At last, Steve Orlando has wrapped up the loose ends from G. Willow Wilson’s run and can start his proper ongoing! I wouldn’t call this the first arc, as I believe it’s framed as a one-shot, but this feels like the first story in Orlando’s grand plan. Jan Duursema is on art this week, and she’s someone I haven’t seen on a book in a long time, but I enjoyed her work on some of DC’s more eclectic titles like Arion and Sgt. Rock, so it’s nice to see her back with Romulo Fajardo Jr. on colors. Together, this team brings us a nice introductory Wonder Woman story with a lot of teases, nuances, and surprise appearances.
Wonder Woman #751 delivers as a fun introductory opening story. We see Orlando fulfill his promise that Wonder Woman will fight with compassion and love first. The primary backdrop for this is new neighbor and FBI agent Nora Nunes watching Wonder Woman helping out at Etta Candy’s new nonprofit during a violent storm. It’s nothing groundbreaking in terms of plot or structure, but it is pretty revolutionary in terms of the sheer amount of momentum driven by acts of compassion. Sure there are violent interruptions, but helping out at Triple S is definitely the focus. That being said, Orlando throws a lot of of other elements there, too. GWW’s run was fairly linear, and Orlando plants a bunch of seeds all at once. It definitely makes you curious as to where and when all of these plot points will pay off.
Nora Nunes gets fleshed out a little more in this issue, and I am grateful that she has more of a personality even if she largely fits into the skeptical and cynical cop trope. Towards the end, she is us, the readers, recognizing the powers of compassion before violence. I love that Etta Candy is doing nonprofit work. In a world where Wonder Woman is less involved in war, Etta should also find a more compassionate purpose and Triple S and their goal of feeding those who are displaced or without the means to support themselves is a great one.
We also have appearance of Firebrand from Steve Orlando’s The Unexpected, Von Gunther, and Devastation. The Four Horsewomen is a great supervillain team-up that Wonder Woman may have to face. Orlando said we might see a new villain team on the horizon, and it looks like that came sooner rather than later. Villainy Inc. was one of the first proper villain super-teams, so it looks like we’ll be returning to the Marston and Jimenez roots. Unfortunately, we also see the return of the Dark Fates, which, while an interesting concept by themselves, signal the return of Jason, who I believe was a horrible creation by James Robinson that tarnished the agency of Wonder Woman in her own book. As a result, I am nervously anticipating the next issue.
Overall, this is a solid introduction to Orlando’s proper ongoing filled with teases of what is to come. It contains plenty of heart and care while surrounding Wonder Woman with plenty of allies, support, threats, and villains alike. I think my favorite thing about this story, however, was that it was filled with only women. There isn’t a man in sight, and that’s only something I realized on my second read through. Now that I know that, it just feels right. Men are not a necessary part of her story, and I think Wonder Woman #751’s best quality is that it establishes that.