Review: Wonder Woman #31

After an odd little transition period, DC have gone and acquired a writer who, for the most part excels at writing strong superhero books.  Especially when it comes to carving out a place in the crowded “multi comic” existence of the majority of DC’s most popular characters.  In that, Wonder Woman is no exception.

This issue sees the start of the “Children of the Gods” storyline.  It seems that following his appearance in the continuity mess that is Dark Metal #2, Darkseid is going through some growing pains.  But from what breast does the a New God suckle?  Luckily, the promiscuousness of a certain “Old God” has ensured that there is plenty of subsistence in form of the Zeus’ children.  Hence Grail, the daughter of Darkseid, is sent, essentially to the store.

James Robinson is one of my favourite writers, as I have mentioned before.  Long time comic book fans will know all about Starman, Justice Society and Earth 2.  After recently spending time away from the big two,  Robinson returns to the fold with Wonder Woman.  From the start, the plot starts in a more solid way, than the recent issues.  It may not have the gravitas of Greg Rucka’s work, yet.  What it does have is a straight up story with characters introduced in a straightforward way.  You know who the bad guy is, you know who the good guys are and you know who will be caught in the middle.  It is definitely a journey is greater than the destination type of affair, at least in this first issue.  Robinson does well with Diana in the book, although Steve Trevor still seems to spend more time speaking for her than I would like to see.  Robinson may well take a view that Diana likes to watch, to understand a situation, before rushing in.  A mind-set that may actually be carried over from the last arc, giving the book and its previous issues a sense of internal continuity,

Deathstroke artist Carlo Pagulayan provides the pencils in this book.  I haven’t read a lot of Deathstroke, apart from “The Lazarus Contract” which as a TItans reader I felt beholden to purchase.  As such I am at a loss to say if this is better, worse or the same level of quality.  Instead, I will say that the art is a major improvement in every facet over the previous run.  Faces are consistent, the action panels pop with movement and everyone looks the part.  Grail looks  evil and deceptively gorgeous. So much of this book works its easy to get carried away without spotting the way that Pagulayan is trying to make Diana and Trevor look a tad like their movie counter parts.  I hope that this doesn’t devolve into inconsistencies down the line and I am not sure I am ready for another comic book version of Chris Pine, no matter how above average the art may be.  Finally, kudos to whomever decided to put Giganta in shorts – her love of the short skirt when in giant mode has always annoyed me.  Inks are provided by committee with Sean Parsons, Jason Paz and inking guru Scott Hanna all chipping in.  The colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr. are toned down adding to the feeling of darkness encroaching.

This issue reminds me of the Earth 2 book before Robinson left and it was turned into anther Batman and Superman book. Its well thought out, providing stability for a character that has gone through some creative changes of late, both in her own book, and in different interpretations in the books in which she is featured.

Writing – 4.5 Stars
Art – 4.5 Stars
Colors – 4 Stars

Written by; James Robinson
Art by; Carlo Pagulayan and Sean Parsons, Jason Paz and Scott Hanna
Colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Published by: DC Comics

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