Wonder Woman (2016-) #61
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
G. Willow Wilson’s Wonder Woman run didn’t have the most impressive start, but it showed a high amount of potential. Since her debut, each issue has gotten just a little better, with strong dialogue and an interesting take on Ares. The main issue I’ve had so far with the run is that it has felt just a little too crowded, with so much action that the best parts of the books haven’t been able to shine.
Wonder Woman #61 is the penultimate issue of Wilson’s first arc, and possibly the best so far. In this issue, Steve Trevor runs into Aphrodite, who is bored with the idea of love and wants something new and exciting to be the goddess of. Meanwhile, Diana is caught up in the war, willing to tear everything apart to find Steve. The solicitation for the issue implies that Aphrodite is more-or-less attacking Steve, which couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s a tad misleading because Aphrodite turns out to be a fairly understandable and likable character.
The story is as well written as you can ask for. Everything has fine pacing and moves along surprisingly fast. There are many pages full of dialogue and little action, but nothing feels too sluggish, and all of the conversations feel natural. The final reveal at the end of the issue isn’t at all surprising, but that isn’t detrimental to the overall quality of this issue. Some of the decisions made by the characters do feel a bit unnatural though, and it does damage the overall by a bit. I am hoping that the next arc will be more consistent in this area.
Most of the issue’s success is in the art. This is by far the best-looking issue in the arc so far. The script moves along seamlessly due to Xermanico’s ability to add motion to the panels. I wasn’t a fan Cary Nord’s take on the characters, and there were many expressions that just seemed off, especially with Diana. Diana looks great here, and aside from a few panels here and there, every reaction looks authentic. The chaos and destruction in the war-torn streets almost have a cinematic feel to them.
I will say that I have never liked the decision to show Aphrodite’s face, and thought that the Azzarello and Chiang run had the best approach to the character. Aphrodite’s is supposed to be incredibly beautiful, and its best for the reader to interpret her appearance. The less we know about the more she looks, the more beautiful she is imagined. Otherwise, I love every other artistic decision on this issue. There is a stunning battle scene towards the end of the issue that is equal parts captivating and funny. I mentioned before that the final reveal of the issue isn’t surprising, but it looks so damn good.
Wonder Woman #61 is the finest issue of Wilson’s run yet. It exchanges the nonstop action for some strong dialogue, and the few exciting scenes in the issue look superb. A few choices here and there will make readers scratch their heads, but this is one of the best issues of Wonder Woman since Rucka’s run.
Wonder Woman #61
Wonder Woman #61 is the finest issue of Wilson's run yet. It exchanges the nonstop action for some strong dialogue, and the few exciting scenes in the issue look superb. A few choices here and there will make readers scratch their heads, but this is one of the best issues of Wonder Woman since Rucka's run.