Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1 Writer: Greg Rucka Pencils: Matthew Clark & Liam Sharp Colors: Jeremy Colwell & Laura Martin Letters: Jodi Wynne Publisher: DC Comics
If you’d grab a random person off the streets and ask them who’s the most iconic super-heroine, chances are they’d say Wonder Woman. However, while everyone is aware of Princess Diana of Themyscira, odds are they couldn’t tell you a lick of her origin and character. Unless you read comics there hasn’t been much in the media for people to learn and become invested in the character. The exception being the 1970’s Lynda Carter led TV-series. Recently she’s finally made her feature film debut this March in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, while the other two of DC’s big three, that being Superman and Batman, have had several appearances on the big screen. With the excitement coming out that along with her upcoming solo movie, Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1 should be used as a perfect jumping on point for both new and former readers. Does it succeed?
Right from the get go, the book plays a lot into Wonder Woman’s ever-changing origin story throughout the years. There have been numerous tweaks to her background but there are some things that’d never change. She’s the daughter of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons and is a champion of her people. While Superman is seen for his strength and power and Batman for his detective and strategic skills, Wonder Woman is best defined by her compassion, spirit, and honor. Writer Greg Rucka has used this issue to explore the former but ignores the later.
This issue is essentially a prologue to get readers caught up on Diana or familiarize those who’re new to the character. It fairly achieves that by introducing her background and some insight as to what her thoughts are towards society as well as societies thoughts on her. At least the way she interprets it.
From what is presented in this issue, it seems that Rucka is setting up a self-discovering story. The highlight of this issue is when Wonder Woman decides to use the lasso of truth on herself and discovers that she’s been deceived. Providing great mystery and tension for future stories and it also plays into recently discovered truths about Diana’s family. Another strong highlight of this comic is the hints at the possible DC Universe manipulator. If you read last months DC Rebirth special, you’ve been asking yourself whether its Dr. Manhattan, Ozymandias, the entire Watchmen roster, or someone else at play. Telling us that this will be an important series to keep up with to make sense of the state of the DC Universe.
While Rucka is obviously constructing a character driven story, he doesn’t go much into Diana as an individual. Again this is just a prologue and the background is there but there isn’t much in terms of her personality or inner-psyche. It’s a lot to ask for in a single issue but by not including Wonder Woman the character, it lacks an emotional pull. Fortunately Rucka is a competent writer and the safe money is on him delving into this as the series progresses.
Matthew Clark pencils the majority of this issue and its a smart choice given his previously applauded work on the character. If there’s one thing that needs to come across from visualizing Wonder Woman, its confidence and Clark nail it. Each of his panels echo a fierce warrior but what’s really impressive is when the comic executes a smooth tangible shift when Diana discovers that she’s been deceived. From there on Liam Sharp takes over and properly conveys a woman who’s strong but vulnerable at the same time. The artwork brilliantly captures the tone and vibe that the writing calls for.
People who’re looking to jump aboard the new ongoing series for the Amazonian warrior won’t be disappointed. Greg Rucka has expertly presented the background of Diana in small bits and set the groundwork for the stories to come. It does lack an emotional pull with the lack of character insight, however the element of mystery introduced here is more than enough to intrigue readers to return for the next issue.
Score: 4 out of 5
Review by Eric Bradach
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