With “Wonder Woman” now firmly in its third year, the book continues to march forward, even as it begins to make adjustments for its new status quo. What’s so refreshing is that even as Brian Azzarello and Goran Sudzuka maintain a lot of what’s made the book so successful up until this point, they’re tweaking and shifting parts of the title to adjust for what’s still to come.
I love that even after adding Orion of the New Gods into the mix, Azzarello hasn’t lost sight of “Wonder Woman” being primarily about Wonder Woman’s interactions with the Greek pantheon of Gods. It would certainly be an easy solution to start having the Justice League pop by, or perhaps tangle with the Cheetah every now and then. He’s stayed resolute in his vision of the series, though, and the end result is an extraordinarily consistent comic. It’s been a mixture of reinterpretations and new characters, and the end result is a comic that feels like anything can happen. Having new faces like Milan and Siracca thrown in with Cassandra or Strife keeps readers hopping.
One of the best parts in “Wonder Woman” #25, though, is the page where Wonder Woman, Zola and Hera discuss what it means to be transformed from immortal to human. Hera’s description of what it’s like to perceive the present moment as a God versus as a mortal is intriguing, and it not only explains her new attitude much more, it helps smooth over why readers are more willing to accept her now. There are so many great lines connected to this throughout the issue (“What’s worse — fatality, or morality?” and “So being mortal is like getting a lobotomy.”) that it’s hard to not clap with glee.
Sudzuka at this point appears to be the new regular second artist for the title, replacing Tony Akins. While I’ll freely admit that Cliff Chiang’s still my favorite artist on “Wonder Woman,” having Sudzuka around is nice. I’ve enjoyed his art since first encountering it on “Outlaw Nation,” and his clean art style is a good match for the comic. So much of “Wonder Woman” relies on the reactions between the different characters, and Sudzuka nails that aspect of the story. The faces on page 4 are a perfect example of this; to the point that you could remove the word balloons entirely and still get the general gist of what’s going on. The discussing and contemplation, then Wonder Woman’s pensive and doubting posture and face. I love how she crosses her arms in a subconscious attempt to comfort herself as she worries about her past behavior. With Hera’s arch expression as she laughs in response, and then Zola’s shift from an eager deliberate needling to a smirk as her comment settles in, it’s a wonderfully drawn page.
“Wonder Woman” #25 is ultimately a strong and on track comic. It’s not the most riveting of issues to date, but it’s still quite enjoyable and fun, and you can see how what’s yet to come is being set up perfectly. Comics like this one are what make the best issues possible, with a careful lead up to those moments. Watching Strife’s best laid plans all start coming together is great, and not only because that’s what you get when you trust the goddess of discord.