**Warning, there may well be points made here that could be considered as spoilers for this issue, so you have been warned. Maybe read the comic first?
As well as being an anniversary issue of sorts, this oversized issue is also Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp’s swan song on a title, I know Liam (and, I dare say Rucka too) has held very closely to his heart this past year or so. Hell, only this week Sharp revealed a new tattoo to add to his modest collection: the very same tattoo sported by Steve Trevor, as designed by Sharp. Talk about a character getting under your skin!
So, how does it hold up as both a celebration of DC’s premium super woman and as a farewell from two titans of comics?
Very well, thank you. This is a comic that sings its love for Wonder Woman and is more a reaffirmation of what there is to love about this character, who has been dragged through the hedges somewhat since this Rebirth title was born last year. She is ‘A woman who has touched countless lives… a woman who has brought hope and joy and love.’ This is what this warrior princess has to offer humanity and ‘man’s world’.
Strip her of her strength and what makes her so special? She is once more embraced by her mythological past and by Steve Trevor, who many have wanted her to ‘ship with and so now can be happy. All is right with the world again, even if Dr. Minerva/Cheetah is still missing. But, that is a worry for the next creative team now. This is not a time for cliffhangers but satisfying, soppy endings.
Sharp has delivered to readers an iconic Wonder Woman. Like Neil Adams’ Batman, or Curt Swan’s Superman, and in time I think that will be recognised. Her strong Mediterranean-influenced look, her powerful physique; this is a real world Wonder Woman that I hope does not get diluted with time.
And, it is her physique and strength that are on show in the opening pages as she takes down the Shaggy Man single-handedly. Why the other members of the Justice League are even there must be a question they ask themselves, acting as a sweep up service for an angry Diana. Angry because of the lies she has been subject to about her very life and what she thought she understood.
Bilquis Evely, who partnered with Sharp on art duties here, has always been a great fill-in artist for Sharp and I do hope to see Evely stick around to give the book some sense of continuity stylistically at least. But I apologise to Evely for focusing so heavily on Sharp’s contribution, because it has been such a labour of love for him and his first major return to comic books in some time. A return that I hope he has relished enough to continue in the near future.
Wonder Woman is given a new home, which I was sad to see. I enjoyed having a Greek -inspired heroine living in London, but looks like we’re once more without a saviour. Unless, of course you count Captain Britain. But, I hear he plays for the other team.
Still, by the end of this issue and the reconciliation and re-establishment of the Diana and Steve romance and a highly satisfying last page splash, the road has been left clear for the new gang and a ‘brand new chapter’ as they used to announce in the funny pages.
There aren’t too many classic epics I can think of when it comes to Wonder Woman; certainly not when you compare her stories with those of Superman and Batman, but this 25 issue run, and the retelling of her origin illustrated by Nicola Scott could well be one of those runs you’ll be glad you read as it unfolded. Sharp, Rucka and Scott: they are going to be a tough act to follow.