Trial of the Amazons is underway and the third chapter is out this week in comic book shops with Wonder Woman #785. There’s nothing quite like a comic book crossover event to amp up the stakes while blending many different non-series-specific characters into the narrative. This week, Wonder Woman goes through a personal trial of her own as she faces the very real loss of her mother, Hippolyta.
This issue opens with the watchers of the Doom’s Doorway reflecting on the arrows being shot on Hippolyta’s water burial. We soon see a man on a submarine transfixed by the arrows looking quite creepy until the narrative switches to earlier in the day. These scenes serve as foreshadowing for bad times coming.
Much of this issue is focused on Wonder Woman reeling from her mother’s death and absolutely no suspects to be found. She’s angry, likely at herself, but also at how the Amazons are preparing for a battle to find their new leader. Why can’t they get their ducks in a row and work as one, especially in the face of such a tragic loss? It’s easy to liken this tragic situation to the world today as we all watch as Russia does as it pleases while bombs go off in Ukraine.
If you’re looking for big event moments, Michael Conrad and Becky Cloonan have crafted game-changing scenes here. There are new character reveals, for instance, as well as a cliffhanger that you may not see coming. Doom’s Doorway also continues to be a major issue. Might it be an allegory for global warming, or other travesties in the world humanity seems fine with watching while they sit on their hands?
The act of sitting on your hands does permeate the book, which in a sense can feel stifling. Characters are all waiting for the trial to begin so it’s natural, but it does feel evident there’s a lack of action. Much of the issue is about characters coming to decisions, one of which happens a bit off-page for Diana which feels out of left field since she’s been so confident about her feelings regarding her role in Themyscira. One can surmise how she got there, though.
Nubia is another character that stands out in this issue as well. She’s like the ultimate leader, akin to Yoda who is quiet but also thinking about the best move. She comes off as very wise and there’s logic in her decisions here.
Art by Rosi Kämpe is fabulous, especially with how it draws you into the character experiences. This isn’t a fight comic by any means, but Kämpe puts you right there with Wonder Woman who is reeling from the loss of her mother. Kämpe is very good at costuming with some great looks for two big reveal moments.
Tamra Bonvillain is a master at giving the book a golden look, adding to the regal feel of a Greek play. Save for scenes where the time of day is important, it’s as if Themyscira is bathed in subtle golden light.
This issue also has a backup by Jordie Bellaire and Paulina Ganucheau continuing the Young Diana stories. The story is about Hippolyta putting Diana through some lessons for the day. It’s fitting Hippolyta is a major player since she’s been killed in the main story and her connection to Diana is so important. The story here is endearing and well told.
“Trial of the Amazons” is turning out to be a delicious slow-boil event series. Wonder Woman #785 explores Diana’s complicated relationship with her home island while throwing some doozy revelations on the reader. You’ll be amped up more than ever for the trial after this issue.
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