Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Nicola Scott
Excited as I am for this bi-weekly book it has had a fairly glacial pace, like 3 issues slow if you count the “Wonder Woman: Rebirth” issue (and I do). Fortunately, last issue really started cooking with gas as Wonder Woman joined forces with Cheetah while Steve Trevor and his team had just arrived to rescue a group of kidnapped girls from a warlord and his supernatural boss. However Rucka’s ambitious run alternates between timelines, with the even-numbered books re-telling Wondy’s (admittedly tired) origin, but issue #4 injects some much needed flair and modern perspective into her classic intro story while Scott’s clean art highlights all the glory and humanity of Themyscira and its Amazons.
- Have Gun, Will Travel – Sole survivor of a devastating plane crash that killed his team, Steve Trevor’s masculine presence isn’t the main issue of concern to the Amazons. Rather, it’s the fire power he brought with him. A giant “BLAM” sound effect fills up a panel during a hand gun demonstration and elicits horrified lookz from the Queen’s council. Politics aside, one can imagine the distress a society of archers would feel seeing a Glock in action for the first time.
- “That Is Not So Unlike Us, Is It?” – While Steve convalesces he connects with Diana despite their language barrier (what does Amazonian sound like?). The perceptive princess is able to pick up on his grief for his lost comrades and she sees men and women aren’t so different after all. It’s a moment that shows the emotional side of both cultures and also highlights Diana’s empathy as she comforts Steve.
- Like Mother Like Daughter – Some of my favorite moments in this title are the quiet moments between Diana and Hippolyta. The unabashed yet unsappy pride the Queen has for her daughter are in line with Rucka’s A+ female characterizations.
- The Gods Must Be Crazy – The events are interpreted by the Queen’s council to be a sign from the gods.. but what they are saying is still left to be determined. Keeping this fantasy element in the background has me excited for appearances from the Mount Olympus crew.
- Let The Games Begin – What could have been dragged into a whole other issue was contained in a few pages (praise be to Zeus!). A terrific splash page explodes with Amazons competing to become the Themysciran ambassador. Appropriately, the last panels of the games use decompression to give you the feeling of a hush falling over the packed arena before Diana’s final feat (which had me grinning like an idiot).
- With Compliments to Linda Carter – There’s a nice bit of fan service in the last few pages that is too good to spoil (you’ll know it when you see it) but it definitely played a factor in this issue winning me over.
- “I was brought to life by Zeus” – And last but certainly not least, Scott’s art is what ties Rucka’s writing together. I wasn’t thrilled with the art in issue #2 but the clean lines and bright color pallette really sell this mythic, isolated place.
Review 6 (out of 7) – Year One: Part Two is a success. An engaging portrait of Themyscira and their foremost champion right before she heads off to man’s world… and let us not forget the $2.99 price point