Wonder Woman #774 – Becky Cloonan/Michael W. Conrad, Jordie Bellaire, Writers; Andy McDonald, Paulina Ganucheau, Artists; Nick Filardi, Kendall Goode, Colorists
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: The first act of Wonder Woman’s afterlife has come to an end, and the second is beginning—as she returns to Olympus to find it in ruins. The story shifts into a murder mystery, as she finds an unknown old man in the ruins barely alive, and has to unravel both his stories and the lies of her tricky squirrel companion. This segment gets a little too much into exposition, but the reveal of the character’s identity is clever and the identity of the killer of the Gods presents an intriguing puzzle. This is the first time we really see Diana get frustrated with her current limbo, as she seeks the answers of what’s become of the afterlife she was supposed to inherit—and begins a quest that may bring her close to a true oblivion.
The writers obviously have done a lot of research into mythology, and as Diana descends into Tartarus—the closest thing the Greek mythology has to a hell—we get to see new artist Andy McDonald really shine. This is a creepy, compelling depiction of a disturbing afterlife, and there’s an excellent mythic scope to the whole thing. Boston Brand essentially spanning the gap between the regular DCU and the world Diana is stuck in is a clever twist, as this is the first time we’ve seen his powers from this side of the fence. I’m not sure how long Diana’s current status quo will last, as there’s only so much that can be done with her in the afterlife. But while it lasts, it’s a unique and entertaining ride.
The backup feature focusing on young Diana is absolutely gorgeous, but it’s been a slow burn for most of the run. This issue we finally get some answers, as Diana’s mystery scroll unravels a story—the first story of a male hero she’s ever read. This is an interesting look into what drove her later interest in the outside world and in Steve Trevor in particular, but the ending hints there may be a darker purpose to this scroll. It seems like things are building to a head, and it’s always good to see a story that looks back on Diana’s under-covered early years.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.