Wonder Woman #82 – Steve Orlando, Writer; Kieran McKeown, Penciller; Scott Hanna, Inker; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Wonder Woman #82 is the first issue of Steve Orlando’s Wonder Woman run, and I don’t envy his position here. Taking over a comic in a hurry is always tricky, and doing it mid-story is more so. G. Willow Wilson had to bow out of the book to take on the writing role on The Dreaming, and now Orlando’s picking up in an almost Kamandi-esque predicament – Wonder Woman’s lost everything.
She’s broken up with Steve Trevor, she’s injured and some of her powers (including the Golden Prefect) are gone, and Cheetah has gotten loose on Themyscira due to a series of quick turns at the end of the last issue. He mostly sticks the landing, although there’s a bit too much exposition to recap what’s been going on. His best scenes are the ones in Diana’s civilian life, as she adjusts, talks to Etta, and meets an excitable new neighbor named Nora Nunes. Diana hasn’t had anything resembling a life outside her superhero identity for a while, so that’s something I hope Orlando keeps building on.
Orlando also brings in a pair of more obscure DC heroines who haven’t been seen in a bit to help Diana rebuild her arsenal for a big battle with Cheetah. I was glad to see Natasha Irons, now Steel, again – but I was thrilled to see Peng Deilan, the Wonder Woman of China. Gene Luen Yang’s New Super-Man crew are some of the best new characters out of DC in years. The main problem with Wonder Woman #82 is in the segments on Themyscira as Cheetah tears her way through the Amazons.
This is where most of the exposition takes place, but the bigger issue is the depiction of Cheetah. The artist on this issue isn’t one I’m familiar with, and his art on the villain is so radically different from any other version of Cheetah that it detracts from the story. This super-expressive, non-spotted character looks more like an enraged ferret at times. Lots of promise based on this issue and the annual, but I think it’ll be the second story arc before we get a firm idea of what Orlando’s run will actually look like.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.