Comic Vine Review

11 Comments

Wonder Woman #23.2 - First Born Review

4

One of Wonder Woman’s most vicious enemies is also one of her most mysterious. The First Born of Zeus finally gets some light shed on exactly who he is.

The Good

Brian Azzarello writes this issue, a true rarity among the Villain’s Month titles, and the fact that tonal consistency definitely comes through. Not to take anything away from the other books’ creative teams, but there’s something to be said, especially on a book that has had a single writer since its first issue, for a writer with two years under his belt on a title to keep writing it. The First Born is delivered to Apollo, the new King of Olympus, a shattered, broken and very, very bloody man. Apollo wants, and probably needs, to know everything he can about this new player in the realm of gods, so he asks the Oracles, in very unconventional disguises, to tell him the tale of the First Born. The writing in this book vacillates between comical and tragic as it tells the epic tale of the No Name warrior’s origin.

ACO takes over the lines with series regular Matthew Wilson on colors, and it actually is very reminiscent of the art in previous issues, making the whole thing flow from the previous issues seamlessly. There are definite differences, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing as most of this issue takes place in the very distant past and a little artistic shift is certainly called for. Most of the tale has a very epic feel with massive gulfs of time between panels, so there’s very little moment-to-moment action, but everything feels appropriate. This definitely feels, both in terms of the writing and art, like it was pulled from an ancient Greek myth.

The Bad

I’m not a fan of the Oracles, even after being compelled to speak by Apollo, still using modern parlance and intonations. I get that it’s entirely intentional, and may even be for comedic relief, but it just winds up breaking the immersion in the amazing tale being told and comes off as tone-deaf.

Speaking of the tale being told, it's a good one, great even, but it’s also fairly rote. I meant what I said about this sounding like it comes straight from a real Greek myth, and that’s both a good thing and a bad thing. I love that it sounds so genuine but I dislike that it’s the kind of thing you’ve heard before if you’ve ever cracked a book of Greek myths and read more than 20 pages.

The Verdict

It may not be the most unique tale ever told, but this is still one helluvan issue and it’s worth checking out for any fan of Wonder Woman as it seems like this particular fellow is going to be playing a pretty substantial role moving forward. The art is definitely a contributing factor to this recommendation as it captures the epic, mythic, glorious scale of this story of gods and bastards.

11 Comments
Posted by RufusY2K

So, is First Born, like, the new Ares, since Ares is a good guy now, in the relaunch? He seems like he's going to be the major villain to Diana, and shares many similar traits Ares did in the pre-New 52 days.

Edited by comicbookfan93
Posted by Superbat420

I just read it first issue of Wonder Woman I've read all new 52 it was a good issue I'm intrigued about this character

Posted by longbowhunter

Haven't kept up with Wonder Woman for a while but I'm going to give this a read.

Posted by Jake Fury

Good issue, the Oracles' dialogue was very annoying. Liked we finally got the First Born's history nicely detailed.

Posted by Netshyster

Azz continues to make Wonder Woman a must read title month after month for me. This issue was gloriously elegant and simple, having Apollo use his Oracles to re-account the First Born's tragic backstory in the manner of an epic Greek myth with an urban twist. ( I do actually like the Oracles slang narration, it's an interesting and also amusing little subversion of traditional expectation.)

Wonder Woman 23.2 may not be a unique tale in relation to myth (although you can't argue the approach isn't completely apt and awesome) but I'm damn sure you won't find anything else like it in the rest of villains month.

Posted by Mezmero

I've been enjoying the concept of some DC Greek gods walking around in the buff in Azz's run so it's cool that they stick to it here. Really makes them seem above the mortal concept of decency and propriety. I agree that the oracle talk felt kind of strange but this was a good issue.

Posted by herrweis

I think this book is the best book from all the villians month issues.

Edited by lifeofvibe

This story it seems so...familer not sure why but this looks ive seen this story before but also so unfamiler as if its not been done before

Posted by asjmooney

I wasn't going to initially but so glad I picked this up. First Born, Riddler and Arcane are definitely my top three titles (out of the ones I've got).

Posted by Lvenger

One of the best Villain's Month titles put out. A very strongly written issue with a few niggles in there.