Welcome back! After a month-long Villains Month break, it’s back to our regularly scheduled Wonder Woman programming, courtesy of Brian Azzarello and Goran Sudzuka. There will be spoilers from this point forward.
Picking up after last issue, in which Diana killed War and bested First Born (taken by Moon in #23.2), Wonder Woman #24 offers a nice breather after the action packed finale of last month. So how does it fare? Check out below!
Brian Azzarello ramps up the intrigue with this quieter, character-driven issue. We see more of Moon’s machinations as he wields the power of the throne. With the First Born chained by his side like a dog (check out 23.2: First Born for that info), he calls forth a meeting of the Gods. Only one chair is missing: War.
Let’s start with the writing. Somehow everyone in this issue has their own moment to shine. We see Hera, former Queen of the Gods, still struggling to come to terms with being mortal. We see Hermes, trying to mend bridges burned between him and Diana and Zola.
And finally, we see Diana, struggling to come to terms with, and ultimately rejecting, her new role as God of War. Will she eventually submit and take her seat? Or will she be pitted against the gods?
If next month’s preview is any indication, Strife certainly isn’t happy about her friends very recent demise.
The character work presented here is all very good. Characters are fleshed out and 3-dimensional, which is par the course for this title thus far, with a myriad of goals and feelings, and this resonates with the reader. Personally, I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for Hermes and Strife here, even though they’ve done terrible things to our heroes. After a month off, Azzarello plays it smart here by giving the reader some breathing room before the inevitable next big confrontation. Issues like this are treats in an era of big event books, gems that reward the reader with good character development.
Goran Sudzuka is on the art this issue and though Cliff Chiang’s pencils are certainly missed, Sudzuka has definitely stepped up his game since starting on the title. The lines are clean and he does a splendid job at showcasing various emotions in the quieter scenes. I still do wish that Mr. Chiang could be the regular full time artist on this book, but Sudzuka proves here that he is more than capable at filling in when needed.
While no fault of the writer’s, the extended wait in between issues due to Villain’s Month (two months!) hurts this issue a little by robbing it of momentum. Fortunately, this is a good place to take a break and doesn’t impact the story’s flow too harshly, but it is felt. My only other complain is a stylistic issue that I’ve had with the book for a while now. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the ellipses that Azzarello uses far too often. More than once I had to turn back a page to reread the beginning of a character’s dialogue to literally connect the dots. Again, it’s not a bad thing when used sparingly, but it’s used to a bit excess here for my personal tastes.
Brian Azzarello and Goran Sudzuka deliver another excellent entry with Wonder Woman #24. Diana is clearly the star here, and the writer clearly understands the character well, but Azzarello does not skimp on further developing the rather extensive cast of secondary characters. Here’s hoping he remains on the title for a long time to come.