Ricky Church reviews Wonder Woman #25…
Writer Greg Rucka weaves together the threads of “The Lies,” “Year One,” “The Truth,” and “Godwatch”—every story in WONDER WOMAN since the start of the DC Universe Rebirth era—in this extra-sized anniversary issue!
Greg Rucka’s time on Wonder Woman finally comes to an end with #25 in a bittersweet anniversary issue. He wraps up nearly everything in his run, but sends Diana off with an emotional resolution that caps off everything he’s been building towards since the very first issue.
Rather than focusing on the loose threads left in his story, such as Cheetah’s or Doctor Cyber’s whereabouts, Rucka ops to examine Diana’s character and her emotional state following the events of Wonder Woman #23 and #24. It’s a side of Diana that we rarely see, one consumed by anger, pain and loss at what her gods put her through. Rucka examines her mindset pretty well, showing how unnerved all her friends are.
Seeing Batman and Superman guest star briefly was nice, as well as a good callback to their first meeting in Wonder Woman Annual #1. At first it seemed like their appearance would be out of place, but Rucka utilizes them well and doesn’t overplay them, showing Batman and Superman understand Diana in a way some never will. Ultimately the story is meant for Wonder Woman to reconnect with her Diana of Themyscira side, one who doesn’t have the weight of the world on her shoulders and can truly connect with humanity.
That’s one reason why the ending is so bittersweet: Diana’s realization that while the gods may have lied to her about her home, nothing has ever really changed about herself. The saying ‘home is where the heart is’ may be a bit cliché, but in this case its especially true for Diana as she realized the potential she has with Steve and her other friends.
As said, Rucka ties up most of his story threads nicely, though leaves plenty of room open for future writers to explore. Wonder Woman and Veronica Cale’s brief conversation was nice, but also could have been expanded upon a bit more. The fact that Cale didn’t really get a comeuppance is a bit of a downer and leaves her open to return (though then again, her real comeuppance is the fact she’ll never see her daughter again).
Likewise, Diana’s meeting with the gods didn’t go as expected. There was no real explanation on their part for why they created a fake Themyscira or, as Diana pointed out, abused her faith. However, it is tough to argue against that scene when it cut to who Wonder Woman is and what she represents, leading Diana to her epiphany.
The art is, once again, fantastic. Liam Sharp and Bilquis Evely share art duties and pull out all the stops for their final issue. You’d think that with two artists tackling one issue might risk some inconsistency between their styles, but that’s of little concern here. Sharp and Evely each take sections of the book they’ve worked on the most during their time; Sharp on Wonder Woman and her time with the Justice League and the gods and Evely on Veronica Cale and Diana and Steve Trevor and neither of their styles conflict with each other. It’s not jarring to transition from Sharp to Evely from scene to scene.
Both of them do really well with Rucka’s script, showcasing all the emotion necessary for the finale. One area Sharp and Evely excel in is in their facial expressions, from Diana’s anger and smile to Cale’s smirk and subtle sorrow. Sharp has done wonders (no pun intended) in the title and here is no exception. His standout scene may Diana’s conversation with her patrons, using a very cool trick with water, but its also cool to see him drawing the Justice League. If this is his audition for Justice League, he’d be well suited for the title.
Evely, meanwhile, does well with her sections of the book, but her standout scene is the reunion between Diana and Steve. She captures the emotion between them very well, particularly Diana’s newfound sense of belonging. Of course, Romulo Fajardo Jr.’s colours helped their artwork, giving it a very vibrant look. Sharp’s trick with the water really stood out because of Fajardo’s colours, bringing an otherworldly look to the imagery in that scene.
Overall, Wonder Woman #25 is a great send off for the whole team. While some things could perhaps have been more neatly wrapped, it did tie the main story up nicely and focused on the importance of the characters. The examination of Diana’s emotional state was brought to life through Sharp, Evely and Fajardo’s artwork, making the whole issue impactful. It’s definitely bittersweet to see them all go, but they went out on top.