jonesdeini's Wonder Woman #1 - The Visitation review

Finally! THIS is Wonder Woman!!!

Zeus is up to his old tricks again and fate has drawn Diana into the midst of one of the god's many deadly squabbles.

The Good

I absolutely loved Cliff Chiang's art in this book, especially how he draws Diana. And his take on the gods was refreshing. He modernizes them some but keeps the classic elements that work for each. The little touches like the change in Apollo's skin tone as night shifts into day is the kind of stuff I love seeing. He also has a great sense of fluid motion during his action sequences. He also excels at making his characters emote during quiet, character moments.

I'm so glad Azzarello's writing this book! So many writers over think Diana or feel they have to fix her in some way. Such is not the case here. The way he writes Diana is absolutely dead on and nothing signifies this better than her initial meeting with Zola in this issue. For the first time in a longtime I feel like the Wonder Woman in my comic is as awesome as her DCAU counterpart! I'm glad DC has been letting writers go to town and shape these characters as they see fit.

Many of these DCnU books have been violent for the sake of being violent or shocking or "dark", but here all the violence perfectly fits the context of the story and the character. Diana is a warrior first and foremost and the world she occupies, one of mythical monsters and even more monstrous deities, is a very nasty place. Chiang's art perfectly captures this throughout the issue. He never gets gory but definitely gets his point across.

So glad this wasn't an origin issue, Azz just cuts to the chase and gives us Diana firmly established and gettin' down to business and the breakneck pace of the story kept me on the edge of my seat.

As much as Chiang's art effectively captures the gods in a modern setting so too does Azzarello's writing. He roots each of the featured gods in their mythical history, but gives them unique personalities and voices that will make them unpredictable to the reader. As a huge mythology buff I feel like this book will be extremely rewarding. Each of their actions here make total sense based upon who they've been throughout their histories and various myths, but with nice little tweaks. He also perfectly nails down the capricious attitude the gods have traditionally held towards the worth of human life. Apollo's actions towards the end of the issue perfectly represent this.

Second spotting of "The Three" in the aspect of the Fates was a real treat for me, especially considering that they were interacting with Apollo, god of prophecy.

The plot involving Zola, Zeus, and Hera is classic Greek mythology and has me down to roll with this book for quite some time.

Always a fan of a book that can have fun with itself and make me laugh in the process.

The Bad

Chiang's figures always look great, but I found his backgrounds to be lacking.

My least favorite thing in a video game is the escort mission, hopefully Zola won't become one of those annoying characters who does their best to get killed. I'd hate to see Diana constantly having to save her.

The Verdict

This books a total buy! Azzarello's horror take on Wonder Woman is bursting at the seems with promise and from jump street he hits the reader with a tantalizing taste of it. I love that the horror in this book is that existential kind that has it's origin in the deepest part of our psyches. I think it's ever so fitting that this book has a Vertigo vibe to it considering many of DC's characters who didn't work in their superhero line had some of their best stories told under the imprint. Diana is in very capable hands and I can't wait to see where she's taken. If you've never read a Wonder Woman comic or are a longtime fan who's fallen out of reading her ongoing now is a great time to check her out again!

4 Comments
Posted by Silkcuts

I love how you give Chiang so much praise.  At the poison pen panel at fan expo "Azz" (just wanted to point out nicely you miss a "Z") mentioned his script writing is just that a script.  He is hands off and lets he artist "direct" the vision.  Chiang is an underrated artist because his visual clarity is great.  I feel in love with his visual narrative in Human Target, go figure another Vertigo book.
 
And I agree that it is nice Azz broke the template.  WW has been so pigeon holed so long that even the best writers were working within a limited box.  The box seems to not be broken and I wonder if Azz is Pandora?

Posted by JonesDeini

@Silkcuts:

Thanks for checking out the review, and "Z" now added! This book is going to be on my pull list for quite some time to come if these two keep up this quality. The Vertigo writers have really been doing the best work on these DCU titles. So maybe I hacked the universal O.S. all those months ago with my blog after all?! :P

Posted by Silkcuts
@JonesDeini said:

@Silkcuts:

Thanks for checking out the review, and "Z" now added! This book is going to be on my pull list for quite some time to come if these two keep up this quality. The Vertigo writers have really been doing the best work on these DCU titles. So maybe I hacked the universal O.S. all those months ago with my blog after all?! :P

Its not a problem, you know I have nothing but respect for ya.
The Vertigo writers are bring the voice back to the DCU.
Hopefully readers understanding of the medium improves as well, since there is a lot of fluff in the 52 as well.
Posted by JonesDeini

@Silkcuts:

In a perfect world the books which best express the art of the medium would do the big numbers every month. Sadly we live in a world where Geoff Johns/Michael Bendis are the top selling writers (more or less)...each week I take a peak at what others are buying and many are taking the try everything approach which is good for comics overall. I mean that way they'll bump into an Animal Man or Swampthing, will they appreciate it? Well I don't know, but at least they've been exposed. Others are still following characters or jumping back into them, not my approach but I understand that. Hell, it's the whole reason I read this comic. I've deeply longed to find a Wondy ongoing that I can truly lose myself in. But if the creative team had been, let's say, J.T. Krul and Scott McDaniel I'd have avoided this like the plague spliced with AIDS. And many veteran readers in my circle are following creators with the characters being secondary. I'm very interested in seeing how this all pans. I really hope that the Vertigo writers rise to being the "voice' of the DCnU.

Other reviews for Wonder Woman #1 - The Visitation

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    The Story A mysterious key brings a girl named Zola to Wonder Woman. The son of Zeus searches for his father. My Thoughts:I was looking forward to this new Wonder Woman series ever since it was announced that Brian Azzarello was going to be the series writer. He has been a favorite of mine for some time now. Everything I've read from him to date has been amazing. This first issue however, didn't quite live up to my expectations. Maybe I'm just not seeing what everyone else saw in it. It wasn't h...

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