Wonder Woman #58 – G. Willow Wilson, Writer; Cary Nord, Penciller; Mick Gray, Inker; Romulo Fajardo Jr., Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Corrina: Different. But Good.
Ray: G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel has become one of the most popular new Marvel titles of recent years, but when the first issue came out…I actually didn’t love it. A lot of the characters seemed overly broad and it didn’t hook me immediately. But every issue was better than the one before it, and it deserves every bit of the success it’s gotten.
Wilson’s Marvel work after that didn’t reach the same heights as her signature title, which might explain why she’s now at DC giving Wonder Woman its first A-list creative team since the character’s hit movie. With Wonder Woman #58, Wilson hasn’t hooked me quite the same way Rucka’s did from minute one, but the potential is definitely here for something great. The story begins on Themyscira, as Ares and Grail – the island’s two most high-value prisoners – are sharing an enchanted cell. Ares baits Grail into killing him, and that triggers the self-destruction of the cell – and possibly the island. Far away from the chaos, Wonder Woman enjoys an idyllic early morning with Steve Trevor – only to wake up and discover that the reality is anything but.
After Diana’s surprisingly realistic vision of her morning with Steve – which shows Wilson has a great grasp of that relationship – Diana gets woken up by a phone call from Etta Candy. It seems Steve has gone missing behind enemy lines on a mission into a US ally dealing with a civil war. As Diana heads abroad, it’s clear that Wilson intends to use this run to comment on a lot of the thornier elements of US foreign policy. The nation of Durovnia is a European nation close to lots of ancient Greek artifacts, and it’s got a stable but ruthless government that’s a US ally while brutally repressing an independence movement within its borders. Steve was sent in to assist the government, but he may have been caught by the mysterious new warlord running the resistance. As Diana battles her way through the fog of war – and winds up having to protect children caught in the middle – a trio of mysterious mythical creatures enters the fray and Diana eventually comes face to face with this mysterious leader – a reformed Ares. It’s only been one issue, but Wilson has introduced elements from across Wonder Woman continuity and set up a fascinating mystery.
Wonder Woman may have its first great run in years.
Corrina: That’s not fair, Ray, to say Wilson is on Wonder Woman because her other work at Marvel wasn’t up to the level of Ms. Marvel. That’s mind-reading, one, and, hey, if I were to interpret mind-reading, it would be that Wilson jumped at the chance to write Wonder Woman, the most iconic female superhero ever. It’s hard to not believe she wouldn’t want this opportunity.
Cary Nord was an interesting choice on art. I’ve enjoyed his work on Conan the Barbarian, and given that title’s mythical roots, I expected him to shine on Wonder Woman. He does best with the mythical creatures, as expected, especially the creepy sequence where the children go back and talk to their new “friends.” His style with Wonder Woman herself is less majestic and grittier but, so far, that suits Wilson’s war-torn story.
We all, as readers, knew that Ares wouldn’t stay trapped or gone forever. I was wincing thinking of the many ridiculous ways that DC could bring Ares back (look at what they’ve done to Donna Troy), but this is a near-perfect reappearance of Ares, one with a fresh start, with his intentions uncertain, and with the question of whether he can help the world or destroy it. I also loved what Wilson did with Steve and Diana’s relationship, though for a minute I worried that Steve was going to be truly dead. But Steve’s human viewpoint of the gods, particularly the god of war, should be an interesting perspective, especially given how Ares and his creatures seem to have connected to children in this hostile country.
It’s an excellent and intriguing start for Wilson, with a style that’s all her own. I’m excited for where it’s going.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.