Wonder Woman Rebirth Vol. 1: The Lies
Collection: Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1, #3, #5, #7, #9, #11 © 2016
Publisher: DC Comics © 2017
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Liam Sharp
Penciller (pages 7 – 26): Matthew Clark
Inker (pages 7-26): Sean Parsons
Colorists: Laura Martin, Jeremy Colwell
Letterer: Jodi Wynne
Collection and Original Series Cover Artists: Liam Sharp & Laura Martin
Wonder Woman created by: William Moulton Marston
DC Rebirth is here and it is upon Wonder Woman! DC has brought back fan-beloved writer Greg Rucka to breathe new life into our Amazon warrior princess. Luckily this particular story arc is by no means a new origin story under some new reboot like a Post-Crisis or New 52. Wonder Woman right now recounts memories of her history and origin, the clay molding or the demi-god daughter of Zeus. She remembers these but is not sure of them. They come off as conflicting stories, which she feels she lived both but is not sure which is the truth or if anything of her past is true. Wonder Woman does not know who she is. Unknown to her past she seeks out her hated enemy, Cheetah to help her. Enter Cheetah and you get Steve Trevor who coincidentally shares a common enemy with Cheetah that they are tracking in their setting.
Greg Rucka is a great talent and this notion of Wonder Woman not knowing her past is intriguing. Wonder Woman is the paragon of truth and yet does not know the truth of her own self! It makes for a rather poetic conflict. Unfortunately, Rucka leaves you on the leash for this as we do not really get the truth. In addition, this feels like an attempt to just subvert the New 52 and blot out Azzarello’s run and new origin of Wonder Woman which has been in tact now for over five years and was even used in her recent film. It is good to see Steve Trevor again after his complete absence within the Wonder Woman run under Azzarello and Finch. Granted, he made a few appearances with her in Justice League, but again few and was instead his own character throughout other stories. It was an interesting idea and break, but it would be like divorcing Alfred from the Batman comics for several years. Rucka also managed to bring back Etta Candy as well, who has not been seen in publication for over two years. She has a rather minor role in the New 52 and carrying over is an African-American woman, but promoted to Commander Candy now. An African-American commander is hardly a con of this series, but when first seeing her in her new role with head-set on with a government ops program from the command room your brain cannot help but think of Amanda Waller right away. Adding further to Rucka’s achievement list is the use of Cheetah, again another under-utilized character in The New 52. The teaming of these two is a fresh, great idea to show Wonder Woman’s trust and desperation. The return of Veronica Cale though does signal off Rucka’s original run with Wonder Woman and one cannot help but fear he may be doing some retreading here.
Artistically the book is astounding. There is this brief period with the pencils under that of Matthew Clark that does a decent job. Nice smooth line work and has a sort of traditional comic feel to it, but disrupts things and makes the book feel a bit cheap. Everything else under that of Liam Sharp is brilliant, where his work really picks up with the end of issue #1. Sharp brings us a Wonder Woman who I dare say has a somewhat Asian quality to her face I may argue. A huge note of interest is hair, when Wonder Woman gets drenched her hair is actually wet. When she’s sweaty in the midst of action in the middle of a humid jungle you notice how straggly her hair appears. Cheetah on the other hand has two distinct looks – that of the feral creature with huge, bearing fangs and then the more subdues Cheetah. This visual play creates this other side of Cheetah, further adding tension to the story. The panel work is tremendous with terrific one panel close-ups and more. Rucka was kind to give Sharp plenty of work to flex his artistic muscles. Our colorists Martin & Colwell bless Sharps work with their work in these beautiful lit landscapes of amber sun on Wonder Woman’s bronze light skin. You have dark, haunting and lush jungle grounds that create something of a horror comic halfway through the book. Though, their best scene comes with Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman together alone, such sincerity here. In the end, it looks and feels like an independent graphic novel at a more than modest price.
Even with a few minor gripes this comic is truly a fantastic read just leaving you thirsty for more. It comes off as a new story without needing to back-track earlier Wonder Woman stories, but still feeling fresh and not just another chapter in an on-going continuity. Whatever New 52 details are used are summed up quite well and quickly throughout the book. Fair warning – this book does have two different covers, do not make the assumption they are two separate volumes due to their variant covers.
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