To compare this Wonder Woman run in its nascent stages against the New 52 relaunch featuring work by Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, and Goran Sudzuka is a daunting task, but the creative team behind Wonder Woman's Rebirth are showing a hell of a lot of promise.
This premiere issue features covers by both Liam Sharp and the often-lamented Frank Cho, both displaying a Wonder Woman who is as powerful as she is beautiful, and that's been a staple of the character that DC has been trying to convey over the past 20 years (David Finch's waif aside). The interior art by Sharp and Laura Martin is wonderful for the story, and again shows this hero is who is a force of nature in both beauty and strength.
Greg Rucka continues the theme he presented in the Rebirth one-shot, where Diana is searching for answers, searching for enlightenment for her life's story which seems to be missing critical pieces or confusing different aspects. Here Diana is encroaching on the grounds of Bwunda, which also happens to be where Etta Candy, Steve Trevor, and company are running a mission to discover what kind of threat is terrorizing the region.
It's nice to see Candy again after what feels like ages; her appearance in Grant Morrison's tepid Wonder Woman reimagining was highly unsettling, and seeing her back in her position as a woman in charge was refreshing, albeit slightly confusing: I have no qualms whatsoever with being portrayed as black in this series, but she seems to have taken on the body type that Amanda Waller has left behind. Hell, I heard CCH Pounder's voice in my head when reading her dialogue (which was sweet and authoritative, as it should be).
Trevor, who is in the field in the neighboring Bwundan region, is dealing with the fact that he is holding unrequited feelings towards the Themiscarian princess all while trying to dodge gunfire and track down whatever is tearing apart and kidnapping villages. He looks harrowed here, unkempt and tired, losing himself in yet another mission.
And we must again feature the portrayal of Wonder Woman herself. This new uniform is wonderful - it looks functional, more practical, modern, and with all the changes still pays homage to the suit people recognize worldwide. There are thick coils of muscle on this lady, with delicate features to match, and Rucka captures her spirit perfectly when Diana gives her sought-after prey three chances to avoid an ass-kicking. Diplomatic and thoughtful, but not afraid to put some stooges in their places.
The ending of the issue -- which I wouldn't dream of spoiling here -- makes me crave the next issue even more, knowing full well that it's Nicola Scott's turn to tell the story of a younger WW instead of the continuation of the present tale. It's a relief to see that this book lives up to all the hype that came about during the Rebirth announcement of Greg Rucka's return; Diana has a mission, a duty to herself to uncover the very thing that her lasso brings forth - the truth.
She is elegance and violence, power and beauty. She is Wonder Woman, and thank goddess she's here.