Wonder Woman #1
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Liam Sharp
Colors: Laura Martin
Letters: Jodi Wynne
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: 06/22/16
Follow ups to the DC Rebirth one-shots are starting to come out and one of the more anticipated issues is centered on the most iconic superheroine in comics. Wonder Woman, aka Diana of Themyscira is on a quest in search for answers after discovering that a lot of what she's taken as truth, has in fact turned out to be a ruse. Has she been crafted from clay? Is she a demigoddess? What about her mother Hippolyta? She's died numerous times throughout her history so could that be a clue to Diana's true origin?
Writer Greg Rucka's second entry into this series has a lot of things going for it, which is unfortunately its main problem. Already the creative team has established two ongoing story arcs in this series, with one running every odd number and the other with every even-numbered issue. So why is it that Rucka decided to install two current stories happening in this issue? It's frustrating because it makes this entry incredibly slow-paced and from where the comic ends, it's only inches away from where it started. It'll cause readers like myself to worry if this will be the norm moving forward, with a narrative drive maneuvering at a reluctant pace.
That being said, the two conflicting stories are intriguing. Rucka has brought back some Wonder Woman classics such as Steve Trevor and Etta Candy. Only furthering the implications that her true origin will be explored in this series. The two of them are working together to track down a despotic warlord with Steve doing the leg work. Most of this plot is used discussing logistics but Rucka supplies some insights as to the status of Steve and Diana's relationship.
Meanwhile Diana is endeavoring into the dense supernatural rainforest of Bwunda, seeking an unknown player who's implied to holding answers for the Amazonian. Which is nothing short of awesome as it supplies some superb bad-ass moments showcasing her confidence and strength. This is without a doubt the highlight of the comic and the reveal on the issue's final page brings a lot of potential for this series' direction.
Unfortunately there really isn't much more to go over and analyze plot wise, as said before the narrative doesn't venture far. This issue is primarily set up but its problem is the numerous story arcs which may prove difficult for Rucka coherently keep moving forward. Theres also the worry of how new readers respond, can they keep up with the multiple sequences? Or would they check out of the series wishing there was more of a narrative focus? Either way it's obvious that the creative team have plans to bring the various moving parts together and the overriding theme of "discovery" is present throughout. Something I greatly appreciate.
Liam Sharp returns on art duties after visualizing the Wonder Woman Rebirth issue's closing pages. If there's one element that Sharp has a grasp on its building atmosphere. The jungles of Bwunda have a great vibe of mystery and create a sense of danger around any corner. The use of shadows really excel the level of threat when Diana is met with the rainforest's mythical creatures. Steve as well as his team look rugged and you can tell with just a glimpse that they have been around the block. Colors are brought in by Laura Martin and they do a stellar job of supplying the mood. The dark vivid color palette only supplement the pencil work and up the ante of the tension and suspense levels of the jungle.
Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1 showed a lot of promise for potential storytelling, however with its follow-up it presents signs of over-ambition. The abundance of plots coinciding together causes them to be move at a snail's pace. However it's best to reserve judgment till the first story arc is completed and see if it'll all be worth it. With that said the synopsis is still intriguing and the character moments are engaging. Along with some heavily detailed and effective artwork, Greg Rucka's Wonder Woman #1 is still worth checking out.
Score: 3.5 out of 5
Read the original review here: https://thecomixalaxy.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/wonder-woman-1-review/