Wonder Woman #58 // Review
A new creative team starts with this week’s Wonder Woman #58, written by G. Willow Wilson, with pencils by Cary Nord, inks by Mick Gray, and colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr.--but the new crew seems to be off to a shaky start. Gone is the cool, calm, talk-first, fight-as-a-last-resort Diana from Steve Orlando’s run, replaced by Wilson’s fierce warrior that throws fists first and asks questions later. But, with the promising return of Ares, who is now devoted to justice, there is a ton of potential for a great story here, if only she can pull up from a lackluster first issue.
As stated above, Diana seems startlingly different in characterization under G. Willow Wilson, as opposed to Orlando’s interpretation. Orlando had her pushing for peace and understanding of her opponents at every turn, but Wilson portrays her as impulsive and quick to pick up her sword. She attacks supposed allies, rushes into battle, and gets answers with violence. This could all be due to her lover, Steve Trevor, being in mortal danger this issue, but it’s too early to tell. If a first issue for a new creative team is supposed to show the readers what they’ll be getting from a book for the foreseeable future, this may just leave people scratching their heads.
This opening chapter also focuses very little on Wonder Woman or any new direction for her, instead choosing to set up a shocking turn for Ares. He’s had an epiphany while being held captive in a cave on Themyscira, turning to justice over war as a way of life. This is an interesting concept, and it’s always nice to see an old villain fleshed out a little more, but it leaves Wonder Woman reacting to a situation and not being treated as the star of her own book.
This issue is a quick read as well, which isn’t always a bad thing, but here it leaves you feeling as if there should have been more story to sink your teeth into. The entire story is just Wonder Woman rushing to fight an unknown threat, and finding out that a newly justice-focused Ares is at the center of the problem. There are hints of magic at play, and the readers are told that Steve Trevor is missing, but there isn’t much to it beyond the Ares reveal, which isn’t even particularly shocking, considering he explains his epiphany in the opening scene.
Cary Nord’s pencils are fine enough, but come off as sketchy at times, like he rushed through the job. Wonder Woman’s face, especially, seems off, and almost doll-like or pixy-ish in some panels. He is certainly a talented artist, and has turned in phenomenal work in the past, but he more than likely needs more time to bring his A-game to a book. The inks of Mick Gray and the colors of Romulo Fajardo Jr. for the most part work well with Nord’s pencils, but may be a little too dark for his stuff. Hopefully, they’ll be able to find a way to gel better in the future if they all plan on sticking around for a while.
Overall, this issue was lacking, and could have been much stronger all around. A first issue for a new creative team should strongly establish the lead character and the mission statement of the book under said team. Wilson chose to focus on the mission statement for Ares instead, possibly because she feels that Diana is already well established, but that choice hurt the book in the end. Fortunately, there is still time to turn it around, and Wilson is a well-known writer with a good reputation, so readers should be willing to give her a chance to win them over.