Where does the greatest superhero blessed by the gods of Olympus go when she dies? Where else but…
It’s not all mead and toasting for Diana, though – while her nights are spent carousing, her days are devoted to battle.
In Wagnerian hero Siegfried, Diana has an instant friend, but he’s not the only new face in her afterlife.
And in between death and resurrection, an indistinct figure pleads with Diana.
The red-bordered balloons, the speech pattern, the silhouette… it has to be Deadman, the superhero best placed to give afterlife advice.
Mind, new series writers Michael W Conrad and Becky Cloonan might yet surprise me; they certainly have done with this extremely enjoyable Wonder Woman story. It’s so refreshing to see Diana in an angst-free realm full of new characters. Sure, we only really meet Siegfried – ‘Siggy’ – and Ratatosk the uni-squirrel, but there are loads of interesting-looking warriors around. And a very famous tree.
Diana isn’t quite herself, she’s finding it hard to remember her previous life (I think a lot of us are trying to forget Death Metal) but she’s not worrying about it. If likely-Deadman is to be believed, the longer Diana stays in Asgard, the harder it will be to leave, and she should leave because she’s an Olympian, not an Asgardian. Intriguing – and there are at least two other mysteries in a story that’s very well paced. I look forward to seeing how Conrad and Cloonan develop them.
While Wonder Woman is missing some memories, and Valhalla apparently forces her to define herself solely as ‘warrior’, she’s recognisably Diana – compassionate, strong-willed and un-fazeable
And in Siggy Diana has a great match, a light-hearted warrior, gentleman and guide – if he’s not telling her everything, it’s because he doesn’t know as many rules of the realm as he believes. He reminds me of Marvel’s Fandral, but he’s even foxier.
As for Ratatosk, I wonder if ‘the most powerful being in the realm’ is Yggdrasil, who seems to be connected to the Green of Swamp Thing, or the uni-squirrel themself.
Only one sequence had me a little confused.
There’s apparently a joke I’m not getting!
Wonder Woman is gorgeous as envisioned by illustrator Travis Moore, somewhere between Big Barda and the Mona Lisa. Whether fighting, drinking or chatting to a fuzzy forest creature, she’s a joy to watch. The Norse outfit she’s wearing looks great, as does Siggy’s Kirbyesque garb. It would look even more classic Marvel if rendered in flat colours, but Tamra Bonvillain goes for modern, muted tones, graduated according to the light source. And really, I’ve no complaints, Bonvillain knows what they’re doing – the pages look gorgeous, with complementary tones the key. Typing this, I still feel the warmth of the mead hall.
There’s smart lettering, too, from Pat Brosseau, I particularly like the whimsical fonts he gives Ratatosk.
The cover image by Moore and Bonvillain is masterful, beautifully. composed and coloured, with a confused Diana in the midst of battle. And extra points for the alliteration.
This issue also features a back-up feature starring ‘Young Diana’. It’s her birthday and she’s ready to grow up and be a useful member of the Amazon tribe. But is she really prepared? Her chaotic kanga ride says different.
With perky script by Jordie Bellaire, cute art by Paulina Ganucheau, candy cane colours by Kendall Goode and neat-as-you-could-wish-for lettering by Becca Carey, this is a charming short. I don’t know what it’s doing here, though; it’s YA fare which would benefit from being marketed as such, preferably in its own book. I’ve seen loads of takes on Diana’s childhood over the last few years, mostly good, but could happily die without seeing Kid Di learn any more life lessons. If Wonder Woman is to have a back-up strip it should star someone different and complementary. Vixen, say, or Zatanna. Maybe even that Huntress gal, would she fit into a Wonder Woman comic?
Really, though, I’d prefer the book at its old size and price point… unless we could have 30pp of Diana’s Asgardian adventure. That would be great!