The Wonder Woman series always worries me, after the departure of Greg Rucka. His stories at the beginning of Rebirth set an incredibly high bar. Ever since them, creative teams have cycled out of the title, but none have quite hit that bar. Some stories were boring and slow while others were empty flashes of action. There were a few good stories in there, but the misses stack higher than the hits. Now we have a new team taking over post Witching Hour. G. Willow Wilson, famous for her work on Ms. Marvel, will be writing stories for the Amazon princess for the time being. Will she give us another hit?
**Some Spoilers Below**
On the island of Themyscaria, Ares and Grail stay trapped in their prison. The pair chat, with Grail pointing out how cruel it is. Ares, on the other hand, begins thinking of the position he has been in. He realizes that time is the only real victor of war and that he wants to change. He wishes to bring justice to the unjust and orders Grail to kill him. She does, which causes his spirit to be released into the world. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman begins to worry about Steve Trevor as he leaves the states. There is an incident with the militia in the small country of Durovnia which requires ARGUS’ attention.
This first issue was surprisingly very compelling with what it’s promising. We appear to be getting a story that will be full of action and character development. Every sequence is another hook that latches on and pulls the reader in. From the conversation between Grail and Ares to Wonder Woman fighting in Durovnia, there is plenty that will keep readers intrigued. My favorite part is the revelation of Ares. The God of War is often known as a villainous character, but if this opening implies anything, we’ll be getting an interesting change. The ending is also able to deliver a shocking surprise that grabs the reader.
That being said, the biggest problem with the issue is the pace. It drags on in places with mostly dialogue when there should be action. Sometimes the dialogue is interesting, but other times it’s just boring.
While I did enjoy the story, I cannot say the same for the art. There are bizarre illustrations of our characters that don’t feel correct, and it throws the issue off for me. The most obvious example, unfortunately, is Wonder Woman. The Amazon is supposed to be this larger than life figure with muscles that rival even Superman. In this comic, however, she looks puny. It appears if there is no muscle on her yet she can deal these heavy blows. Along with that, there are bizarre, almost childlike, faces on a few of the characters. Grail looks more like a teenager than a grown daughter of Darkseid.
Despite these flaws, there are a few interesting designs. The mythological creatures that are in Durovnia look cool and creepy. Ares new look when he’s in the world looks incredible as well. This isn’t enough to redeem the issue, but it gives me hope for the future.
This issue is promising a lot. It promises a kick-ass story with Wonder Woman and Ares that will change their characters. The problem is that’s all we have right now. It’s an okay read with art I can’t get into. If this issue does anything, it gives the reader a reason to be excited for next time.