Review: Trial of the Amazons: Wonder Girl #1
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Joelle Jones
Art: Joelle Jones
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
Yara Flor arrives on Themisscyra after her own travails on Olympus and becomes embroiled in the murder of Hippolyta. Plus, Cassie Sandsmark’s investigation begins!
On page 1, the first words we hear Yara Flor speaks are intriguing and draw the reader in immediately: “I hate the gods.” What a start to a comic predicated on the existence of the ancient Greek pantheon. It sets up a conflict straight away that even a new reader will find interesting enough to check out the issue. Of course you’re probably already here for “Trial of the Amazons” event, but this issue isn’t solely chapter 4 of the crossover event. At the very least, these opening words promise the reader something that Trial of the Amazons: Wonder Girl #1 delivers and that’s the answer to the answer to the implied question, why does Yara hate the gods?
The issue gets right to it as Jones recounts some of the events of Wonder Girl #1-7 as well as filling some of the gap between issue #7 and Trial of the Amazons: Wonder Girl #1. If you are lamenting the cancellation of that series, then you will be pleased to see some of what was going to come next in this issue. This includes some expanded information on the Esquecida and just like the first few issues of Wonder Girl, it’s clear that this is a subject that needs to be explored further. Additionally, Jones’ art in this section is exceptional. It was clearly intended to be a part of Wonder Girl #8 as it firs so well with the rest of the series.
As the issue catches Yara Flor’s story op with the events of “Trial of the Amazons,” Cassie Sandsmark’s investigation of Hippolyta’s murder takes the forefront. It’s a great decision to have Cassie narrate the section first person. Like Chapter 3 in last week’s Wonder Woman #785, it’s an intimate and personal approach to the material that really works. Crossover events can often feel like lots of action with few character moments, but these past two chapters keep the reader invested with a focus on character.
Cassie’s investigation leads her a little closer to the truth, but Jones doesn’t let Cassie reveal it to the reader. This is an effective way of keeping the reader on the hook by teasing progress even if it’s not 100% clear. Of course, the reader is probably leaning towards Altuum who was introduced back in Wonder Woman Annual 2022 #1. It’s probably the obvious choice, so we should hope this isn’t just going to end without a genuinely compelling culprit and motivation.
The negative here is that Wonder Girl #8 has been co-opted for the “Trial of the Amazons” event. This issue alone hints at the potential for Yara and the world-building for the Esquecida. It’s still not clear what happened, but scheduling seems like an obvious challenge that required Wonder Girl to be truncated. Why it was cancelled completely is an even bigger question. Until Yara gets a series that is able to explore the Esquecida, this will haunt the character. The potential in that and how Yara fits into that culture is far more interesting than anything in the death of Hippolyta or any character for that matter.
Joelle Jones does a marvelous balancing act as she adds a bit more to Yara Flor’s story as she gets into Cassie’s investigation of Hippoylta’s murder. The personal approach to both Yara and Cassie in Trial of the Amazons; Wonder Girl #1 is the key to making both aspects work, and the art is just glorious. While it’s hard to not wish we simply got Wonder Girl #8, Jones makes it all together.