Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Greg Rucka Tries To Straighten Out All The Lies In Wonder Woman, Vol. 1!

The Good: Coloring, Themes surrounding Diana and Barbara Ann
The Bad: Simplistic plot, Messy character conflict, Inconsistent artwork
The Basics: Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: The Lies tries to start reconciling all of the various incarnations of Wonder Woman for a mess of a story to start her part of the Rebirth version of the character.

Every few years, in recent memory, the DC Comics universe gets a reboot. After decades of the same characters progressing and developing, the executives at DC Comics decided to reboot the universe. There was a pretty close succession of reboots, though, between The New 52 and Rebirth and in recent years, Wonder Woman suffered more than most of the other DC Comics characters. Before The New 52, Wonder Woman had a year where her reality was altered and where the world's memory of her was eliminated by the resurrected Max Lord. So, it has been a while since readers have had a version of Wonder Woman who has lasted for more than a few years. The latest version of Wonder Woman for the Rebirth incarnation of the character begins in Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: The Lies.

Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: The Lies is a bit of a mess as Wonder Woman, now in a new outfit and not relying upon a sword, shield or her Lasso, finds herself with a slew of conflicting memories about her past. Diana recalls multiple versions of her backstory and, feeling so lost, she goes on a mission to attempt to discover the truth. Sadly, the seven-chapter volume goes nowhere.

Diana has a series of conflicting memories for her origin and other major events in her life. She has a vagie recollection of recent events, like getting the mantle of God Of War and taking the place of Ares. Wrestling with the conflict, Diana travels to Themyscira, but finds herself surrounded by automatons and unable to actually enter her old home. So, Diana seeks out the one person she believes might be able to find Themyscira: Barbara Ann Minerva.

As a result, Diana travels to Bwunda to find Barbara Ann. Diana encounters Cheetah and does all she can to pacify her. While Barbara and Diana journey through Bwunda, Steve Trevor and a small covert team head for the local warlord Cadulo. Cadulo has taken many girls prisoner from several tribes in Bwunda and Trevor's team, guided by Etta Candy stateside, attempts to liberate the girls. In the process, Wonder Woman makes a deal with Cheetah; Barbara Ann will help her find Themyscira, but in exchange, Diana must kill the god Urzkartaga to free Minerva from his control once and for all. When Cadulo and Urzkartaga capture and turn on Trevor, Wonder Woman finds herself drawn to him again.

Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: The Lies is a bit of a mess and it comes without any real sense of resolution to it at all. Beyond that, it is a frustrating tome on its own; Wonder Woman has no firm memories and is told that she has been lied to, but there are no truths to be found in Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: The Lies. Instead, Diana and Trevor are knocked from lie to lie without any sense of closure and without a strong adversary to confront. Even seeding Dr. Veronica Cale into the mix does not play out in an especially compelling way.

Thematically, Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: The Lies is generally good, but inconsistent. Diana once again stands up for the helpless, downtrodden women who are going to be exploited, which fits her character perfectly. There is even a whole Women Power aspect to the resolution of the Urzkartaga plotline in Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: The Lies. But, Diana and Steve Trevor have a heart to heart, in which she mentions being in a relationship with Superman and acknowledging Trevor's wife and daughter . . . but then kisses him! So, there are inconsistencies in the book's fundamental relationships.

The artwork in Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: The Lies is as inconsistent as the storyline and character conflict. Steve Trevor carries around a picture of Wonder Woman in which Diana looks like a 12 year-old girl and, new outfit aside, she never looks even remotely like that in the rest of the book. The coloring is good, but the sense of movement and even angles are inconsistent throughout the book.

Ultimately, Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: The Lies is a lackluster reboot to the iconic character that is hardly worth reading.

For other books with Wonder Woman, please visit my reviews of:
A Twist Of Fate
Odyssey, Vol. 1
Gods And Mortals


For other book reviews, please check out my Book Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2018 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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