Wonder Woman #77 – G. Willow Wilson, Writer; Jesus Merino, Penciller; Vincente Ciufuentes, Inker; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Corrina: Break-Up Time?
Ray: We found out this week that G. Willow Wilson will be leaving Wonder Woman after a little less than a year to pursue a dream project. She’ll be replaced by Steve Orlando, who has written several arcs before and is overdue for a tentpole title, but it’s still a shame to see a promising run cut short before the creator can complete their vision. When we last left off, Cheetah – now in possession of the Godkiller Sword – broke into Diana’s home and murdered her friend and goddess, Aphrodite. The opening segments of Wonder Woman #77 have some real punch to them as Steve Trevor – who has seen many dead – tries to shield Atlantiades from the grisly scene only for the brash demigod to demand access and collapse in grief when they see their mother. The funeral scene on Themyscira has relatively little dialogue, and while I’m sad to see Aphrodite gone it seems clear that her purpose in the story was mostly to set up Atlantiades’ larger storyarc.
Wilson pulls off a neat trick in this issue, as scenes that I thought weren’t working turn out to be part of a larger picture. I’m mostly referring to the first interaction between Diana and Steve, as he petulantly asks her if she’ll ever put him first as she plans to track down Cheetah, and she doesn’t seem to care enough to respond. It’s not a great scene for either of them, but it sets up a nice bonding session between Steve and Atlantiades – where Steve says he feels like love doesn’t matter anymore, and Atlantiades realizes this might be more literal than he thought. Love was literally murdered, and now the consequences are spilling out around the world. That’s also one of the sources of Diana’s powers gone, raising the stakes of her fight with Cheetah nicely. I’m not sure exactly when Wilson’s run ends, but I’m hoping she at least gets to conclude this arc and Orlando picks up on a lot of the beats, because there’s some great stuff here.
Corrina: As I was reading Wonder Woman #77, I began to grow angry at the emotional direction and some of the dialogue. And yet, later, the explanation for something that seemed out of character became part of a larger whole. So, nice foreshadowing.
I wrote an analysis of G. Willow Wilson entire Wonder Woman run thus far last week, rather than about Wonder Woman #76. But Wonder Woman #77 is a different type of beginning to an arc than Wilson has used before.
For one, the emotions seem to cut deeper. It’s not so much the death but the grief that permeated the page. The art team gives Atlantiades several moments of pure, overwhelming sadness but Diana seemed oddly muted–once again, more of a remote warrior–until the story reveals that by removing Aphrodite, love itself seems to be gone.
That shocks Diana, more than anything else this run, and it’s a deep shock.
If I have one complaint, it’s that I’m disappointed by how deeply Cheetah has descended into villainy. I was rooting for her.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.