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26 of 52: Wonder Woman #1

by on September 22, 2011

Okay, let’s be honest. There was little chance that I wasn’t going to like this book. I think the only Brian Azzarello comic book that I didn’t care for, was Loveless, and that was mostly because it was a western. I even kindof liked Superman: For Tomorrow (but it was a mess). So when I heard that Azz was writing a revamped Wonder Woman, I was definitely intrigued.

In all the years of reading comics, the only writer who seemed to meet with ‘universal’ appeal was George Perez, though I’m sure he has his detractors. So here’s Azz, someone who isn’t afraid of ripping everything to shreds and trying something new.

So enough foreplay, let’s dance!

Wonder Woman #1: The Visitation
Writer: Brian Azzarello | Artist: Cliff Chiang

There isn’t any insight that I have for Wonder Woman that you probably don’t already have yourself. As for recent developments, I believe we are working with a clean slate here. I think we can say that Princess Diana is an Amazon Princess living in a “man’s world.”

As for the writer Brian Azzarello, well… let’s just say that you’re not going to see him writing an updated version of Sugar and Spice anytime soon. (And his wife writes Little Endless, I can’t imagine that household)

Synopsis

  • A man with dark skin and glowing eyes is entertaining three ladies in his penthouse, and using his powers turns them into his oracles.
  • A woman wearing a peacock cloak beheads two horses, creating two centaur assassins who try to kill a girl named Zola.
  • Hermes tries to rescue Zola by giving her a key, that teleports her to the bedroom of Diana (aka Wonder Woman).
  • Diana and Zola return to her farm, where Diana dispatches the centaurs, before a dying Hermes provides crucial information about Zola.

Questions & Answers

  1. The man with the black skin, is he Apollo? Or another demi-god that is currently unknown.
  2. Wonder Woman is known in the world, even to a small town farm girl like Zola.
  3. How can Hermes be killed by two centaurs? Some explanation would be good as to how a God can be killed like that.
  4. The implication is that Hera is the woman with the peacock cloak. Is this true?
  5. Did Zeus seduce Zola, or was it against her will, or was it without her knowledge?

Analysis

This so rocked! I mean when you love a writer’s style, it speaks to you. So it’s possible that others don’t dig a brutal horrorish style in a Wonder Woman superhero comic book. But for me I’m pulled in completely.

Loved the idea of a demi-god creating a trio of oracles on the fly, and to have them to provide prophetic narration while speaking in modern voices was great.

Certainly seems like we’re going for a god war sort of thing. Very reminiscent of Roger Zelazny’s Amber series. (And yes, that’s a compliment)

And the trademarked Brian Azzarello gore factor. Couldn’t have regular centaurs attack, they had to come from beheaded horses. Heh. But at least you don’t see it everyday.

Okay, cheesecake factor and issues: why did Diana have to sleep nude, if Diana sleeps nude why would she be modest and wrap the bed sheet around her in front of another woman (other than artistic convention), and if Diana was modest enough to wrap the bed sheet around her, why would she drop it in front of her closet (other than to give a sexy back and partial side boob shot).

Loved that Diana towered over Zola. And that Diana was the correct level of beautiful. Much credit to Chiang for that.

The balance that exists in Diana was perfectly executed in a single line of dialog (and how she was drawn when speaking it): “Zola, my name is Diana… I want to help you. And I can take that key right out of your hand. But I’d prefer if you gave it to me willingly.”

The muted colors in this book give it a completely different feel than any other Wonder Woman comic I’ve ever seen that relied too much on primary colors. This is just really well done front to back.

Verdict

For me, this is the best DCnU title so far, hands down. I love the subtleness of Diana in this book. The action is very well played, and there are several key mysteries to keep the reader intrigued throughout. Not much more to say. In my opinion, you should definitely buy this book.

A+ (As Advertised)

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From → Comic Books, DCnU

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