Genre: Superhero Comics
Series: Wonder Woman Vol. IV
Publisher: DC (March 18, 2014)
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Wonder Woman Volume 4: War continues my foray into the world of the New 52. Actually, I read this volume last year, but I decided to reread it after finishing Wonder Woman: Blood, Vol. 1, and while I definitely appreciated it more this time, War continued to leave me with mixed feelings.
The story itself revolves around Wonder Woman protecting a baby from a group of powerful abductors/fratriciders. Helping her in this endeavor is a group of gods as well as Orion and eventually the other New Gods of New Genesis. Naturally, there are lots of action sequences, especially in the climax portion of the story, but also some humorous frames and emotional scenes. The Wonder Woman portrayed here continues the New 52 rendition of Diana as much stronger and assertive than previous versions, much more in line with what a modern reader would expect a strong super heroine of WW’s stature to be. However, in my opinion, Orion steals the show, providing both the small amount of humor as well as the most dramatic moments of the book as a whole.
The artwork provided by Cliff Chiang and others in this graphic novel takes some getting use to, but it definitely grows on you, not spectacular perhaps but far more than just serviceable, and it does become very appealing to the eye. (Except for the weird gods. I just can’t get use to them or like them.) What is especially excellent is the tailoring of the images to the story; the way the page layouts are so easy to follow; facial expressions and body positioning helping to convey the emotions of the characters; and the new look Wonder Woman combining both athleticism and feminine beautiful in the correct proportion to fit this “New 52” personality. Even Orion, who turns from normal man to his more bestial visage at various times in the tale, was penned admirably. So on this front, Wonder Woman Volume 4: War did not disappoint.
I didn’t feel the same way about the story however.
Now, before anyone says it, no, I haven’t read the whole Wonder Woman series by Azzarello. And, yes, I realize this comic seems to demand that new readers begin with Volume 1 so they will understand what is going on. However, after reading Wonder Woman: Blood, Vol. 1, I knew more than enough of the background to understand this one. Yeah, I recognized that the baby Diana and her posse is protecting is Zeus’ newest child. Sure, I remembered that the gods are fighting to take Zeus’s high seat as king of the gods. But really, other than Diana and her group participating in ever more frequent fights with the would be abductors/fratriciders they spend most of their time babysitting! Something that isn’t terribly interesting.
In summation, this graphic novel was okay: good art work not so good story. If you are a current reader and fan then you might disagree with my assessment, which is fine. If I had been following this story arc for a while and read every volume in Azzarello’s run, this graphic novel might have been much more enjoyable to read. However, for those of you – like me – who are new to this “New 52″ Wonder Woman, I’d warn you not to start your reading with this or any other volume other than number one; Azzarello’s storyline is just not one you can jump into and really understand or appreciate. However, I do like this New 52 Wonder Woman and will be continuing to read along with it.
This ARC was provided to me by DC Comics and Netgalley in return for an honest review. The review above was not paid for or influenced in any way by any person, entity or organization, but is my own personal opinions.