Wonder Woman is a character I’ve always wanted to get into but never really had a good starting place or diving in point. Well, the New 52 has offered this for almost all of it’s popular characters and Wonder Woman was one that, while I waited for the trade, was high on my interest list. With comic heavyweight Brian Azzarello writing I had high expectations and I can say that these were easily met.
Azzarello has really embraces the facets of Wonder Woman’s mythology that make her stand out from the rest of the heroes at DC. He weaves all of this in and around the super heroine ideals with ease and creates a story that’s compelling in terms of superhero fiction as well as Greek mythology. Since the lore of the character is so steeped in Greek tradition it only makes sense that the first arc would be heavily influenced and pertain to that side of her story. Sure she does heroic things and a few superhero tropes are addressed, but that’s not what the core of the book is about. He’s trying to tell a good story and develop a character that some readers have no interest in and whether or not they want to believe it he has succeeded.
Where Azzarello’s Wonder Woman differs from other comics in the New 52 (in particular team books) is that it’s a very personal story. Azzarello has gotten inside Diana’s head and has found out what makes her tick, what makes her smile, and what makes her angry. The emotional turmoil that this character endures from Azzarello’s mind is a sight to behold, but her composure and dexterity are what will make you remember the book. Diana has a lot of challenges and her ability to overcome them, fight her personal demons, and embrace her place in the world are what will make this book stand the test of time.
The story would be incomplete without the accompanying stellar artwork. Cliff Chiang did a good job with the first four issues. While his style fits the tone of the book at times it appears to be rough around the edges for the sake of having rough looking art, which many will find a turnoff. If you’re one of those people I would say stick with it because issues 5 & 6 are where things get really interesting as Tony Akins comes on board for them. Akins took the principals of Chiang’s art and morphed it into a more polished and bolder looking style of drawing, plus he gets to draw Diana doing her best fighting and some of the coolest looking mythological beasts in the entire series.
“Wonder Woman” is wicked cool. The story is smart and excels beyond what many would consider ‘typical comic book writing’ and the art will not leave you hanging on the details but it will make you hungry for more of it.
Rating: 9 / 10
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