Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Wonder Woman: Rebirth' #1 by Rucka, Clark, Parsons, Colwell, Sharp and Martin


★★★☆☆ (3/5)

The 'Rebirth' movement at DC Comics put together some fantastic creative teams that are capable of wonderful things. In Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1, Greg Rucka returns to the title and is joined by two great artists in Matthew Clark and Liam Sharp who'll be the regular penciller on the on-going.The book looks amazing and Rucka does what many 'Rebirth' writers have asked to do: recap the origin, acknowledge sins of the past, and look ahead to what's to come. 

Part of the excitement of 'Rebirth' was the expectation of our favorite heroes washing off the grime and soot of the New 52 era and embracing their true selves going forward. The frustrating part has been the mandated exposition that rehashes the character's origin story and waxing eloquently about what went wrong. 

Meanwhile, there isn't a lot of consequential storytelling going on. It's great for new readers. 'Rebirth' is the perfect jumping on point for readers who left a long time ago and want to not only get caught up but feel reassured this is the character they know and love. Rucka goes to great lengths to remind us of what makes Wonder Woman so elemental to the Dc Universe while having her narrate the follies of storytellers of the past. 

Surprisingly, The New 52 Wonder Woman was one of the better titles to survive with Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang at the wheel. They introduced some new origin structures - child of Zeus, becoming the God of War - which some considered controversial but their run seemed to be independent of what else was going on in the DC line. Azzarello appeared to have carte blanche with regards to creative freedom and the series benefitted. Diana's dysfunctional family of gods were explored in ways we rarely had seen. It was one of the most entertaining runs of the Amazon Princess has had. 

Rucka knows a thing or two about great runs in Wonder Woman history too. It's that fact and simply because Rucka is one of the best writers in the industry that raised expectations and why he can overcome this first convoluted introductory issue. 

'Rebirth' issues are a tricky thing. If the majority of the issue is used to apologize and renounce the recent past you're appeasing the critics but alienating the fans that actually liked the New 52. At its core, 'Rebirth' blames whatever problems the New 52 birth to some mysterious force. Diana feels like she was deceived. Her story kept changing, what is true and what is false. Metaphorically, she dons a new costume (ironically, the one from the maligned film Batman V Superman), shedding her past self and looking for answers to who altered her history. Is she after Azzarello and Chiang? Probably not. 

The "story" in 'Rebirth' is part montage, part mystery, and part fantasy. She's heroic in her actions, pensive in her thoughts, confused by the muddy continuity of her own past, and then thrust back to Olympus to face some unseen threat. The saving grace of it all is the stunning art by the many artists on hand. 

Matthew Clark, Sean Parsons and Jeremy Colwell handle the first half. After a frenetic and fast-paced rescue of a girl at a strip club, Wonder Woman's history is quickly recapped before returning to present day where she wonders who she really is. Clark's style is very clean with sharp lines and very modern designs. Parsons' inks aren't heavy handed but well balanced adding the perfect amount of shadow and depth. 

The second half, more like a quarter of the issue, is Liam Sharp and Laura Martin taking a more fantastical approach in a place Diana believes is Olympus. Martin's colors are bold and rich while Sharp's Diana is regal, classic, and majestic. The difference in style is evident and abrupt but not jarring. If nothing else, the art makes me want to return to see more of it. 

I don't blame Rucka for this issue being mired in prologue. It's the directive from DC for 'Rebirth.' With a team this talented, it'll be exciting to see what they can do once the handcuffs are off. Fans should pick up the new ongoing series in spite of 'Rebirth' not because of it. There are some great stories ahead from Rucka and Sharp and that's all you need to know. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

ADVANCE REVIEW: 'Winnebago Graveyard' #1 by Steve Niles, Alison Sampson, and Stéphane Paitreau

Steve Niles and Alison Sampson have arrived to disrupt your bedtime. What happens when an American family traveling on vacation finds themselves stranded in a small town with a sinister secret? The answer is a whole lot of creepy.


WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD #1 (OF 4) Story: Steve Niles Art / Cover: Aditya Bidikar, Alison Sampson, Jordie Bellaire, Stéphane Paitreau Variant Cover: Mingjue Helen Chen Published: June 14, 2017 Diamond ID: APR170724 Digital : $3.99 Print: $3.99
★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)
Niles wastes no time in setting the tone of  this limited horror series 'Winnebago Graveyard.' A couple is abducted by people in hooded robes and are sacrificed during some kind of satanic ceremony that gives birth to something I can't explain here. You'll have to see it for yourselves. Then we're introduced to our protagonists, the dysfunctional family traveling via the titular Winnebago. They make the same mistake every person in a horror does, they stay at the creepiest locations instead …

REVIEW: 'Samaritan: Veritas' #1 by Matt Hawkins, Atilio Rojo, and Troy Peteri

Born out of The Tithe, 'Samaritan: Veritas,' takes on a whole new target as hacker Samantha Copeland is on the run and looking for revenge. It's a thrilling new chapter from Top Cow's Edenverse written by Matt Hawkins with art from Atilio Rojo.


SAMARITAN #1 Story: Matt Hawkins Art / Lettering / Cover: Atilio Rojo Letterer: Troy Peteri Published: May 24, 2017 Diamond ID: MAR170694 Digital : $3.99 Print: $3.99
★★★★☆ (4/5)
The Tithe found Samaritan taking on nefarious mega-churches and this time the only things more corrupt are the U.S. government and military contractors. The President is in Samantha's crosshairs but she's also a hunted woman using all her hacking skills and the resources of the dark web to counter her pursuers. It's this complex cat-and-mouse game that Hawkins unfolds while also providing Samantha's background for new readers. Hawkins does a delicate balancing act adding exposition with flashbacks while moving the story forward in the prese…

ADVANCE REVIEW: 'Secret Weapons' #1 by Eric Heisserer, Raúl Allén, and Patricia Martin

In comics, the assembling of a team of heroes is not a new concept. But what if those "heroes" had been rejected for having lame powers? Valiant addresses this question in the fantastic new mini, Secret Weapons #1, starring Amanda McKee - the technopath codenamed Livewire.


★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)
Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Eric Heisserer (Arrival) and Harvey Award-nominated artist Raúl Allén (Wrath of the Eternal Warrior) have given this band of misfits a new life under the leadership of Livewire. What could have been treated as a parody is handled with great care and love as these psiots that Toyo Harada had stashed away after drawing out their powers but considered useless have found a new purpose.It's another great entry point for new readers and a rewarding one for longtime fans of Livewire and the Unity series.

Harada stashed Nicole (can speak to birds), Martin (can make inanimate objects glow), Owen (spontaneously summons a random object at any given time) and thr…

REVIEW: 'Magnus' #1 by Kyle Higgins, Jorge Fornes, and Chris O'Halloran

Dynamite keeps reinventing classic Gold Key Comics characters and their latest iteration of Magnus, Robot Fighter, is neither a man nor a robot fighter. What 'Magnus' #1 is, it's a fascinating piece of speculative fiction from Kyle Higgins and Jorge Fornes that is smart, immersive, and thought-provoking.


Magnus #1 writer: Kyle Higgins (main story), Chuck Wendig (Turok bonus story) artist: Jorge Fornés (main story), Chris O'Halloran (main story),  Álvaro Sarraseca (Turok bonus story) letters: Taylor Esposito covers:  Giuseppe Camuncoli (a), Jorge Fornés (b),  Aaron Conley (c), Daniel Warren Johnson(d) incentive covers: Jorge Fornés (B/W art), Aaron Conley (B/W art),  Giuseppe Camuncoli (B/W art), Jorge Fornés (“virgin art”), Aaron Conley (“virgin art”) Order the cover of your choice! FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+ 
★★★★★ (5/5)
Thanks to shows like Westworld and Black Mirror, science fiction is sexy again and it's not just aliens and space travel either. Instead, the th…

NEW COMIC BOOK DAY: Notable Releases 6/21/17

This week in comics is heavy with the latest issues in on-going stories with only a couple of brand new #1s we've chosen to highlight. Crosswind #1 by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs is the book of the week. (REVIEW) The talented veteran duo delivers a lean mean thriller that is like Freaky Friday meets Goodfellas

NEW COMIC BOOK DAY 6/21/17 by Slidely Slideshow MUSIC BY SZA
The other new title is a mash-up you never imagined happening. DC Comics' Looney Tunes crossovers have been a hoot and 'Lobo/Road Runner' is no different. Wile E. Coyote travels to the far reaches of space to hire Lobo to hunt down and kill his greatest nemesis of all time, the Road Runner. Make sure to check all these other great books out this week. Happy reading!

(W) Gail Simone(A/CA) Cat Staggs Fan-favorite creators GAIL SIMONE and CAT STAGGS make their stunning Image debut with this mind-bending new ongoing series! A slick and ruthless Chicago hitman. A smart but downtrodden Seattle housewife. Wh…