Wonder Woman #59 // Review
Ares is back! And he’s a good guy! Kinda! (He’s got a long ways to go, honestly.) Wonder Woman #59, written by G. Willow Wilson, with pencils by Cary Nord, inks by Mick Gray, and colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr, continues The Just War arc, and improves a little on the missteps of the first chapter. Previously, an imprisoned Ares died and mysteriously showed back up in the war torn country of Durovnia, committed to fighting for “justice”. Meanwhile, Steve Trevor disappeared on a mission in Durovnia, prompting Wonder Woman to get involved, bringing her head-to-head with the former God of War.
Ares is the star of this issue, with Wilson having him genuinely trying to do the right thing. Of course, even when Ares is turning over a new leaf, he’s still thinking like the God of War, which leads to a lot of dead people. The only problem with this new angle on the character is that it feels like readers have seen it a million times before with other bad guys. Doctor Octopus, Magneto, Black Adam, etc: many villains have tried to do good, but in the most horrendous way possible, inevitably leading them to confrontation with a more traditional hero. There also seems to be a lack of motivation here. Ares seems to have just decided he was wrong after a period of imprisonment, but there are hints that there is more to the story, so hopefully Wilson will be digging into Ares’ character as the arc goes on.
Wonder Woman has a little more to do this issue than last, but she’s still just reacting to other characters. There is a little narration with Diana questioning who she is, and what she has become, but it really doesn’t make her the focus of the story, instead seeming like side commentary on Ares’ change of heart. Wonder Woman is angrier and prone to knee-jerk responses under Wilson’s pen, which is definitely out of character for her, but there is hope that this is part of a larger story about how man’s world has changed her over the years. If so, readers could be in for a great story about Diana’s failure to carry out her mission of peace in man’s world. If not...it could be a long road of poorly-written Wonder Woman ahead.
Nord’s pencils improved greatly over last issue, as he seems to have found his groove with the character. There are still moments of odd facial expressions on Diana, but overall his style seems to be a decent fit for the book. In fact, the art team altogether seems to be working much more harmoniously this issue, especially with Fajardo’s colors adding a vibrancy that was much needed. Gray’s inks can be a little heavy at times on Nord’s pencils, but it’s a minor complaint.
In the end, this book seems to have hit the ground running a little too fast. If Wilson can slow it down and refocus on Diana as the lead of her own book, it could be greatly improved. As it is, Ares is the star, and readers don’t even really know what’s going on with him. If the arc doesn’t improve quickly, Wilson will lose her audience.