I am the first to admit that I have a limited knowledge of Wonder Woman lore, but I decided to take over Asa for this issue, and this issue only, he’ll be back to delight you with his sultry words in no time… OR WILL HE?! Yeah, he will. I figured a third issue, second part in a series that’s being divided in two different stories, even a doofus like me should be able to tackle that. Well, I’ve decided to tackle a story that hits back harder than a linebacker (I think they’re called that). Wonder Woman #3 is filled to the brim with back story and allusions to Diana’s past and her history with one of her fiercest foes, Cheetah. Barbara Ann and Diana are having a conversation that only two people with a past like those two could. It begins as a battle of one is imposing her pride and the other offering humility back. Wonder Woman and Cheetah both share different moments with each other, with Rucka’s dialogue stopping at every one of those to allow their conflicted past rush into the minds of the characters and the readers.
Rucka is able to charge every word spoken in this issue with the memories of the many times Cheetah has faced Wonder Woman and let it out through their very distinctive personalities. Although internally conflicted, Diana has a clear goal and it’s maintained in the forefront throughout the issue. Even with my previously mentioned limited knowledge of the character, I could sense weight of the words they spoke with each other, and rather than leaving me confused, it made me even more curious to find out what’s happened between the two since Cheetah’s first appearance in 1987, it’s challenging and inviting interaction between two foes. Like part of this story, the issue is split with Steve Trevor’s separate mission which takes place in the same region as Wonder Woman’s. Maintaining the heavy thematic but lighter dialogue, his story doesn’t take away from the one focused on Wonder Woman, instead it creates breathing room from every time I dive back into those two, while Steve’s mission continues to takes strides forward into what seems to be an inevitable reunion with the Amazon warrior.
In sync with the tone of the story, Liam Sharp maintains their interactions in what seems intimate, close quarters, deep inside a vast and busy jungle, the two of them are enthralled in their interaction to be even bothered by the beasts following their trail. They’ve beaten them once, she can do it again. In contrast, the shift to Steve’s story becomes more noticeable, open sky, vast lands and moving from an open space into a completely different environment. These changes allow Sharp and colorist Laura Martin to showcase some gorgeous panoramic views and intricate detail inside the jungle.
Expressions are the essence of Wonder Woman #3. There is a near-perfect synchronicity as to what my eyes see, what the read, and where they follow next. Each time Wonder Woman or Cheetah speak, there is sentiment in their faces that pulled at my strings of sympathy. This isn’t just a conversation between good and bad, but rather two equals speaking as someone who seeks to reconnect with her glorious past vs someone who believes she’s been cursed by hers.
Wonder Woman #3 continues to lay incredibly solid groundwork to what is shaping up to be one of the all-time great runs for this character and should become DC’s flagship Rebirth title.
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Wonder Woman #3 Writer: Greg Rucka Artist: Liam Sharp Colorist: Laura Martin Publisher: DC Comics Price: $2.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital