Wonder Woman’s monthly comic continues to shine as an example of great story and stunning art. Brian Azzarello puts on a show in Wonder Woman #18, with several epic battles, and a reunion long delayed.
I am enjoying this continuing story about Wonder Woman rescuing her friend Zola’s baby: the Greek god Zeus is the child’s father, and his wife Hera therfore want’s to punish Zola and the baby. And then the baby was taken away by Hermes – who embodies many things: namely speed, healing, and theft.
That’s the only weakness of the story I can see: the background reading of Greek Gods and Comic Heroes of the 1970’s needed is steep at times. The good news: the comic does not expect readers to know details.
Wonder Woman #18
There are several impressive action scenes, namely a race between Hermes and Orion, a Duel between Wonder Woman and Hermes, and a battle between Posiedon and “The First Born” – Zues and Hera’s first child together, which is new mythology.
Colour and lettering work well to build an atmosphere and accent the characters poses and movement. Hermes’ weapons glow blue, and Wonder Woman‘s swords shine a deep, metallic purple – almost imperial purple.
The race to outrun the god of speed is an small epic, constructed across several panels. The sequence uses lines to effectively convey motion. lettering – the loud, large words used to indicate sound effects in comics (called Onomatopoeia) – also give a sense of speed.
Combined with blurred colours, the art team, Cliff Chiang and Goran Sudzuka with Tony Akins, Dan Green, Matthew Wilson and Jared K. Fletcher, have achieved a strong sense of movement.
The First Born’s regal, dark blue armor stands out against the aquamarine of the ocean as he fights Posiedon – refereed to simply as “Ocean”. The idea that a god is an avatar – a physical representation of a force of nature, or soceity, is a key part of the Wonder Woman comic.
Demeter – the goddess of fertility – is called “Harvest”. In this issue, however, she is also called “Nature”. Some gods represent multiple forces.
As another example, Ares is called “War”.
Nature and War face each other as Ares tries to help Wonder Woman, and rescue Zola’s baby from Demeter, who agreed to protect the child with Hermes – Who could be called “Thief” as well as “Messenger”.
It’s a spoiler to write about what happens next, however Wonder Woman is facing more challenges from the pantheon of gods than it appears, as she escapes Ares and Orion in the cover art below.