Wonder Woman: Black and Gold #3 – Janet Harvey Nevala, Robert Venditti, Paula Sevenbergen, Nnedi Okorafor, Aimee Garcia, Writers; Megan Levens, Steve Epting, Inaki Miranda, Jack T. Cole, Sebastian Fiumara, Artists; Eva De La Cruz, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Five more stories from around the WW-verse this issue, this time bringing some indie creators and smaller names into the group—along with a few A-listers.
First up is “We Built a New World” by Janet Harvey Nevala and Megan Levens. This starts as a dialogue between Diana and Hippolyta about what to do with the just-landed Steve Trevor, but it becomes a much larger-scale story. It follows Diana and Steve’s relationship, and how they both changed each other, through a longer journey than they usually take. The poignant ending seals the deal for how good a portrayal of their bond this is.
Robert Venditti and Steve Epting’s “Espionage” couldn’t be more different. It’s a dark, tense story where a woman who may or may not be Wonder Woman is captured by a foreign agency and is tortured with electricity to extract information. Through it all, she only repeats one thing—“I am Wonder Woman.” The ambiguity adds a compelling twist to the story, and the ending sells just how far Diana will go for justice. It’s also a great throwback to the ’70s series.
“Beat the Heat” by Paula Sevenbergen and Inaki Miranda is rooted in the Azzarello run, with its villainous Apollo playing a major role. Earth has mysteriously moved closer to the sun, making it unlivable. As Diana pits herself against the god for the fate of humanity, the art is brilliant. I expected the ending, but there’s a way to tell a climate-change allegory and this just felt too heavy-handed by a few degrees.
“Do No Harm,” by acclaimed novelist Nnedi Okorafor and artist Jack T. Cole, is a short, fast-paced story that manages to absolutely dazzle in only a few pages. A strange, golden nebula has appeared in the sky, and Diana is summoned by Vixen to help her investigate. It turns out to be not a fight but a summit with some very unique aliens. The story is over too quickly and I wanted more, but the art is probably the best in the series so far.
Finally, “The Stolen Lasso of Truth,” by Aimee Garcia and Sebastian Fiumara, is a story of what happens when Diana’s signature weapon winds up in the wrong hands—not a villain, but a bullied girl who uses it to expose the true feelings of everyone around her. We’ve seen this story before, but the creative team does a great job of exploring this girl’s angst and what makes Diana different from so many other heroes.
A slight mixed bag and some of these stories could have used more pages, but some were stunning.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.