Ricky Church reviews Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka Vol. 2…
In these stories from WONDER WOMAN #206-217, the deadly Medusa comes calling, and Wonder Woman’s world is turned upside down. After a terrible sacrifice, the Amazing Amazon must prove herself once again to her comrades in the Justice League—and to the world.
Before he began writing Wonder Woman for DC’s Rebirth initiative, which recently concluded, Greg Rucka wrote for the character in the early ‘00s, doing a very memorable run that is considered to be one of the very best Diana of Themyscira has had. Since last year, DC has been collecting Rucka’s first Wonder Woman run in a series of collections and recently released Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka Vol. 2 to bookshelves. So how does this collection fare?
In volume one if his run, Rucka spent most of his time exploring Diana’s role as Themyscira’s ambassador to the world and how the people viewed her within that role. Volume 2 still examines Diana’s role as ambassador, but also sees more traditional superheroics in the story as she battles the ancient Medusa and becomes a pawn in Athena’s plot against her father Zeus.
The story is told well and is quite captivating as Wonder Woman has to contend with quite a few fronts as her enemies attack her. The story ‘Stoned’, featuring Medusa, is arguably the highlight of the book as the mythological monster attacks in a desire for vengeance against Athena. It culminates in a pretty entertaining and intense battle with Diana fighting blindfolded before willingly blinding herself. From there, Rucka shows all the ways in which Diana is a warrior without her sight, but also emphasizes her compassion, understanding and mercy after she and her friends suffer a devastating tragedy.
There is also a cool team-up with The Flash where have to fight the Cheetah and Professor Zoom together. Diana and Wally West have such a different outlook on life that its an interesting pairing to see their differences spoken out loud. Flash is visibly uncomfortable just being around Diana as well and Rucka utilizes this opportunity to his advantage. While this story is a bit of a lead-in to Infinite Crisis, it can still be read completely on its own and only has the vaguest of hints toward the massive event.
The art throughout the book is quite nice with a lot of variety. Drew Johnson, Rags Morales and James Riaz draw most of the issues and do some great work on the characters. Johnson depicts the final fight between Wonder Woman and Medusa with some nice choreography that is easy to follow and fairly brutal in some panels. While each of the artists have their own style, they blend together well, never seeming very inconsistent with the overall look.
The colours give quite a vibrant look to the book as well, with Richard and Tanya Horie and James Sinclair doing the colour work. Their colours help the consistent look with the different ullustrators, but they also add to it by playing with a lot of different shades and a mix of lights and darks, particularly when Diana takes a trip down to the underworld in ‘The Bronze Doors’.
The book has quite a number of issues, collection Wonder Woman #206 – 217, as well as The Flash #219 is a crossover between the heroes. There’s a pretty good wealth of stories here that make it worth the buy. The reprinting is done very well and the book doesn’t present much gutter loss with either the art or dialogue. There are occasional moments of loss, but they’re few and far between and don’t hinder the enjoyment of looking at the art or struggle with reading the speech bubbles.
Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka Vol. 2 is a nice collection for any Wonder Woman fan to have. Rucka understands the character and puts her through quite a journey as her faith in the gods is tested and has to adapt to a new way of fighting and seeing people. The art throughout the book is great and the stories collected here are worth getting. It is definitely nice to have more of Rucka’s run in one place.