In the back of ‘Justice League’ #2, there’s a text passage featuring a debriefing between Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor, wherein Steve informs Waller that Wonder Woman cannot return to her home, Paradise Island. I was curious why, as it wasn’t explained. Of course, it’s possible he was lying to protect the island and its inhabitants. But what if he wasn’t? Why wouldn’t Diana be able to return? Was it because in her choosing to become Wonder Woman, she was forced to leave forever? Or was it because she simply didn’t have the means, for example magical powers, to return? Hmmm…
Then I picked up ‘Wonder Woman’ #2 and the first thing she did was return to Paradise Island! What the…?! Oh well, I’ll just chalk this up to ‘Justice League’ taking place five years ago and move along.
So Wonder Woman returns to Paradise Island with the injured god, Hermes and Zola, the young woman she saved in the last issue from killer centaurs. Zola was impregnated by Zeus, making her the target of Hera, scorned Queen of the Gods. Hermes tells Zola of Wonder Woman’s legendary creation, that she was molded by Hippolyta from clay and given life by the gods. Meanwhile, Diana enjoys her homecoming by sparring with fellow Amazon Aleka. Aleka looks just like Artemis, so some fans may be disappointed that she isn’t that popular supporting character. In fact, other than Hippolyta, none of the more memorable Amazons from the prior continuity appears. No Phillipus. No Antiope. None of them. The island is then besieged by another of Zeus’ offspring, the goddess Strife, who tricks the Amazons into battling one another. Only Diana, it seems, is immune to this trickery, but alas, she isn’t as powerful as this goddess, who drops a little bombshell, which was reported all over the place, including this website, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. That whole molded out of clay thing? Lie. Diana is actually also a child of Zeus!
I wish I knew more about this Wonder Woman’s past at this point. With Superman in ‘Action Comics,’ they’re starting from scratch. With Batman and Green Lantern, their pasts are, for the most part, intact from the pre-New 52 comics. With Wonder Woman, I don’t know her history. Hippolyta is blonde here, as she was in the original ‘Wonder Woman’ comics, but not pre-‘Flashpoint.’ This island is certainly not the magical marvel that Phil Jiminez designed in the prior series. It looks like a sparsely populated Greek island with no apparent technology. And like I said, the more notable Amazons are absent. She’s obviously been in Man’s World for five years as a member of the Justice League, but it’s what she was doing for those five years that isn’t known. I guess I just have to be patient, but I feel a bit like I’m coming in in the middle of a movie and trying to figure out what’s going on.
Cliff Chiang continues to deliver in the art department. The jungle of Paradise Island (which, by the way, is never referred to as Themyscira) is mostly rendered in black, yet it still manages to look lush and tropical! The sparring session between Diana and Aleka is very interestingly illustrated. The same goes for the battle between the glamored Amazons. Chiang’s just a pro!
This story is chugging right along. This issue wasn’t as action-packed or interestingly paced as the last one. The big reveal at the end was spoiled by the creators themselves! So it was more of a stopgap issue, between big events. I’ve found that true of a couple of these New 52 second issues. It fit well with the first, but unfortunately, I think a reader could easily skip this issue, pick up the next and still not be missing a whole lot. Unfortunately, that means…
WONDER WOMAN #2
Written by Brian Azzarello
Art and Cover by Cliff Chiang