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

REVIEW: 'Redneck' #2 by Donny Cates, Lisandro Estherren, and Dee Cunniffe

'Redneck' arrived a month ago redefining the vampire genre by not giving into convention or cliché. In fact, if you've read the first two issues, the vampire angle serves more as subtext than its selling point. It's the perfect approach to this character-driven southern fried drama that simmers with tension and intrigue.

REDNECK #2 STORY: DONNY CATES
ART/COVER: LISANDRO ESTHERREN & DEE CUNNIFFE LETTERER: JOE SABINO
RELEASE DATE: MAY 24
32 PAGES | Full Color | Mature | $3.99
★★★★☆ (4/5)
The Bowman's way of life just got upended and what was once a peaceful and secluded existence is on the verge of war. The vampires of Texas keep to themselves, raise their cattle, drink its blood and sell the meat through their BBQ joint. Seems like a brilliant front to keep them in the shadows while staking out a living. All that is threatened when one of their own is killed after a night on the town. This issues fills in the holes to what might have happened and what the hell is…

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

PREVIEW: 'Project Superpowers' #1 by Rob Williams and Sergio Davila

The Project Superpowers heroes came from the past, now they have to prove their relevance in the modern world. A 21st Century threat is coming for us all. What dread secrets does The Death Defying Devil hold? The Lighthouse will rise and the Spirit of The American Flag will take on a new host. But will it be enough? Can superheroes still save the day?


Project Superpowers #1
writer: Rob Williams artist: Sergio Davila covers: Francesco Mattina (A), Ed Benes (B), John Royle (C)               Philip Tan (D), JG Jones (E) Stephen Segovia (F)               Sergio Davila (G), Philip Tan (RI-B/W)               J.G. Jones (RI-Sepia), Ed Benes (RI-Virgin)               Francesco Mattina (RI-Virgin)
FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |   Teen+  












PREVIEW: 'Tet' #4 by Paul Allor and Paul Tucker

We've seen Eugene's story. But during his last day's in Vietnam, he finally learns how Ha survived the war. She's always been much stronger than him; and much stronger than he's given her credit for. With all their secrets gone, Ha and Eugene must decide how to move forward.

REVIEW: 'Death or Glory' #2 by Rick Remender and Bengal

After a raucous debut, 'Death and Glory' takes a weird turn. Like a really weird turn. Imagine David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino had a baby and out came out issue two of this new series from Rick Remender and Bengal. The question is is that a good or bad thing?


DEATH OR GLORY #2  
Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Bengal Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: June 6, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
With a botched heist job, a bullet in her side, and all her money gone, Glory wrestles with what to do next. The cargo her ex-husband was trafficking wasn't drugs but people and after putting them all safely on a bus to Arizona, she's broke and being attended to by one of the Brazilians that stayed behind. Her scheme was pretty straight-forward - rob the money that the dirty sheriff was going to transport and use it for her dad's surgery. Easy peasy. Then it all went to hell as the sheriff recognized her, she dropped the money, and now no one is happy, not the sheri…