Wonder Woman #39

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

This story has been going on for a while, but it has made a great deal of change -- for the better -- in Princess Diana's corner of the DC Universe. Ares has been transformed, Zeus has been redefined, and a plethora of characters have had connections to Themyscira established or renewed. Simone made no secret about her desire to make Diana's place in the DCU a little more relevant. Simone also had designs on fleshing out Diana's rogues and supporting staff. Mission accomplished, with extra credit. Simone has written over twenty-five issues of "Wonder Woman" (this is her twenty-sixth of the monthly). This book -- and Wonder Woman's world -- has been changed by Simone for the better.

Lopresti, Ryan, and Anderson make this book a visual spectacle, from Artemis's conversations with Thalarion (the second of which is a classically inspired panel not literally, but in composition) to Achilles' battle with Alkyone, to the undersea struggle of Diana. There are only strongly defined figures, confident compositions, and striking scenery. This book changes settings at an amazing pace, especially considering all of the action occurs on, or around, Themyscira. If not for the fact that "Wonder Woman" has been drawn by some of the greatest artists in the industry, it would not be a stretch to say Lopresti is the best "Wonder Woman" artist ever. It's not his fault George Perez (not to mention Ross Andru, Phil Jiminez, Terry Dodson, John Byrne, Jill Thompson, Adam Hughes, Brian Bolland, Don Heck, and more) was responsible for re-establishing the character following "Crisis on Infinite Earths." For what it's worth, Lopresti, Ryan, and Anderson make this title every bit as enjoyable as Simone's writing.

Simone has done a great job putting a bow on her story, but then she pulled a little thread of that same bow to power the next story of the amazing Amazon. Masterfully, Simone and Lopresti use two panels -- barely a third of a page -- to set up the next chapter in the life of Wonder Woman. With the recent announcement of "Wonder Woman" set to resume her "original numbering" with June's issue -- which will be "Wonder Woman" #600 -- now is a pretty good time to jump onboard and familiarize yourself with Princess Diana. This issue may seem a daunting place to start, but the creative team does a great job making even this issue - the final issue of a lengthy story arc - new-reader friendly. Try it out, if not this one, maybe the next. Then you can thank Gail Simone right here on CBR.

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