Artist Adriana Melo joins Joëlle Jones as the latter pens the second part of Wonder Girl’s hero’s journey. The multitude of Amazonian tribes and meddling gods make their presence more known as Yara takes a deeper dive into her heritage, and learns the origin of her name. It might throw some readers off to realize that this story takes place with Diana canonically dead, but it doesn’t take long to adjust to the current status quo.
Jones paces this issue very similarly to the last one, which is to say there’s a really interesting opening anecdote, the mystery unfolds in intriguing ways, and Yara does something exciting and endearing — yet, the issue still comes off rather slow. It can seem at times that the story itself is spread so thin that Yara herself only gets to do a handful of things in her own series.
That being said, the series’ mystery couldn’t be developing in a more interesting way. The inclusion of different Amazonian tribes has evolved into the inclusions of certain beloved Wonder Woman characters, which makes it that much easier to invest in what’s going on.
Additionally, readers get their first real interaction with the modern version of Yara’s tribe of Amazons. They’re presented in a very unique way compared to the Themyscirians and the Bana-Mighdall, whether it’s in the way they dress, or the way in which they conduct themselves. It’s evident that whatever this tribe ends up being when readers get a full look at them, that they’ll be lovingly crafted.
Furthermore, Jones seems to be trying to further explore a possible supporting cast for Yara with reappearances from Kevin and João, who in particular gets a lot of focus. It’s almost hard to discern whether Jones intends for João to be charming, and endearing, or honestly a bit creepy.
In the middle of all these things Jones is developing is Yara herself — the problem, however, is that not much about Yara is all that interesting. Her link to Amazonian lore is awesome. The development with her relationship to the Greek pantheon is super exciting. The implications of her existence drive this book forward. But when Yara herself is talking to people and interacting with others, she’s somewhat generic. She’s spunky in a cliche way, and only seems to reference basic, nondescript experiences. It’s not ruining the book, but she needs to be better for this to work long-term.
Luckily, Jones brandishes the banner of Yara much more effectively as an artist than as a writer. Her physical depiction delivers a level of character that isn’t present in the script — whether it’s her sense of modernity communicated through her style and dress, or her passion and courage displayed in her facial expressions in moments of crisis, Jones’s artwork is fantastic.
Additionally, Jones delivers the mythical elements of this book with such an air of excitement and grand scale. It’s these pages that make the book can’t miss most of the time.
Conversely, Melo has joined the book to handle the pages which most often don’t deal with Yara herself. This isn’t necessarily bad in and of itsef, but the fact that Jones can’t hold down art duties two issues into this series is a little frustrating, considering the book was sold on her pulling double duty.
The pages Melo cover do a decent job blending into Jones style. Often, she slips into a bit more of a cartoonish style, which might take away from the book’s overall tone, but is really effective with the character they are given to work with.
The second issue doesn’t quite reach the heights of the first, but continues full steam ahead on a very interesting mystery. If Jones can instill Yara herself with a bit more personality, the book might really take off.
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