In these stories from issues #0 and #13-18, a terrible betrayal forces Wonder Woman to make a deal with the gods who want her dead, and her “family” grows larger than she could have imagined. Will the mysterious Orion help Wonder Woman rescue Zola’s baby from the clutches of Hermes, or does he have darker intentions?
Brian Azzarello (Writer),
Cliff Chiang (Artist),
Tony Akins (Artist),
Dan Green (Inker), Rick Burchett (Inker), Amilcar Pinna (Artist), Goran Sudžuka (Artist), Matthew Wilson (Colourist) , Nick Filardi (Colourist), Jared K. Fletcher (Letterer)
Now that life is out of the way, I decided to catch up on reading Wonder Woman New 52, as part of my attempt to get back into comics following my decade+ hiatus. Now I’ve just finished Volume 3, and I continue to remain impressed. For one, this collection picks up where the previous left off: Wonder Woman seeks to rescue Zola’s baby from Hermes (who placed her in Demeter’s care), while also trying to discover the other illegitimate children of Zeus.
The graphic novel opens up with #0, “The Lair of the Minotaur”, which shows a younger Diana being trained by Ares, only to be put to the test by slaying the Minotaur. With the heavy use of caption narration and though balloons suggest a nod to the classic pre-modern age style of storytelling, albeit featuring up-to-date art by Cliff Chiang. This story serves as a prelude to the further look at Ares’ character, who was all but a minor player making sporadic appearances while always intoxicated. The final issues expand on the Ares character a bit more, leaving readers wondering of his motivations and alliances.
Azzarello does give the Greek Gods justice, keeping their character in line with their “source material”. They are petty, easily jealous, and seem to feel intimidated at the idea of someone stealing their throne, even if that someone is Wonder Woman herself. They come across as a celestial/Olympian crime family, which any fan of Greek mythology can appreciate.
Wonder Woman meets two other siblings in this volume – Siracca, a Middle Eastern girl in Libya (named after a brand of dipping sauce it seems), who can fly and move things with her mind, and Milan, a homeless, blindfolded bum in New York who with the power of infinite vision. The former doesn’t really do much (other than fight Wonder Woman), and seems to disappear from the later issues after they reconcile. As for Milan, well, he finds where Zola’s baby is via his infinite vision, and then he vanishes too.And then there’s the ever mysterious First Born, who apparently clawed his way out of being buried alive in Antarctica for 7 millenia (but he can take down giant monsters and overgrown sharks – AND POSEIDON – with ease. Oh, and he bites people’s heads off to learn their language,
so maybe he’s related to Starfire.)
The best part of this volume for me was Orion, who also joins WW’s motley crew, and even smacks her on the behind to absorb her DNA… I haven’t read a comic featuring him since Kingdom Come, though he isn’t as hotheaded as I remember. Then again, New 52 is a reboot, so none of that really counts anymore.
This volume is well paced, Chiang’s art has gotten a bit of an upgrade (a far cry from Volume One, where the colors were a bit flatter), and so far, this series has done a great justice to the Wonder Woman character and mythos.