Wonder Woman/Conan #5 // Review
By Crom! What a great idea for a crossover. Crossover events have been a staple of the comic industry for many years. Often, they can be quite silly. Batman has teamed up with everyone from TMNT to Scooby Doo. This crossover of Wonder Woman and Conan makes so much sense, it’s crazy to think it’s taken this long to happen. These two iconic characters belong together more than most would think. Both are incredibly skilled warriors with a strict code of loyalty and faithful companions willing to follow them into battle. In the wrong hands, years ago, this crossover could have been a trainwreck. However, with the team of Gail Simone as writer, Aaron Lopresti penciling, Matt Ryan on inks, and Wendy Broome on colors, this crossover soars. This issue opens up with the Amazons, who have been desperately trying to find Diana, who has been lost in time. Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, asks for volunteers to lead a rescue team to find Diana. Every single hand in the assembled crowd is raised, showing just how important Diana is to the Amazons. Conan and Diana are still on the run from the Corvidae and getting to know each other on a more personal level. They have been either fighting or running in past issues, now they finally get a chance to rest and talk. The brutish barbarian can let his guard down and finally open up to Diana, which leads to some insightful dialogue between the two warriors.
Gail is a very celebrated writer in the industry, and rightfully so. She is noted for not only her work on Wonder Woman, but also Red Sonja. Conan creator Robert E Howard also created the character of Red Sonja, who was later adapted for comics. It’s only fitting that Simone helm this crossover, as she has dabbled in both Themyscira and Hyboria, the respective homes of Wonder Woman and Conan. The dialogue is crisp and flows nicely between the two warriors, who have had to learn to work together to ensure survival throughout this tale. Conan believes a time-displaced Diana to be a long lost childhood crush. When the two warriors aren’t being hunted by two crow witch sisters known as the Corvidae, Conan is trying to make Diana believe that she is his lost crush Yanna. Having worked on Wonder Woman and Red Sonja, you can see that Simone knows these characters. Diana is shown to be regal as ever. Kind and compassionate, yet fierce as ever when she needs to be. Simone easily captures the essence of Diana throughout this series, and while she hasn’t directly written for Conan, Simone’s prior work on Red Sonja has meshed with his world perfectly. Hyboria is a harsh landscape riddled with deadly warlords and cruel slave owners that make life for the poor a living hell.
The artwork of Aaron Lopresti gives the reader a real visual treat, from the sweeping plains of Hyboria to the majestic splendor of Themyscira. Conan looks just like he was ripped right off the pages of Robert E. Howard’s novels: long black hair, golden earrings and huge muscles. That is Conan, and Lopresti delivers that to the reader. Visually, he also delivers a Conan that seems open and vulnerable to his feelings, that feels like a breath of fresh air for the character. The fierce, wild-eyed, and teeth-barred barbarian fans of the character know and love is also well represented. Diana shares many of these same qualities, and it’s easy to empathize with the situation that they are facing based on the striking artwork. The Corvidae sisters are both sexy and terrifying. Transforming from dark haired sirens into hideous crow creatures, they fit perfectly into the dangerous magical world of Hyboria.
To say that Matt Ryan’s ink work is bold is an understatement. The amount of time taken to make each towering spire, grassy plain, rippling current, sword swipe and sinewy muscle stand out is incredible. Each meticulous line gives every panel that much more depth to enjoy.
Finally, the tale is woven together with the beautiful coloring by Wendy Broome. Every panel comes to life with rich blue waters and eyes; shimmering weapons and armor, gleaming in the midday sun or by roaring campfire; grotesque creatures covered in filthy looking, pitch black feathers.
The creative team on this miniseries has done an incredible job so far, weaving a fantasy tale of long lost love, time travel and brutal bloody warfare with powers of darkness. This crossover is shaping up to have a crimson soaked conclusion that will exciting and remembered for quite some time.