The most recent adventure of Wonder Woman looks beautiful but will leave readers confused.
Wonder Woman has teamed up with a new hero and an old rival for this arc. After the new Aztek approaches Diana about a vision of an Amazon, they agree to work together to find her. The Amazon, Atalanta, disappeared to fight an evil entity centuries ago. Atalanta was also worshipped by another tribe of amazons, which the Outlaw, Artemis, was a part of. Despite their intense rivalry, Artemis agrees to assist Wonder Woman in this pursuit. The trio finds themselves heading to Central America to locate Atalanta, searching for a pyramid. They find a technologically advanced pyramid and deduce she is within, as well as the dark entity. What will our heroes face in the darkness?
**Some Spoilers Below**
When Wonder Woman, Aztek, and Artemis find Atalanta, the portal to another world is left wide open. Diana, understanding the thread this poses, leads the group through, finding the plane of Thirteen Heavens. As they travel through this realm, fighting along the way, they learn of its plight at the hands of Tezcatlipoca, a shadow god. He has captured all of the Sky Lords so he and his forces can take over Earth. Wonder Woman, Artemis, and Aztek finally set aside their differences and take on the God.
The biggest problem I have with this issue is an obvious one: the dialogue. Many times throughout the issue left me scratching my head in confusion. Steve Orlando seems to want to build an interesting mythos surrounding the villain. While an interesting idea, it would only work if it was spread out over the arc. The heroes defeat the god and leave in this issue. Throughout the issue, we are just expected to know all of the Mesoamerican references that are used in the journey. These references, in the dialogue between two characters, felt inorganic and just flat out odd. The plot is perfectly fine; it’s just this dull dialogue that causes the issue to fall.
The art is, unfortunately, a mixed bag this time around, but the good parts do go above and beyond. The illustrations of Aco are fantastic, especially in designing Tezcatlipoca’s forces. They had the look of natives but mixed with technology reminiscent of New Genesis. Add that along to the overall look of the book; it could be hung up on a wall.
Unfortunately, there are downsides to this art as well. Just like the previous issue, the layouts hold the story back. While the dialogue has its problems, the layout furthers the confusion with strange looks. I had to take a few minutes to figure out where the two-page spreads began and ended due to this. Art is supposed to help enhance a comic reading experience, but sadly, this does the opposite.
This was a rough read to get through. There are pieces to a good story arc here. The stiff dialogue and strange layouts sadly hold the entire thing back. While I hope these will smooth out in time, I can’t recommend this book.