[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Ibrahim Moustafa
Fifty feet below the Smithsonian Institute lies a hidden warehouse of unidentified magical items confiscated by the U.S. government. When the artifacts start activating themselves, Steve Trevor calls on Wonder Woman to investigate.
A repository of an unidentified cache of mystical items is an intriguing idea and could provide a springboard for further ideas down the road if the Archive is revisited in the future. It could be used to introduce McGuffins for future stories or even to reintroduce items back to the DCU. Just because the artifact is unidentified within the story, who’s to say it might not be familiar to longtime readers?
This happens to be the bonus story written by Scott Snyder, who is well-established as a writer. This gives the benefit of increasing the chances that the Archive will feature again in a future DCU title.
The actual new talents featured in the story are the artist Ibrahim Moustafa and colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr. While ten pages doesn’t give them much room to demonstrate their full capabilities, they do manage to get the job done. The art is clear, the characters recognizable, and the monster featured in the story appears suitably threatening. The dark colors used properly convey the sense of secrecy and threat inherent in the Archive and its contents.
The drawback of the stories featured in these New Talent Showcase tales is that they often appear to be the introductory chapter of stories that never get continued elsewhere. Scott Snyder’s involvement in this story increases the odds that the Archive might pop up again in one of his other titles, but it seems unlikely that we will ever get to see the conclusion of the battle Wonder Woman has in this story. I would generally prefer that either the stories in these stories were self-contained, or specifically designed to introduce storylines that DC has plans to continue in the near future.
Also, it might be nicer if the stories could be a little bit longer. Ten pages is more of a teaser than a full story, and when you have a teaser that doesn’t actually lead into something, it can leave you feeling somewhat dissatisfied.
Despite the drawbacks inherent in the format of the story, this still serves as an entertaining Wonder Woman adventure that might entice readers to check out Diana’s regular title.