Written by: Greg Rucka
Art by: Nicola Scott, Romulo Fajardo Jr and Jodi Wynne
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: August 9, 2016
It's an even numbered issue of Wonder Woman so that means we all get the Year One story and you get...me! Yep, no Eric Shea with his spoilerific rundown and overuse of the word Boosh and...well, I'm not really sure what else he does. I hear he does good stuff, though. I have really enjoyed what Greg Rucka has done with Wonder Woman and especially what we have gotten in this Year One story. So, now that Steve Trevor has crashed the Paradise Island party, will the story get even better? Let's find out...
The issue opens with a meeting of the Council of Themyscira and it's not surprise what they have gathered to discuss. A troop of U.S. Army soldiers crash landing on Themyscira is as much a WTF moment as the Amazons have probably ever had and they are eager to find out what it all means. Of course, the signs all point in opposite directions and Hippolyta ends it all with more questions than answers.
We then see Diana watching over Steve as he awakens. The chemistry between them is immediatley there, but it felt more like a motherly love than anything else just yet. Steve finds out that his buddies are dead and Diana comforts him and gives her word that she will keep him safe. It's a pretty big moment that goes by without any fanfare...I'm not sure that Steve even processes it, but it is there on the page and I'm holding Diana to her word!
Back to the council, a battle of wills is brewing between Philippus and Castalia, but that takes a backseat when it is revealed that Diana's illness was "earned at the gate". You could pretty much hear the gasp from the council echo off the page! Greg Rucka is still maintaining the mystery of it all, but we also learn that Diana has been "touched" and it all leads to the decision that a champion must take Steve Trevor back to Man's World.
It's really no surprise that the champion will be decided with a contest (the "Games") and really, we all know who's going to win. The best part is so does Hippolyta and just about every other Amazon. Hippolyta tries to prevent Diana from entering, but Diana is having none of that. After Hippolyta delivers what seemed like the Amazonian equivalent of Bill Pullman's Independence Day speech, the Games begin.
The actual games are depicted in an awesome full page spread, but when three remain, the rules are changed up a bit. If an Amazon is to head off to Man's World, she must prove that she can defend herself from his weapons. It's a really intense scene that does a great job of showing what's at stake here.
The issue ends with a couple of touching scenes...one for Steve and one for the Champion. It all ends with the two of them heading off to Man's World in what is one of my favorite vehicles in all of comics. Seriously, it's so awesome.
This issue was pretty damn awesome as well. Greg Rucka plays it pretty straight here and the little touches he added only make it that much better. The pacing was right on, he hit all the right notes and boy, I can't wait to see what happens next. It truly is a testament to his writing that I was on the edge of my seat even though I knew what was going to eventually happen.
What more can I say about Nicola Scott's art that hasn't already been said? This book looked gorgeous from the first page to the last. Seriously, everything looked great to the point of being flawless. She makes the quiet scenes as compelling to look at as the big action pieces and that is something you don't see much of nowadays. Kudos to the entire art team for a kick ass looking issue!
Bits and Pieces:
Greg Rucka takes a well worn story and shows that if you tell it right, it can feel fresh over and over again. There is nothing here that will shock you, but it still will amaze you with how well it's done. I am a sucker for origin stories, but even if you're not, you will love this issue for it's great storytelling and insanely great art. Highly Recommended.