Diana’s quest to stop Janus the godslayer sees her and pals Siegfried and Ratatosk arrive back on Earth, at the Hall of Justice. Wonder Woman is relieved, confident her Justice League friends will assist them. Surprise!
Miss Martian? Nope, it’s Marsha Martian of the Justice Guild of Earth 11. Well, that’s what Diana calls it.
Just as Marsha’s Justice Guild colleagues offer Diana a hand, a familiar face – well, skull – shows up.
Followed by a less friendly fellow.
And of course, Janus herself eventually arrives, and I heartily recommend buying this issue to find out what happens next. Because this is a bright, breezy, amusing and smart issue, building on previous chapters of the Afterworlds storyline, but not dependent on them for its success.
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, I love that even though the stakes are high with Janus on the rampage, Diana takes things seriously but shines with light. The personality given her by writers Michael W Conrad and Becky Cloonan chimes with that of Golden Age Wonder Woman, whose look Diana’s latest random costume change evokes (she never wore a skirt, the pants/bikini bottom evolved from culottes). I hope the happier Diana sticks around after this storyline, her confident, often amused, attitude makes the book so much more enjoyable.
I enjoy ‘Siggy’, too, but if he doesn’t become a regular supporting cast member, he does have a rather interesting offer he could take up as of this issue. As for Ratatosk, squirrel messenger of the Norse gods, he has a good gig to get back to.
Janus has a delightfully creepy presence, reminding me of the likes of Devastation and Genocide. Her endgame is, as Earth 11’s Batwoman notes, ‘ill-conceived’, but most supervillains are nuts, it’s an excuse to hang the fun on, that’s all.
And it’s great-looking fun as Doom’s Revolving Doorway of artists brings us Emanuela Lupacchino on pencils and Wade Von Grawbadger on inks. Lupacchino matches the characterisations of Travis Moore, who kicked off this storyline and provides the tremendous cover with colourist Tamra Bonvillain, while bringing her own artistic sensibility, that Italian elegance we’ve enjoyed since her Supergirl run way back when. The latest Wonder Man is an imposing figure, his first appearance reminiscent of the work of Gene Colan, and Marsha Martian looks like Marvel’s Storm gone green – I love it.
Thanks for the particular shade of green go to colourist Jordie Bellaire, who makes great choices throughout, lighting the scenes for maximum effect. And letterer Pat Brosseau, another valued regular, keeps the captions and comments dramatic.
Bellaire does double duty, writing the Adventures of Young Diana back-up strip, which sees our teen Amazon confront her mother about secrets she’s been keeping. The recap of Hippolyta’s history with Hercules won’t surprise longtime – heck, even medium-term – readers, but it’s nicely recapped by Bellaire. Paulina Ganucheau produces pretty art once more, with Kendall Goode providing complementary colouring and Becca Carey thoroughly pleasant lettering.
If you need further reason to buy this issue, Norse warrior Siegfried goes Greek and looks rather magnificent. Perhaps he should swap pantheons?