There’s not a lot of Wonder Woman in the latest Wonder Woman. Normally, I’d be mildly rankled but new writer James Robinson kicks off the latest storyline in such an engaging manner that I don’t mind at all.
We begin with Diana apparently fighting her bother. He’s unseen, and by page two we’ve flashed back five weeks, when a bearded man is making a rare visit to the nearest community for provisions.
It’s Diana’s brother Jason, presumably, whom readers of Geoff Johns’ Justice League book were told to expect. Soon he’s off chopping trees, only to be confronted by a new character we did meet in that JL run, Grail, daughter of Darkseid.
Correctly identitied as a son of Zeus, the bearded man reveals his true form.
Not Jason then, but the version of the demi-god who debuted in the DC Universe of the Seventies. And Grail wants his power.
Nearly a fortnight later, Diana defeats one of her biggest foes, showing commendable sensitivity to her surroundings.
And then she meets a gentleman of the legal persuasion.
Why is Hercule Poirot pretending to be a lawyer? Surely I’m not wrong about two Hercs in one issue? Anyway, he has big news for Diana. The issue needs with a look at how Grail’s scheme to re-age Darkseid from babyhood to godhood is going.
Children of the Gods Part One is a quick read, but a good one. Robinson’s gentle introduction of Hercules, as a god who just wants to be a backwoodsman, meant I cared what happened to him – and he’s so splendidly depicted by Carlo Pagulayan and inker Sean Parsons (or Jason Paz, or Scott Hanna, once more DC, please break down those credits) that I hope he becomes a DCU regular. Grail also looks great, truly formidable as befits a New God, and Robinson gives her an appropriately haughty demeanour. Poor old Giganta gets not a single line, being a fall girl, but I don’t think she’s here purely as a way in to Diana’s scene – Robinson is nothing if not a planner, so a line about what’s she’s been up to has to be leading somewhere.
As for the writer’s treatment of Diana herself, I like what we do see of his Amazon princess, a heroine hoping to find the lighter side of life after a time of confusion. I can’t wait to see more of Robinson’s Wonder Woman.
I’m behind on my puff pieces so don’t know how long Robinson is staying – six issues rings a bell – but I rather hope the assignment is open-ended, as he does his best work when he’s around awhile. And if Carlo Pagulayan similarly sticks around, that’s all to the good, as his sturdy, good-looking characters have real appeal.
The chemistry between Diana and Steve Trevor, for instance, is right there on the page. I can’t see where the trio of inkers start and stop, so credit to them, and any bumps have no doubt been smoothed out by colourist Romulo Fajardo Jr.
The artistic goodness also extends to the covers of illustrator Bryan Hitch and colourist Alex Sinclair, a more than decent montage, and Jenny Frison, which gives us a moment we don’t see inside, Diana fighting Giganta. Credit, too, to Saida Temofonte for a typically sharp lettering job.
The best issue in months, Wonder Woman #31 is a perfect jumping-on point.
Wonder Woman #31 review, James Robinson, Carlo Pagulayan, Sean Parsons, Jason Paz, Scott Hanna, Jenny Frison, Saida Temofonte, Alex Sinclair, Romulo Fajardo Jr
9 thoughts on “Wonder Woman #31 review”
I think Robinson is intended as an ongoing writer, but I might be wrong. The latest issue solicited is “Children of the Gods Part 5” in issue 37. (It's his seventh issue, but there are two “Times Past” flashbacks that he also writes, likely to give Pagulayan a breather.)
Like you, I was similarly snookered by the sibling switcheroo. It was good to see that iteration of the character back, and hope we seem him again, somehow, down the line.
Oh, that’s good news. What with blue Starman, Atlas during his Superman run and now Hercules Unbound, it’s like Robinson is working his way through obscure Seventies DC characters. What next, the Dingbats of Danger Street?
Funny, when I read that Wonder Woman would have a brother introduced in the pages of her books, I immediately jumped to the conclusion that it would be a retconning of Hypolita having another child, and for some reason it never occurred to me that we were talking about her other parent, Zeus. It makes sense, and she has acknowledged several of the Olympians as her siblings, including Ares. So, I guess my fear was unfounded…
Er, sadly not! Geoff Johns revealed/retconned in Justice League that Hippolyta had twins…
I’m confused about Diana’s origins. I know Rucka just spent 24 long long issues clarifying everything… but I don’t really remember where we ended up. Is Diana a child of clay the way she was originally? Or is she still a daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus?
I didn’t read all the Rucka Rebirth stuff cos it was so very boring. I did read the last couple, and I still don’t know what her origin is. The web is no help, sorry!
I just did a quick reread of the first couple of issues of Year One (you're not wrong about the boring). It starts off with Diana as a young adult just before Steve crashes on the island, continues with the contest to determine who goes to America and goes on from there. So… clay baby or child of the gods is still unclear. Hippolyta is dark haired again , instead of Azzarello's blond queen, for what it's worth. 24 issues and they couldn't clarify what the origin was going forward? Sloppy.
Rucka did not clarify anything. LOL I enjoyed much of it, especially his take on Cheetah, but clarification? No! 😜
It’s almost all worth it for a certain exchange in the latest issue.