REVIEW: Wonder Woman and Conan #1

WHAT PREVIEWS SAYS: What makes one a legend? How do legends carve their names into history, when countless others are forgotten? Wonder Woman and Conan the Barbarian are destined by the fates to be legendary, but when their stories collide, will both emerge victorious, or will the fickle Gods cut their lives short? Co-published with Dark Horse Comics.

What we say: This pairing of WW and Conan seems to make perfect sense in the grand tradition of team-ups. Both are battle tested warriors, both are known for their nobility and savagery, both are natural-born leaders. It only makes sense that the Cimmerian and the Amazon would have their paths cross.

The set-up for the storyline is simple enough; Conan intercedes and stops a group of highwaymen from killing a peasant; a man who offers Conan piles of gold for his assistance. A few sword slashes and a few dead bodies later, Conan and his charge are headed to the nearest arena to collect on a battle that the peasant has wagered on. The fight in question is where we meet Wonder Woman.

The motivations for Wonder Woman being present in this predicament is not revealed, it is also hinted at that this version of WW might not be Diana, but another woman entirely. Could this be a previous Amazonian warrior to bare the same name? I’m sure that Gail Simone will reveal all by the end of this six issue mini-series.

Speaking of Simone, her plot works well enough to set the events of the series in motion, but I didn’t feel invested enough that I will rush out and buy up the rest of the remaining five issues. I do think that there are more than enough fans of Wonder Woman and Conan that will enjoy this particular story. DC and Dark Horse may find that this is the first of many cross-overs between the two companies.

The artwork by Lopresti fits right in with what you would expect in a sword and sorcery tale. Everyone looks like they were pulled out of a Xena: The Warrior Princess episode. The dress and style are flawless for the period that the storyline takes place.

Simone doesn’t get bogged down in DC lore; avoiding shoving in unnecessary references to other characters or Easter eggs. She has the chops to allow her main characters to carry the plot.

While the issue ends with the promise of WW and Conan squaring off against one another; the threat of any real drama is removed knowing that neither DC nor Dark Horse would allow their respective property suffer any lasting effects from the impending battle. While it might be fun to read, we know that this is heading deep into standard team-up troupes; the two heroes fight each other, decide that they are on the same side, and then fight the true villain of the story.

Final Thoughts: A paint-by-numbers team-up that is still fun to read.

Final Score: 2 ½ out of five Swords!

Wonder Woman/ Conan #1
Story: Gail Simone
Art: Aaron Lopresti
Inks: Matt Ryan
Colors: Wendy Broome
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Publisher: DC and Dark Horse

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