Monday, August 19, 2013

New 52 Review: Wonder Woman, vol 2

Wonder Woman Volume 2: Guts, hardcover collection, containing issues 7-12, by Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, and Tony Akins. 

Continuing the story of the prior volume (Blood, reviewed here), we are faced with an Olympus where Zeus has removed himself from the throne. And of course there are many who would like to take his place ruling the realm.
The mortal (and pregnant) woman Zola has been stolen away to the underworld, and Diana has to find a way to get her out. At one point, she ends up with her own lasso wrapped around her, confessing that she loves Hades. But Brian Azzarello demonstrates his complete control of this world, as he manages to get her out of this situation in a logical way.

Azzarello continues to fuse his experience writing terrific crime stories into this Amazonian world of gods and heroes. Hephaestus the weapons maker supplies plenty of weapons here, Eros has some awesome magic guns, and even Zola is packing a shotgun. Azzarello makes this ohterworldy setting his own.
His writing of dialogue continues to be very strong. Among the words he puts in character’s mouths are:   "There's birth and there's death. And in between it's all improvisation," and "There isn't space in Hell for love. It's too cluttered with memories and regrets."

Tony Akins takes on the art duties for issues 9 & 10, and his style is very different from the unique style of Cliff Chiang. This could have been jarring, but Azzarello made sure that the stories with the fill-in artist took place in Hades' realm. This made the art changes seem “natural,” in that Hades and Earth should look different from each other, and in these two issue, they do. That was very good schedule planning, or perhaps very good luck.
The ending is intriguing, and it has my hopes up for where the story may be going. Diana's understanding of who she is has changed over these twelve issues, as she has learned the extent to which she has been deceived as to her origin -- perhaps a comment on the many comic book origins that Wonder Woman has faced? As I have written here before, Wonder Woman has experienced more than her fair share of re-boots over the years, but this version of the Amazon is one of the best things to come out of the NEW 52 initiative.

The sales for this title continue to be good. The book is consistently among DC’s top 12 selling books. In the years leading up to the reboot, the prior iteration of Wonder Woman’s title was selling fewer copies than this one, and usually landed around #20 among DC books.

Source: public library.

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