Wonder Woman #52 – Steve Orlando, Writer; Aco, Penciller; David Lorenzo, Inker; Romulo Fajardo Jr., Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: After last issue’s excellent done-in-one story focusing on Diana and Mayfly, Steve Orlando’s Wonder Woman #52 kicks his run into high gear with a story uniting plotlines from three different titles. Aztek from Justice League of America drops into Diana’s title, teleporting into the middle of a battle with an obscure villain named Death Bat and surprising her. In a lot of ways, Orlando’s superhero work has shades of Grant Morrison, so it’s not a big surprise he’s picking up on the successor to one of Morrison’s cult favorite creations. Aztek’s been getting visions of an Amazon trapped in an ancient labyrinth and is seeking Diana’s help since her understanding of her own powers is tentative at best. Diana quickly figures out that the Amazon she’s seeing is Atalanta, her great-aunt who left Themyscira long ago. She’s also an icon to another group of Amazons – the Bana-Mighdall, who admire her warrior nature. That brings Artemis (set before the events of this week’s Red Hood and the Outlaws) into the story for a team-up, as the trio heads to South America.
Steve Orlando and Aco made their DC debut on the Wildstorm title Midnighter, which was known for its wildly twisty action scenes. They get to call back to that nicely here, as the trio of heroines arrives at what looks like an ancient pyramid but is actually a double-sided alien labyrinth filled with traps and legendary creatures. As soon as they step inside, the tone of the issue shifts rapidly and it becomes one of the fastest-paced comics of the week. It can almost be a little difficult to follow as the panel structure shifts, but those paying close attention will be rewarded with a highly entertaining issue. The final battle against a jaguar-themed enemy is exciting, but it’s only a prelude to what happens once they actually encounter Atalanta. The idea of her being trapped there against her will may not be entirely accurate, and there’s a lot of story still to be told here. This issue doesn’t cut to the core of Diana’s character the way the previous one did, but it delivers a strong, exciting narrative that puts Wonder Woman at the center of her story again. On that note, it’s another win for Orlando.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.