This issue of Wonder Woman had so much promise but ended up a let down due to its weak story structure.
Not much happened in the previous issue, as most of it was dedicated to flashbacks to previous arcs. The present storyline revolves around Darkseid and his daughter going against ARGUS to grab ancient relics for a sinister purpose. After a mission, Steve Trevor meets up with Wonder Woman to unwind and chat. Before they become too comfortable, however, a person suddenly appears before them: Diana’s brother, Jason, clad in new armor. Where did he come from and how will he help his sister against Darkseid’s forces?
**Some Spoilers Below**
After Jason’s week-long absence, Diana and Steve wonder what new powers the son of Zeus has gained. Before they can think on that any longer though, reports of Grail resurfacing in Europe come to their attention. She has been working alongside her father to get artifacts for a dimensional door created by the New Gods. Their goal is to enter the dimension the Amazons are locked in and enslave them as an army to eventually conquer Earth. Wonder Woman and her brother speed off to face the daughter of Darkseid, thanks to the new control Jason has learned.
The makings of a good story is there. It has an interesting premise and a promise of good action. The problem is that the structure is what has failed this arc so far. Everything is so awkwardly paced and unfocused on the goal that the issue becomes a chore to read. An example of this is a flashback in this issue that shows how Jason met Grail. First, the whole flashback feels forced as it feels like it belongs in the Jason origin issue but was cut due to page length. Second, the flashback started and ended abruptly, leaving those not expecting it confused over what was actually the main plot or not. Overall, while the pieces are there, they aren’t set to tell even a halfway decent story.
While the story has failed to stand to expectations, the art continues to go above and beyond. The art team has given us another fantastic looking issue to behold. Jesus Merino has taken over penciling this story and from the first page, you see he’s a good choice. His designs of the characters are fantastic, especially Jason in his super suit. The only thing that could rival his skill is the returning colors of Romulo Fajardo Jr. There is a panel that has Jason standing before a small group of shadowy giants and while Merino’s pencil work is great, it’s the colors of Fajardo that evoke a sense of dread. Together, the pair makes this story feel epic and full of life. If there’s any reason to pick up this issue, it’s the teams skill with art.
The second chapter of this arc had some improvements, but unfortunately still fails to even be a decent read. The story has promise, but the disjointed structure pulls it down in quality. The art team has created a strong book to look at, but even that isn’t enough to make it great. There needs to be a change in the coming issues or this story will become as forgettable as last.