Wonder Woman #36

Story by
Art by
Matt Ryan, Aaron Lopresti
Colors by
Letters by
Travis Lanham
Cover by
DC Comics

Gail Simone's really been making a push for Wonder Woman -- the character -- to get some more recognition. The Wonder of Wonders column here on CBR is evidence of Simone's passion for the character. Of course, the fact that Simone is writing the character in the title of the same name is further evidence that maybe, just maybe, Simone has some interest in this character. Simone's passion and interest in the character shine through in a most human story featuring the former Princess Diana. Lamenting the loss many readers have at some point felt ("It's not you, it's me.") in their own lives, Simone does a great job of making Diana human, despite all of her god-given abilities.

This issue marks the first step of Diana's journey as a lonely warrior. No longer defined by her gods, her birthplace, or her heritage, Diana is struggling with an crisis of self. Sure, crises are common in DC books, but I chose that word as it is fitting to the challenges Diana is soaking in.

That journey is magnificently illustrated by Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan, and Hi-Fi -- the latter is as much a part of the visual side of this creative team as Lopresti. Following Simone's lead, this visual effects team gives us a story as beautiful as it is tragic. Framing an inner journey in the golden lasso is a stroke of brilliance, as is the finished product. Knowing what transpired before, it is hard to imagine that Wonder Woman could be leveled any lower, but the pain she feels in this issue is undeniable, and certainly familiar to most of the readers.

This issue is thick and presumes a level of familiarity from its readers, but it provides a setup for trials and tribulations aplenty in the life of everyone's favorite Amazon. This issue doesn't clarify Wonder Woman's place in the world -- quite the opposite -- it gives her a challenge to find her way. On the way to self-discovery, Diana proves her mettle as a warrior, but quickly learns that she may be tactically outclassed.

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