Ricky Church reviews Wonder Woman #14…
“YEAR ONE” conclusion! With Steve Trevor by her side, Diana faces the God of War and embraces her destiny as Wonder Woman!
SEE ALSO: Read a preview of Wonder Woman #14 here
With Wonder Woman #14, we have two conclusions on our hands. One is the end of the ‘Year One’ storyline Greg Rucka has been telling in the even numbered issues of Wonder Woman and the other is Nicola Scott’s final issue on the title. Both facts make this a bittersweet issue as the young Diana fully embraces her role as Wonder Woman as she faces off against the God of War himself, Ares, with some fantastic artwork by Scott.
With Ares on the scene, Wonder Woman #14 could have simply devoted the entirety of its space to a brawl between him and Diana, but Rucka avoids a typical fight in the ‘Year One’ finale. It was great to see him circumvent this trope by showing Diana’s attempt to reason and plead with Ares against harming Steve Trevor or any of her newfound allies. It not only fit within her character to use violence as a last resort, but even the way Rucka wrote Diana’s dialogue was well handled, reverting to a Shakespearian dialogue. This was a nice touch by Rucka because Diana was, after all, speaking to a deity.
That’s not to say there is not a fight between Diana and Ares, only that its great to see there’s more to their meeting than fisticuffs. The action that does follow with Ares may be brief, but it still shows Diana’s skill against a foe superior to her power and effectively utilizes her patrons as well. From there, the enemies shift to Ares’ human followers and even to Diana herself as she has to overcome darker instincts. What it displays to a great degree is Diana’s hope and determination against a foe far larger and deadly than anything she’s faced, but how those qualities can still win out and overcome adversity.
The art during the action sequences is fantastic with several panels primed to be pinned up on a wall. Nicola Scott makes Ares look the most threatening he’s been in a long time; just his standing still is intimidating to look at and Scott put a lot of work in the detail on his armour, from the design of his helmet to the snakes draped around his neck. Its very impressive how Scott is able to express with a character whose face is hidden, using a bit of body language to convey his presence and even thought process.
However, Scott’s depiction of Diana is the issue’ true selling point as she shows her Wonder Womaning in all her glory. Whether its displaying Diana’s agony at Ares’ touch or the two great full-page panels of Diana saving the day, Scott captures the essence of the character in these scenes. The only one thing I can say that was somewhat distracting was how Steve Trevor went mostly shirtless for the entire issue, even as he and Diana flew around the world to stop Ares’ attacks, but even that’s a minor quibble.
Romolo Fajardo Jr.’s colours really compliment her work as well, combining a lot of darks and lights with Diana and Ares to the bright colours of the final full-page panel. Fajardo Jr. also knows how to make the Lasso of Truth really glow with power. He’s really made the colours in ‘Year One’ stand out just as much as Scott’s art.
It’s bittersweet to see Nicola Scott leave the title, but she at least is leaving on a very high note. Wonder Woman #14 captured much of Diana’s character, from the way Rucka made her speak to her interactions with the various character to Scott and Fajardo’s depictions of her heroism. Hopefully Scott will team with Rucka again on Wonder Woman, but for now this is an excellent send-off.