Review: Wonder Woman #786
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Michael W. Conrad & Becky Cloonan and Jordie Bellaire
Art: Rosi Kampe & Becky Cloonan and Paulina Ganucheau
Colors: Marissa Louise Kendall Goode
Letters: Pat Brosseau and Becca Carey
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
Part 5 of “Trial of the Amazons” – The trial begins, but Diana, Donna, Yara, and Philippus are taken underground in an unexpected explosion and they have to decide if this is, in fact, the trial.
Travis Moore and Tamra Bonvillain get the reader off on the right foot with a cover that is darn near perfect. Covers are there to entice potential purchasers when browsing the rack of comics. At one time, covers were extremely important in sales- and the cover to Wonder Woman #786 is a cover that definitely gets one’s attention. It features a great iconic shot of Diana in battle with Yara Flor which is intriguing…because it suggests that the “Trial” will bring these characters to blows. It’s almost immaterial whether or not this actually happens, the cover is there to sell the comic.
Inside, the stand-out bit of Part 5 of “Trial of the Amazons” is the way in which the characters react and handle the adversity. Expecting to be competing against each other, it quickly becomes clear that instead, they must find a way to work together. This is a nice twist on expectations. It never really excited me to think of these four characters having to fight one another for the privilege of guarding Doom’s Doorway, however, for them to come together and face a trial as one against an unknown foe… that does fit in with the Amazon concept of sisterhood and cooperation. What Diana, Yara, Donna, and Philippus learn is also quite interesting as well. While not spoiling things, it’s maybe the biggest of big bads in ancient Greek cosmology.
The second feature, “The Adventures of Young Diana” delivers on the promise to explore Diana’s education both formal and experiential. The first story arc that was collected in a single volume, The Adventures of Young Diana Special #1 was more pointed in that it had Diana uncovering a dark secret of Hippolyta’s. So far this current storyline builds on Diana’s relationship with he mother. In Wonder Woman #786 she sees how her mother is able to use her influence as a leader in order to affect positive change in others. Taken together with the last issue, it seems like we will see Diana learn a lesson from each adventure.
I think it’s fair to say that it feels like there’s not a lot of room in the last two Chapters of “Trial of the Amazons” to resolve everything. We’ve barely seen Altuum, though he does make a brief and important appearance in this issue. Will this be one of those series that concludes the main plot but leaves some dangling storylines to be completed elsewhere?
Wonder Woman #786 does a great job of reframing the nature of “The Trial” and turns it into core Amazonian concepts. It suggests that these contestants, not combatants will come through “The Trial” not only changed but closer and possibly bringing the three tribes of Amazons closer in the process. At least that’s where I hope it goes…