Let the games begin! It’s entirely appropriate that “Wonder Woman” #4 hit the shelves during the Olympics, as writer Greg Rucka and artist Nicola Scott continue their profound retelling of Wonder Woman’s first year with the games that lead to her role as the Amazon champion.
If the issue was simply about the games themselves, it would have been totally boring, because we all know Diana wins. Thankfully, Rucka and Scott have deeper wells to dig and use the issue — the second in this story arc — to further establish the community and family that love and support Diana. It’s an important creative decision that gives Diana something precious to lose. In addition to taking Steve Trevor home, the champion becomes the Amazonian ambassador to the rest of the world — but she will be unable to return to Themyscira. It’s not the first time in the character’s 75-year history that paradise has been denied to her, but this time both she and the reader know the enormous sacrifice required.
Rucka’s rich script doesn’t lack for action, but it also makes time to explore the close relationship between mother and daughter. Hippolyta’s dual role as queen and mother is on full display as her heart swells with pride at Diana’s successes and breaks due to them as well.
Nicola Scott’s gorgeous art shines with optimism, determination and emotion as the Amazons unite to heal Steve Trevor, repair his vessel and engage in the games that will determine their champion. Facial expressions say more than words ever could, and it’s obvious Scott enjoys these characters. Although we all know the outcome, Scott’s vivid imagery will still manages to take readers’ breath away, even as Hippolyta’s final challenge determines the winner.
“Wonder Woman’s” creative team continues to pay homage to and incorporate elements from her other iterations — and there are more than a few nods to the television series. Using just one small panel, we finally witness the creation of the invisible jet (even though we really don’t know how they did it), and — if you thought the original bullets and bracelets contest was cheesy (because it kind of was) — Scott’s tension-packed version will give you goosebumps. There are also elements recognizable from the popular runs by George Perez, Phil Jimenez and Brian Azzarello, but Rucka and Scott understand that when you refashion Wonder Woman, she is still Diana first and foremost.
“Wonder Woman” fans will love this rebirth. Rucka and Scott provide Diana with a deeper backstory in issue #4, and her profound sense of duty is now matched by a profound sense of loss. This should have a great impact her decision-making going forward, and it connects the two current storylines together in a way readers couldn’t see in the first three issues. It’s just brilliant.