Sunday, September 25, 2011

WONDER WOMAN #1 REVIEW (A SECOND REVIEW)


Writer: Brian Azzarello

Artist: Cliff Chiang

Let’s start with what you really need to know, and that is that Wonder Woman #1 is one of, if not the, best books in the reboot. This is good, as the title comes into the reboot in an unusual position. The fact that the previous year’s run of Wonder Woman was so dire has actually increased the anticipation and hype around the new number 1 for the Amazon princess. And, boy, does the new team deliver.

This isn’t an origin story, or one packed to the gills with continuity. Every reader, newbie or veteran will come into this issue on the same foot, with a world filled with malevolent mythical mysteries, and Wonder Woman being drawn into them.

We’re introduced to Greek gods playing games amongst each other, the same old stories playing themselves out – oracles, vengeance, Zeus sleeping with everything – except, it’s not the same. In fact, it’s very, very different. In much the same way that Neil Gaiman took various types of mythology and imagined them in the modern world with modern sensibility, Azzarello has transformed the Wonder Woman background. Gone are the stuffy robes, and are replaced with postmodern ways of looking at the old guard that create a very specific mood.

In fact, the first third of the book is dedicated to setting the tone and theme, before finally coming around to our hero: the regal, statuesque Diana is beautifully realized by Cliff Chiang.

His angular lines recall ancient Greek art, and tell a beautiful story. His characters aren’t just standing around in a pose while text balloons narrate, they’re acting … emoting in response to the world around them. Chiang’s gods and monsters look dramatic, alien and familiar all at the same time, with one particular scene, showcasing the creation of centaurs being notable for it’s gore, horror and sheer genius. Don’t show it to you children.

Together, one of the superstar teams of the New 52 has created a brilliant book that promises to be a really interesting take on the iconic warrior Wonder Woman.

Andrew Moore is rambling man, and he rambles too much about comics, soccer and South African politics on Twitter at twitter.com/bathoz.

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