Wonder Woman #5 Introduces Pre-Flashpoint Batman Character to the Cast

The odd-numbered issues of "Wonder Woman" continue to give us Diana's present-day adventures in Issue #5 by Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp, and Laura Martin. Even as Diana starts heading closer to what appears to be the core of the conspiracy of lies around her life, new and familiar faces are starting to show up in orbit around her, making the extent of the plot unknown.

Sasha (is) Fierce

"Wonder Woman" #5 re-introduces a character into the New 52 continuity: Rucka's creation Sasha Bordeaux. In the earlier continuity, Sasha first served as a bodyguard for Bruce Wayne, but eventually discovered his secret identity as Batman and even briefly operated as a sidekick/partner for the Caped Crusader. When the "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?" storyline kicked off, though, Sasha was framed alongside Bruce for the murder of Vesper Fairchild. Sasha ended up going to jail for a time, a path which led her first to the secret spy agency Checkmate, and then into the hands of the deadly artificial intelligence Brother Eye and its OMAC army of cyborgs.

Unlike most transformed into OMACs, Sasha was able to resist having her mind completely wiped, although some aspects of being turned into a cyborg were evident; most notable was the metal around her left eye. Sasha ultimately rose up high in the Checkmate ranks (to the position of Black Queen), and was pulled into other storylines, including "Final Crisis" where she was almost killed. Her last appearance was in the "JSA vs. Kobra" where her "Final Crisis" wounds were healed, but she's remained absent from the DC Universe since then.

Here, Sasha is initially portrayed as working with Etta Candy, as the duo try to discover what's happened to Steve Trevor's team, as well as questioning the presence of Wonder Woman not far from his last known location. Most notably in that opening scene, Sasha has a long scar running over her left eye, and the eye is a reddish-brown unlike her unharmed right eye, which is blue. It's not until Etta leaves that we know for certain that the scar is more than just Rucka, Sharp and Martin teasing us with Sasha's old continuity. Left to her own devices, Sasha's eyes and expression go blank, and what appears to be a miniature depiction of Brother Eye's satellite appears to talk to her. The metal around her eye may no longer be around, but it's very clear that this version of Sasha has been compromised by Brother Eye. And with Brother Eye's plan having a "phase two" that involves Wonder Woman, things do not look good for our hero.

Cheetahs Never Prosper

"Wonder Woman" #5 also gives us more information on the Cheetah, and the problems Diana's long-time foe has had since her transformation. Urzkargata is now the god that transformed her into the Cheetah (rather than the earlier origin of it being the Goddess of the Hunt), and is also directly influencing Cheetah. Her humanity is slipping away as Urzkargata's influence grows, increasing the Cheetah's bloodlust. In this revelation, though, another piece of continuity is restored. Once more in Cheetah's backstory is the fact that Wonder Woman knew Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva before her transformation into the Cheetah, and the two of them were close friends.

Wonder Woman also spells out to Cheetah the reason why she can no longer visit Themyscira. In her words, "Themyscira isn't simply a place one can fly to. To reach it, our patron gods must permit access." That access is now closed off to Wonder Woman, but the reason for doing so is still a mystery. Presumably, Cheetah has found a way in the past to break through that barrier, and is the reason why Wonder Woman is seeking her enemy's aid. Cheetah's path is also taking her closer to the cult that worships Urzkargata, which is preparing to sacrifice Steve Trevor in order to unleash the god into the greater world. How such an unlocking would affect Cheetah remains to be seen, though; would it once and for all cement Urzkargata's hold on the character? Or would it mean that the evil god no longer needs Cheetah as a tool if he's free once and for all?

"The Lies" storyline continues to unfold at a steady pace, with enough promises of more revelations to come in "Wonder Woman" #7 to keep readers eager. With a mixture of technological (Brother Eye) and divine (Urzkargata) threats, Wonder Woman's certain to be kept jumping for some time to come.

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