Wonder Woman #54 – Steve Orlando, Writer; Raul Allen, Patricia Martin, Artists; Borja Pindado, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Corrina: Love Artemis. Worried Where This Is Going.
Ray: Coming off the Amazons’ Central American adventure, Wonder Woman #54 takes them far away from enchanted pyramids and into the world of the Bana-Mighdall. Surprisingly, this issue picks up on a lot of plots from Red Hood and the Outlaws, namely Artemis’ battle with her former lover Akila, who was corrupted by the power she wielded. The last issue saw Diana and Artemis team up to save Atalanta, the former queen of the Bana-Mighdall. But as the issue opens, when the plane arrives in the Bana-Mighdall territory to return their former queen they find not a welcome but a war party. The current queen, Faruka II, has formed an alliance with former Justice League villain Rustam, Amanda Waller’s once-second in command who turned out to be one of the main villains of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad. Now, the Quraci rebel has formed a pact with the stateless Amazons of Bana-Mighdall and is goading them towards a war with Qurac. This will serve to get them a stable homeland, but it’ll also slake his thirst for revenge, and Orlando does a good job of fusing the comic book actions with real-world issues.
Although the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall are thrilled to see their former queen return, Queen Faruka has other plans. After making a brief attempt to get the arriving Amazons on her side for a coming war, she quickly orders Atalanta imprisoned as a relic of the past. Artemis, loyal to her people, reluctantly agrees to aid the war effort, which pits her against Diana. Wonder Woman quickly falls in battle to Rustam, whose sword contains the power of the sun. Although she makes a quick recovery, by then the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall are already massing on the border of Qurac and her former ally Artemis is leading the charge. The addition of the Bana-Mighdall, a rival Amazon city to Themyscira, is one of the most intriguing changes to the Amazon mythology in the past, and Orlando’s making good use of this. This is a much more straightforward story than the first arc of his run, and Raul Allen’s gritty art is a good fit, but it’s no less entertaining than the twisty pyramid adventures of the previous issues. It’s good to have a proper Wonder Woman title again.
Corrina: I like the characterization in the story, especially Diana, and it’s been refreshing to have her written by Orlando (the Robinson stories are hopefull way back in the rear-view mirror). Orlando’s first arc was very good but the basis for this one is a bit frustrating, as it picks up elements from two series that, well, I dislike so much I’ve stopped reading and reviewing them, namely Suicide Squad and Red Hood and the Outlaws. I have to wonder if they’re there because editorial wanted them followed up. Maybe, maybe not, but I’m not pleased with the choice.
What mostly overcomes this is Diana’s determination to help as many people as she can and Artemis’ anguish that she has to choose between her people and what she knows is the right choice. Artemis was handled horribly in Red Hood and the Outlaws, so I’m hoping at the end of this story, she’ll be on much firmer ground, at will Bana-Mighdall itsefl.
Okay, if that happens, if Artemis and her homeland are fixed, I’ll rescind my objection to following up the other stories.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.