Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The New 52 Review: WONDER WOMAN #1


WRITER: Brian Azzarello
ARTIST: Cliff Chiang
COLORS: Matthew Wilson
LETTERS: Jared K. Fletcher
COVER: Cliff Chiang
32pp, Color, $2.99 U.S.

Created by William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman is perhaps the best known female superhero. She first appeared in All Star Comics #8 (cover date December 1941). Wonder Woman is a Princess of the Amazons (based upon the Amazons of Greek mythology) from Paradise Island, now known as Themyscira. Her powers include flight and super-strength, -speed, -stamina, and -agility, as well as being highly proficient in hand-to-hand combat.

With the exception of most of 1986, Wonder Woman has continuously appeared in her own comic book series for seven decades. As part of “The New 52,” DC Comics’ re-launch of its superhero line, Wonder Woman returns in a new comic book series. Wonder Woman #1 (“The Visitation”) finds a young woman named Zola under assault by creatures from Greek mythology. Hermes sends her to Wonder Woman (she prefers “Diana’) for help, but Zola’s problems are bigger than anyone (on Earth) imagines.

The word here is “efficiency,” which results in one of the best of “The New 52.” As of this writing, I’d put it in the top three. Brian Azzarello’s story is smooth in its intensity with a script that moves the action through different locales as it brings together several characters and subplots into one might conspiracy.

It’s the same with the art by Cliff Chiang. The art captures the intensity of the story and its fast pace, but with solid composition and storytelling that belies the story’s anxious pace. Chiang’s Wonder Woman is a slim, athletic dynamo, and his figure drawing will make you believe that an Amazon is a real thing.

Wonder Woman is a comic book I want to read again.


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