Publisher: DC Comics
Story: Greg Rucka
Art: Matthew Clark, Liam Sharp
Release Date: 8th June 2016
I have a confession to make. My sequential art proclivities lean towards Marvel. If this were the 60’s I would be a fully paid up member of the Merry Marvel Marching Society. For me DC stands for Don’t Care (See what I did there?). Now that being said, I became very interested in DC when it came down the grapevine that DC were going to reboot and do away with all of their new 52 nonsense. They were going to go back to their oh so confusing previous continuity and it sounded great. I’ve jumped into the puddle with both feet and read everything so far, and been thoroughly confused and intrigued in equal measure.
Now for the next rebirth. Wonder Woman. She is arguably the most famous literary heroine of the last 100 years and since New 52 she’s been a bit… Different. First born of Clay, then of a one night stand with Zeus. First a champion for Themyscira, now the God of War. Wonder Woman is waking up to the fact that she is in a bewildering place right now. It looks like the mystery of Wonder Woman’s dichotomy will be deftlytold by Greg Rucka, who moves on to this tale after completing the first wonderful Black Magick story ark. Going from one exceptionally strong female character to another, Rucka has proven again to be a master storyteller, who can ignite interest in a tale without having to resort to making the artist throw out huge double page spreads. In this issue, he drew me in with intelligent thoughtful reflection and the promise of a mystery to be solved.
This issue begins with Matthew Clark’s art leading us through Wonder Woman’s self-interrogation to her realisation that change is needed. Needless to say his work is exemplary. He has an excellent feel for his subject. He is very good at, as he puts it, draw[ing] people doing amazing things in skin tight outfits and revealing costumes. His take on the New 52 Wonder Woman is excellent and he hands that “Old 52” baton onwards with a magnificent segue from old to new. From New 52 to Rebirth, all on the turn of a page. The change from Matthew Clark’s work to that of Liam Sharp is superbly done. It’s a sublime shedding of skin as Wonder Woman discards her old costume and, looking to the future dons her new one, Matt Clark slips away leaving the rebirth to Liam Sharp.
Sharp’s 5 pages of Wonder Woman promise so much for the ongoing series. It has reintroduced me to the work of an artist I lost track of for many years. I met Liam Sharp at a Comic Convention in Glasgow in March 92 (I think) when I managed to get a signed drawing of Deaths Head 2’s head off of him (I still have that drawing somewhere). I was very impressed at that time with how he almost mimicked the style of Jim Lee and Marc Silvestri. Now his work is so much more than that. He has his own sense of style and panache that will very soon be recognised by a legion of DC fans. People will look at his run and instantly recognise his take on Wonder Woman, and that’s going to be a great legacy. Liam Sharp is an artist who is going to influence many a young artist in the future. He’s going to be an instant success all over again.
I’m going to look back to look forward here. On Black Magick (Image) Greg Rucka was complimented marvellously by Nicola Scott, who’s art was breath-taking. We haven’t seen her work in this issue but she will be sharing the rigours of a bi-monthly schedule with Liam Sharp, maybe with Sharp on the odds and Scott on the evens? I promise, when you see Scott’s artwork in issue 2, you won’t be disappointed. (Go Check out Black Magick for a mouth-watering taster). Wonder Woman has two wonderfully nuanced artists at the helm and a damn fine writer too.
With no investment in anything DC beyond Green Lantern, can I get excited over a DC comic that isn’t GL? Why yes I can.
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The writer of this piece was: John Wallace
John Tweets from @jmwdaredevil