Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Comic Book Review: Wonder Woman #4

Review: Wonder Woman #4
Submitted by: Kelly Aliano, PhD, Comics News Editor
10 August 2016

**Spoilers to Follow**

Wonder Woman #4 returns us to Themyscira, where a ship of men has crashed, with all but one aboard already dead.  It appears that the men were warriors, sporting a red, white, and blue emblem and travelling with various weapons.  The book not only sets up an interesting forward-moving story of Wonder Woman’s venture into the world of humankind, but it also provides all of the necessary exposition that a reader new to Wonder Woman would need to understand the character.  As if that weren’t enough, it simultaneously raises intriguing questions about the seeds of conflict that can be sowed via suspicion alone.

The issue, entitled “Year One: Part Two,” written by Greg Rucka with Nicola Scott as artist, gives us the Diana we know and love.  Rather than simply accept the inflammatory words of the council, she investigates the situation for herself, sneaking into the room of the lone survivor of the crash.  As you may have already guessed, the good-looking young man tells her his name is Steve.  Meanwhile, the Amazons have decided that they must send a champion to accompany this man back to his world, as his armed presence is a clear indication that
Ares, the God of War, may walk amongst men.  As there are no volunteers—travelling with the man would mean giving up one’s immortality—it is decided that a competition will be held to choose such
a champion.

Wonder Woman is exactly the kind of hero—and woman—that we would want to see in comic books today.  She fights not because she must; in fact, a recent illness suggests that she has every right to withdraw herself from competition.  Rather, she participates in the Games because she feels it is her duty, despite her fear of losing her home in the process.  She is brave, loyal, and incredibly strong; for example, the final test for Diana?  Being able to defend against bullets, a subtle nod to the brutality and danger of the human world.  The Verdict: One of the best Wonder Woman stories all year, one that provides excellent backstory that is true to the Amazon’s mythos while enriching that narrative with relevant and meaningful thematic details.

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