Orion makes a dynamic entrance in pages of “Wonder Woman” #15 thanks to Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, Matthew Wilson and Jared K. Fletcher. Booming onto the scene in black, white and red, Orion brings all of his New Godliness to Brooklyn to have a conversation with Wonder Woman’s half-brother Milan.
If I had to choose one modern-day comic book artist to drop some world-class Kirby krackle into today’s comics, I wouldn’t even have to think before I said Cliff Chiang’s name. Sure, Chiang isn’t drawing a New Gods series (he should be), but Chiang’s detailed simplicity is well matched to render the New 52-era debut of the New Gods. The artist lovingly interprets Jack Kirby’s creation, as he does with every character he draws, and makes his version of Orion the only one that matters in “Wonder Woman” #15. Once the cover is closed, it’s wonderful to go read some of the original adventures or some modern interpretations of Orion, but throughout this issue the only thing that matters is that Cliff Chiang is drawing Wonder Woman. Matthew Wilson’s bold, vibrant color work is a smart match for Chiang’s work and the duo definitely make this comic visually timeless.
Azzarello’s story, for its part, is just as timeless. Still reinvigorating the legends of the Greek gods and tinkering with their interpretations, Azzarello crafts subplots around the primary adventure, but makes no pretense about the inevitable collision of the various storylines. There are a lot of moving parts and wandering characters in “Wonder Woman” #15, but not too many as to be burdensome or overwhelming. The writer clearly defines the characters and their attitudes through their own words and deeds, but the focus really is on the action in this comic. Azzarello brews little conflicts throughout the entire issue, including the skirmish between Orion and Wonder Woman. What? Did you actually think two battle-ready heroes would meet and not scrap?
“Wonder Woman” #15 is an enjoyable story, but the issue itself is going to be more widely heralded for bringing Orion back into the mainstream of the DC Universe as opposed to delivering an amazingly memorable story. The issue is just a snippet of the grander narrative and reads as such. Taken on its own, it does provide a decent amount of entertainment, but it most certainly will be better enjoyed in the full context of the complete adventure.