So we’ve got young Bruce interacting with season one Wonder Woman here, which is very cool. This is such a clever way to merge these different universes. I’m really looking forward to this series.

Finally, there are a couple of cool collections on the way:

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WONDER WOMAN AND THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA VOL. 1 TP
Written by DAN VADO and CHUCK DIXON
Art by MIKE COLLINS, KEVIN WEST, RICK BURCHETT, MARC CAMPOS and others • Cover by MIKE COLLINS and JOSE MARZAN JR.
In these never-before-collected stories from the 1990s, Wonder Woman takes over as leader of the Justice League of America, whether Green Lantern Guy Gardner, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle like it or not. Acting at the behest of the United Nations, the team must respond to a human rights crisis in a remote African nation, only to find the populace under the thumbs of the super-powered Extremists. The team then must jet to Norway, where the young superhero called Ice struggles to keep the nation out of the hands of her older brother. Collects JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #78-85, JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA ANNUAL #7 and GUY GARDNER #15.
On sale MARCH 15 • 264 pg, FC, $24.99 US

I often forget about Justice League America and Wonder Woman’s time leading the team, and I’m an expert on the character! Everyone remembers Justice League International and Morrison relaunching JLA, but in between that Justice League America ran for a long time and Wonder Woman was a key player. It’s very cool that this run is getting collected; it’s a fun period of Wonder Woman’s history that sometimes gets overlooked.

We’ve also got more collected George Perez:

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WONDER WOMAN BY GEORGE PEREZ OMNIBUS VOL. 2 HC
Written by GEORGE PEREZ and others • Art by CHRIS MARRINAN, JILL THOMPSON, COLLEEN DORAN and others • Cover by CHRIS MARRINAN and GEORGE PEREZ
Following the events of INVASION, Wonder Woman and Captain Atom must locate the missing Steve Trevor, while the citizens of Themyscira witness the arrival of a new man on their island. This volume also includes the origins of both Cheetah and Silver Swan, the appearance of a lost tribe of Egyptian Amazons and more! Collects WONDER WOMAN #25-45 and ANNUAL #2.
On sale MAY 10 • 552 pg, FC, $99.99 US

I was hoping that DC would continue their omnibus collection of Perez’s Wonder Woman run past the first volume, and they are! Nearly two years after the first collection, but oh well. It’s continuing on, and that’s exciting, plus it bodes well for a third omnibus to finish the run. Save your pennies and clear some shelf space because this is going to be expensive and massive.

Well, that’s quite a month! It’s nice to have a slew of new Wonder Woman comics to look forward to.


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