Marvel Reviewer: Niam Suggitt
I'm pretty notorious around these parts as being a Wonder Woman hater. I used to say 'nobody cares about Wonder Woman' and generally that's held true. The character never really has a book worth talking about and in my eyes has been cruising along based on reputation only, she was big back in the day so DC keep her around, but nobody ever does anything interesting. I tried out JMS' run and found it to be poor, despite Phil Hester doing his best to make it work towards the end. So can Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang make Wonder Woman actually interesting for the first time since she was being used as William Moulton Marston's wank-material?
On the basis of this issue, then yes. Azzarello is a strange choice for a Wonder Woman title, but this out-there pick is what the character needs I think, someone who doesn't give a damn about what the character used to be or about pleasing her dwindling fanbase, but someone who wants to tell kick-ass stories involving Greek mythology and exciting action.
A lot has been made about the violence and horse-decapitation in this issue, but I didn't bat an eye at it, because I'm not a whiny pussy. Wonder Woman is a warrior, there's bound to be violence, and this Centaur-creation scene was a really great one, and a great reinterpretation of Greek Myth. Azzarello and Chiang do the same reinvention to the Gods Hermes and Apollo and it works really well. I can't wait to see how Azzarello will interpret the other Greek Gods in future issues.
Wonder Woman herself doesn't actually do that much in this issue, but I liked her here. The action scene where she fights the Centaurs was brilliant and her insistence at being called Diana instead of Wonder Woman was a nice touch. I still don't feel like Azzarello has made her interesting, but he has made the world around her more interesting, so Wonder Woman herself is sure to follow. This issue was more about setting up the threat and the new take on the Gods than Wonder Woman herself.
The art from Cliff Chiang was fantastic, I've been a fan of Chiang since his work on Doctor 13 with Azzarello, and he does his usual stylish work here. His Wonder Woman looks absolutely fantastic, whether in her costume or nude, and he draws the gruesomeness and strangeness of the mythological elements with great panache. He's just a brilliant artist, nothing more needs to be said, and this is one of the best-looking books of the new 52.
In the end, this was a good issue, I've still not been converted to being a fan of Wonder Woman, but I enjoyed myself here. I like seeing the character be taken into a darker world, to shake her out of her comfort zone of generic superhero action. And the art of course was great. If you've never been a fan of Wonder Woman, this one is definitely worth a shot. And if you are a fan of Wonder Woman... I don't understand you people.
Accessibility: 18/25 (Azzarello doesn't really explain who Wonder Woman is at all, so completely new fans may be a bit confused, but as long as you do know she's an Amazon you'll be fine. You'll also need some knowledge of Greek mythology)
Total Score: 82/100