During this current age of Rebirth in which DC relaunched their whole line-up five years after The New 52, Greg Rucka returns to the Greek fantasy adventures of Diana Prince by writing a self-aware exploration over the numerous versions of Wonder Woman’s origin. Sadly. however, his first volume, subtitled The Lies, was all questions and no answers. As for this second volume, we still don’t those answers, but really a separate storyline presented as an all-new origin story.
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Nicola Scott
Publisher: DC Comics
Currently living life in Themyscira as respectable princess and loving daughter to Queen Hippolyta, Diana wishes to see what is beyond the horizon. She gets her wish when a military plane from Man’s World crashes on her homeland and she discovers the only survivor, Steve Trevor. Perceiving this incident as a call from the Gods, Hippolyta must pick a champion out of her people who will sent to return Trevor to his home, even if it includes her only daughter.
Those who are familiar with Wonder Woman’s history will get a sense of déjà vu from the above synopsis, as Rucka is trying to bring her back to her classical DC roots. Subtitled Year One, and much like Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Bat-masterpiece, this volume tells the origin story in a way that is relevant in today’s world, in terms of how these characters are defined through politics and progression. Sadly, this attempt to contemporize the mythos is overshadowed by Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette’s graphic novel Wonder Woman: Earth One, which takes William Moulton Marston’s original concept and does something modern and risqué.
Known for writing strong female characters, Rucka knows how to write a Wonder Woman who isn’t characterized as a warrior lusting for battle, but a youthful woman who is curious about the world beyond and when she does arrive in Man’s World, she is a fish out of water who despite her incredible powers tries to confront problems with words. This comic has received media attention due to its hero confirmed as an LGBT character, which does add a new angle to her relationship with Trevor as Rucka doesn’t try force a romance between the two.
Unfortunately, whatever touching character drama the writer can conceive, he can’t seem to make his plots interesting as here he is retelling an established origin story (with the always questionable invisible plane) and using a known player from Wonder Woman’s rogues gallery, it ends up being a predictable read with very little action to be admired. Strangely, there’s not much explanation towards her continuously developing powers, which seem to come out of nowhere, from her language barrier in Man’s World to even having the abilities of Dr. Dolittle.
Having previously collaborated with Rucka on Black Magick for Image, artist Nicola Scott taps into the joy and optimism that characterizes his approach to Wonder Woman, as well as providing an elegance to the design of Paradise Island, which is brightly colored by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Although this is a slight step-up following the first volume, this separate storyline by Greg Rucka tries to contemporize the Wonder Woman mythos. However, it’s overshadowed by recent works that have done exactly that, and the writing just isn’t all that compelling in terms of plot and action.
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