Genre: Superhero Comics
Series: Wonder Woman Vol. IV
Publisher: DC (May 30, 2012)
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Recently, I read J. Michael Straczynski’s 2011 WW reboot Odyssey. While there were some weaknesses in that story line, I liked it overall. The younger Diana, the new costume, and the different take on the Amazons and the gods were refreshing, but not so different I felt like I was reading some character others than Wonder Woman. So I decided why not take the plunge and give Brian Azzarello’s New 52 Wonder Woman a try.
Well, I’ve finished volume one, and all I can say is this is really different. A story that doesn’t reinvent Wonder Woman so much as it creates a whole new one. Here the age-old WW mythos regarding her conception, her relationship with her mother and sisters, her role with the gods, and her general attitude toward killing are completely rewritten. Indeed, we quickly see that this Diana is mocked by her fellow Amazonians, routinely willing to chop off appendages of her enemies, and has a casually acceptance toward killing that makes Batman and Superman’s less bloodthirsty attitudes seem antiquated. Added to this, we have what I thought was a pretty weird take on the gods. So Hades has a candle for a head, Hermes is part bird, and Poseidon is a . . . puffer fish? Okay, that is certainly a new take on things.
As for the art, Cliff Chiang’s style (while certainly different and creative in its simplicity) left me scratching my head, wondering what was I missing, because it was a bit ho-hum for my tastes. Not that it wasn’t adequate to tell Azzerollo’s story and didn’t fit the obvious mood Azzarello was going for here, but it just didn’t seem grand enough for Wonder Woman. I know that sounds a bit stupid, but it is the only way I can express my feelings.
For me to say that I wasn’t impressed by Wonder Woman: Blood is an understatement. Honestly, my gut reaction after putting it down was that I rather disliked it. While I had previously read Wonder Woman: War, Vol. 4 in 2014 and not loved it, I now found myself believing that War was much superior to this story arc in every way. Blood was portraying a Wonder Woman I was not at all familiar with, and I didn’t think I wanted to be. But after further reflection (and a reread of WW: War, Vol. 4), I can admit the story here is okay (I should give the team some leeway since this is the first story arc, after all), if not what I was expecting from the New 52 WW reboot, and I could see how Azzarello had progressed Diana and her story since (though I’ve yet to read volumes 2 and 3, there seemed to be a lot of changes in her character between volume 1 and 4), so, while I was initially inclined to skip the rest of this creative team’s WW run, I don’t think I will. Rather, I’ll keep reading, if only to see how strange this whole thing gets.