Ricky Church reviews Wonder Woman #24…
“Godwatch” epilogue! With Godwatch’s purpose fulfilled, Diana and Cale are forced to confront the choices of the past…and a new direction for the future.
It’s the penultimate issue of Greg Rucka’s time on Wonder Woman and he uses it well to conclude the ‘Godwatch’ storyline and tie it into the current day of ‘The Truth’. Wonder Woman #24 takes a more introspective look at the characters, specifically Veronica Cale, and the consequences each leading woman must deal with.
Since this is primarily an epilogue to ‘Godwatch’, it was nice to see most of the focus placed on Cale, especially in the wake of her all too brief reunion with her daughter. The issue places her in something of a dark place as everything she’s done and worked so hard for has amounted to nothing but pain for a lot of people. Rucka has presented her as a complex villain, and while readers can certainly sympathize with her desire to save her daughter, the means she’s used don’t paint her in a sympathetic light.
That’s the primary focus of the issue: looking at past choices to see if anything could be done differently. Diana even goes through this as well, questioning if there was a better way to help Cheetah or save Cale’s daughter. Its an interesting juxtaposition that while Diana of course feels regret, Cale doesn’t seem to care much about what might have been and instead pushes everyone away.
The most tragic character out of all of this is actually Cheetah; Barbara Ann has the worst outcome of all after being forced back to her curse and rejected from her life’s dream of seeing Themyscira. The final fight between Diana and Cheetah was a brutal one, both physically and emotionally. After seeing everything they’d been through in Rucka’s run, it adds to the heartbreak that not only are they back to being enemies, but Cale is the cause of it.
Bilquis Evely’s art is good throughout the issue, particularly when it comes to displaying Cale’s fragile emotions and how hard she’s trying to keep them under the surface. Cheetah’s assault on Cale and her subsequent fight with Diana is depicted well, showcasing the brutality in the scene as Cheetah scratched and tore at the pair. There were some panels where Cheetah looked demonic, adding to the unsettling nature of the character, but Evely’s depiction of Cheetah isn’t quite as detailed when compared to Liam Sharp’s take on her in the odd numbered issues. Despite that, this was still quite a send off for Evely’s final issue.
Wonder Woman #24 is a bittersweet reminder of just how good Rucka’s run has been. The characterizations have been great, with some excellent focus on Veronica Cale in ‘Godwatch’ and a tragic personal loss for Diana in Cheetah. Evely conveyed all the emotion within the story through her character’s facial expressions, body language and raw brutality. Its good as a single issue alone, but serves as a fantastic penultimate chapter.