Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Liam Sharp, Laura Martin (Colours)
Release Date: 22nd June 2016
Right off the bat, I have to say that this current iteration of Wonder Woman is one I dearly want to see, hear and read a lot more about. Every character in the hallowed ‘DC Trinity’ now has a first ‘Rebirth’ issue under their collective belts, and each has begun in truly spectacular fashion. This might be the finest opening issue of the three, and is one that has definitely kindled my interest in a character for whom I had no great love.
From a purely aesthetic perspective, the character – and the book overall – looks stunning, and the tasteful cosmetic update her costume has undergone looks fantastic. Liam Sharp does a magnificent job of conveying movement, strength, power, and grace, as the character leaps effortlessly across the panels. There is a clear understanding of how the body moves, and how that relates to more a more heroic physiology. Character poses look dynamic, but effortless, and have true athletic energy and femininity to them.
Some wonderfully composed panels lend genuine depth and scale to the story, and the issue features a variety of beautifully drawn and coloured locales, ranging from the dense vegetation of the jungle floor, war-torn towns and cities, darkened situation rooms and some spectacular vistas. What truly sells the issue, though, is the emotional engagement with the reader. Little moments that deepen the sombre tone, and help you connect with the characters and their respective plights.
Of course, Greg Rucka’s masterful storytelling has everything to do with what makes this opening issue so special. He intuitively understands the elements that makes this character so appealing, and demonstrates this by accentuating facets of her persona inherent from her inception. She is very much an empathetic and sympathetic heroine, completely aware of and responsible with her power, who is always seeking a peaceful solution to conflict. Which is not to say she can’t throw down! Although looking for the peaceful option, she is entirely capable of ending a conflict should she choose, and Rucka absolutely nails this most important aspect of her character.
Over the course of the issue her patience is tested, and the emotional drama is built in such a way that you actually feel sympathy for her ‘enemies’ at the prospect of the coming storm soon to engulf them. Certain story beats hint at the harsh realities of war and conflict, and again it’s great to see the character take a more considered approach to resolution, mindful of the devastation it can cause. It’s a perfect blend of character development and action, and it drives the narrative forward whilst taking just enough time to allow the emotional beats to resonate.
Quite simply, this is how you open a series if you want to encourage readers to come back for more. A gripping, emotional and dramatic opening which is truly fit for the Gods.
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The Writer of this piece was: Martin Doyle
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