Thursday, June 4, 2015

Review of Wonder Woman, volumes 4 & 5

Wonder Woman, Volume 4: War & Volume 5: Flesh, by Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang and Goran Sudžuka. Collecting issues 19-29, and 23.2. 

This volume continues the story of the fight for the throne of Olympus, which is empty in Zeus’ still-unexplained absence. The prior volumes of the title were reviewed here and here and here. This ongoing story is one of the standouts of DC Comics’ “New 52” initiative.

There is a lot of good stuff going on in these volumes. Apollo has taken the throne, and his first duty seems to be torturing his enemies, a plan which in the long run does not work out. Hera has been de-powered, learning what it is to be mortal. Orion of the New Gods appears again in these issues, and this time he is closer to being an ally of Diana than he was in the prior volume. His look is particularly striking, and I enjoy how the Boom-Tube effect is portrayed. And Wonder Woman fights a bear. And there’s a minotaur.

In a dramatic confrontation, Wonder Woman defeats Mars, ending the war that he was bringing to Earth. Unfortunately, this left her in the role as God of War, a position she takes only reluctantly. She then spends most of these issues ignoring her duties, continuing to guard Zola’s (and Zeus’) baby, which she has been doing since issue #1. But by the end of the volume, Olympus has fallen, and Wonder Woman realizes that she needs to take up Mars’ mantle and become The God of War.

Azzarello’s take on Wonder Woman has been refreshing and consistently enjoyable. I know that his time on the title is coming to an end, and I certainly hope that he is able to craft an ending to this story as strong as what he has given us thus far.

Source: public library

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