SPOILER WARNING: This review contains spoilers!
Wonder Woman #01
Written by: Brian Azzarello
Art by: Cliff Chiang (interior art and cover), Matthew Wilson (colors), Jared K. Fletcher (letters)
Story Title: The Visitation
Release Date: September 21, 2011
Ratings: 4.5 out of 5
Dusk, on the rooftop terrace of a skyscraper in Singapore, Apollo and three young human women are talking. In Virginia, a humanoid (presumably female) draped in a cloak of peacock feathers in a horse stable takes a scythe and uses it to cut the heads off of two horse. Where their heads were arms and a head start to grow. In a nearby house, we see a young woman pointing a shotgun at a bird-footed, blue skinned humanoid. He is trying to protect her, but the young woman, Zola, doesn’t believe him. The horses have turned into centaurs and are attacking Zola’s home. The man takes an arrow for her and gives her a key. The key teleports her to London and the bedroom of Diana, the Wonder Woman. While Diana and Zola teleport back to Zola’s house to face the centaurs, Apollo is being told his fortune by the three women (who have become Oracles). The man from earlier is revealed to be Hermes, and he beckons Diana to take Zola and run “to the ends of the Earth. Protect her, or the Queen will see her dead.” Hermes reveals that Zola is pregnant with Zeus’ child. The prophecy of the Oracles reveals that one of Zeus’ children will murder another and take their place.
I’m very impressed with this issue. A lot of the DC New 52 stuff really suffered from premiere-itis. The stories fell a little short when weighed down with introducing a new origin, or they were confusing as to when they took place in relation to other appearances of the same character (I’m looking at you Superman). Wonder Woman did not have that problem. The world knows who Wonder Woman is (at the very least, Zola instantly recognized her). The Gods of Olympus are active and alive. There were no lingering continuity or origin related questions from this issue.
Brian Azzarello did a fantastic job of setting up the future of this new series without sacrificing telling a good story in this issue. That can be a very tough task for writers, but not Azzarello. Cliff Chiang’s art really shines here, with the help of very crisp and beautiful colors by Matthew Wilson. Everything really comes together to create what I feel is the strongest premiere issue of a run of Wonder Woman in a very long time. I can’t wait to read this book every month, and I hope Brian Azzarello sticks around for many years to tell some great stories.
I HIGHLY recommend this book to long-time Wonder Woman fans and new readers alike.