Wonder Woman has been one of DC Comics’ best books since Rebirth (and even before during New 52 thanks to Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, and crew), and with each new creative team comes a palpable buzz. The newest team debuts in Wonder Woman #58 -- and it is a murderer’s row of incredible talent – with a story that seems to be putting our favorite Amazon in quite a precarious position.
G. Willow Wilson, she of the incredible Ms. Marvel run over at the House of Ideas, begins the tale on Themyscira. The readers are brought down to the bowels of the island where they have kept Ares prisoner for hundreds of years (as Greg Rucka’s stunning run revealed), and now we see that Grail has also been stuck down there as well. Ares seems to finally understand what his actions have wrought.
It’s an extremely interesting take on the God of War, who has traditionally been one of Wondy’s top bad guys. Wilson has always excelled are burrowing into the characters to expose their humanity, and the short scene in the prison cave plays right into her strengths. There is humanity on display here between the two villains, each of them laid bare due to captivity.
The art team is, quite literally, composed of some of our absolute favorite talents, and each of their skills is on full display here.
Cary Nord brings a realism to the characters that truly works wonders with Wilson’s writing – the aforementioned humanity of their words matches emotive facial expressions and precise body language. His Diana is lithe and frenetic here, tearing through action sequences with grace. Nord truly has a gift with faces, as his Grail runs through a gamut of emotions I truly can’t recall seeing her display before.
Mick Gray helps remind everyone just why he’s one of the very best inkers in comics today: his manipulations of light and dark create a city of horrors in Durovnia, while simultaneously he manages to keep Diana’s lines clean and complimentary to the colors. Part of what made Tomasi’s and Gleason’s run on Batman and Robin was the atmosphere that Gray’s inks provided, and he’s bringing that same level of skill to this book.
Romulo Fajardo Jr anchors this Olympic sequential squad with an exquisite color palate. He adds depth to the panels, showing the majesty of the Amazon’s home just as clearly as the destruction of a toppled city. Fajardo Jr keeps Wonder Woman’s colors bright as her personality, and that warmth shines through even in the face of war.
And speaking of artwork, the covers by Terry Dodson and Jenny Frison are stellar – Frison continues her beautiful run, her ethereal work displaying the quiet power of Wonder Woman. The Dodsons are always a welcome sight on a Wonder Woman book, as they craft a beautiful powerhouse that practically leaps off the page.
This is a really good first issue for this team, as they introduced a new twist on a familiar theme (Ares stirring up shit) without tipping their hands too much. I’m excited to see this crew cultivate chemistry, and you can bet your nana’s best casserole I’m coming back for 59.