This week’s Trial of the Amazons starts the first Wonder Woman adjacent crossover in years. Kicking it off is the aptly named two-part series “Trial of the Amazons” which sets everything up. This issue is also a rare case where there are many writers attached, likely because this story is a shared project as it spins off into other series like Nubia and the Amazons, Wonder Woman, and two Wonder Girl tie-in issues. This opening issue features many superheroes, but curb your action addiction for this issue, as it’s actually a lot more like a Shakespearian play.
This issue opens on Themyscira, where the leaders are convening on what to do next. The Doom’s Doorway is a threat that all three Amazonian tribes are now aware of and their knowledge brings them all to the island. A literal trial is going to take place, and much of this issue is establishing the main players and what’s at stake. The threat of the doorway has ties to what happened in Nubia and the Amazons #5 and much of this issue is the calm before the storm.
Much like with a Shakespearian play, a lot is going on between characters in this issue. Yes, it’s mostly talking scenes, but the weight of what is going on can be read in their words. There seem to be alliances forming, and decisions being made across the book. As characters wander in and out of scenes you’ll be drawn into their worries and thoughts. I could see this issue being read on a stage and having it work well with audiences. Props to the writing team of Stephanie Williams, Vita Ayala, Joelle Jones, Michael Conrad, and Becky Cloonan for that.
There’s a good deal of storm and excitement through key character confrontations. This issue lives and breathes through strong dialogue that’s smartly written and good at revealing character. Yara Flor is a firecracker dropping into the issue in an exciting way, but the most interesting characters might be Wonder Woman and Queen Faruka. They both get moments to show their true selves and it’s interesting to see how Faruka’s approach to life is very much tied to earning our keep through battle. They also spar a bit and through their dialogue, we learn they have a history.
Meanwhile, Nubia and Hippolyta are steadfast leaders that come off as quite wise as they internalize what is at stake. Given Queen Faruka’s desire to up the ante on what will happen when a winner in the trial surfaces, one can see they have a heavyweight on their shoulders.
As far as superhero event comics are concerned, this issue does lack action and splashy moments. Patience is key reading this as you’ll find a lot of entertainment in the dialogue, but the plot and narrative could use a good spice of adrenaline to add to the visual experience. Joelle Jones makes Yara Flor’s entrance quite fun and entertaining, but this is mostly a talking heads narrative for better or worse. That isn’t to say the art by Laura Braga, Skylar Patridge, and Elena Casagrande is bad — it’s actually quite good at drawing your interest into these characters’ lives and thoughts.
Trial of the Amazons is a good start to an event that may just change everything we know about the Amazons. That’s exciting, especially when Wonder Woman isn’t even the most intriguing character in the narrative. Trial of the Amazons unfolds a drama that draws you into each character’s narrative.
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