Cheetah’s Violence

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Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #24
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Bilquis Evely

This series has had top notch artists since Rucka came on board and Bilquis Evely is no exception. I mean look at the smile she draws on Cheetah when Veronic Cale tells her in this issue that she is suffering from guilty and Cheetah says Good. It is perfect. Speaking of Cheetah, she really does some damage to Veronica Cale. This is violence I have never seen her due before and I think it makes her seem like a formidable foe to Wonder Woman – the kind of foe she needs to be to make her terrifying – and Evely draws the wounds Cheetah inflicts so realistically it is disturbing. It is unclear to me if Diana just knocked out Cheetah at the end or did she actually kill her? I sure hope not.

Wonder Woman 20 – 23

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Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #20
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Bilquis Evely

Circe finally arrives in this volume of Wonder Woman. In the past, I would have rolled my eyes. There was a time where it seemed like she was in every other Wonder Woman comic. But as Rucka tends to do, he reinvents Circe here with a new look and a more interesting attitude. He even tells the story of how Wonder Woman and Circe first encounter eachother in this issue. The 5-year-timeline for the character is essentially gone. The caption at the beginning says it takes place in Diana’s seventh year away from Themyscara. Thanks the Gods! The real DCU timeline is coming back.

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Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #21
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Liam Sharp

While searching for the gateway to Themyscira, Veronica Cale looks to have found both her daughter and Ares in some mystical dark tree prison. Ares is looking SEXY as hell. Thanks Liam Sharp. This is a much more interesting look for Ares than he ever had before. I am sad that Rucka is leaving this comic again soon.

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Rucka Better Stay For A Long Time

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Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #19
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Liam Sharp

One of DC’s best series continues this week as Wonder Woman comes closer to unraveling the mystery of where is the real Themyscira. Diana leaves the mental institution in better shape thanks to one of my favorite characters, Ferdinand! I am still so happy he is back. Doctor Cyber reveals that Veronica Cale and Cheetah are heading to Themyscira – the real Themyscara somehow but when Diana goes after them she is shot by Doctor Poison’s people. I imagine she will be okay but I am surprised they got the shot in. Liam Sharp’s art was hit or miss depending on the page and this is not like him. I guess you can’t be perfect every time. I can’t wait to see where this goes. Will  Wonder Woman remember her whole history just like Superman now does? One of the best parts of this comic is that Rucka has built a strong supporting cast for Wonder Woman. Whoever follows better keep it around unlike what they did last time Rucka left a book. That being said, I sure hope Rucka stays for a long time to come.

Pandora Pits and Creative Teams

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Trinity (Volume 2) #7
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Clay Mann and Miguel Mendoca

Ra’s Al Ghul, Lex Luthor, and Circe are all called to “the Pandora Pits.” and fight a creature that comes from the Pits that is a fusion of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman; a representation of their greatest fears. In the end, they beat the creature and realize the power of the Pandora Pits is here. How this relates to the Pandora killed in DC Rebirth is unknown to me but this was an intersting start to this tory arc. Is Manapul now off this book or is Bunn just a guest writer? Is it always going to have rotating creative teams like Superman/Batman had? I really enjoyed Manapul’s work on this series before. I hope he is back.

Trinity 1 – 6

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Trinity (Volume 2) #1
Written by Francis Manapul
Art by Manapul

2008 – 2009’s Trinity Maxi-series was…well…bad. Nothing of consequence came from it and it really was a waste of everyone’s time and money. Nearly a decade later can DC create a good series starring their trinity of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman? If I had to judge from the first issue alone, I would say Manapul has hit one out of the park. In this issue, Batman and Wonder Woman decide to meet with the Post-Crisis Superman at his new home for dinner.  Superman brings up a story that Dick Grayson told him about Batman Pre-Flashpoint and Bruce has no memory of it. Interesting considering my theory that the ten years taken away thing means that their memories have just been erased. But this was early in Batman’s career, so it may just be chunks of time adding up to ten years and not a consecutive ten years? Anyways, there were many things I loved about this, but most of all the art. Manapul takes advantage of being both the writer and artist by setting up some rather beautiful and creative way to do the panels on the pages. I also loved how this book – unlike the first volume of Trinity – seems to  be firmly set in the DCU. It references the main series of its main characters and what is going on in those books. That is how to build a real cohesive universe and I am glad DC is doing that well in this Rebirth era. The final page through me for a loop too…what is going on there?

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Trinity (Volume 2) #2
Written by Francis Manapul
Art by Manapul

In this issue, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman seemingly go back in time and meet with Jonathan Kent in Smallville but the final pages reveal that they are all actually under the spell of Black Mercy and imagining it while Poison Ivy has attacked them with it. This was a beautifully drawn issue. But the Black Mercy thing has been done so many times before and it has been done with the Trinity so many times before, I wish Manapul had thought of something more original to do.

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The Origin of Cheetah

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Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #18
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Bilquis Evely

In these early days of Wonder Woman as shown in this book, Diana is wearing her current costume almost. Does this mean that this is kind of retconning away the Geoff Johns New 52 Justice League origin? I sure hope so because she wore a different outfit in that I have seen. Maybe that means we get Martian Manhunter as JLA-founder again! I won’t hold my breath but that would be great. Anyways, this is another issue of the best series DC is putting out currently outside of Detective Comics. In this issue, we focus on Cheetah’s origin as Wonder Woman is stopped from helping Dr. Minerva when she transforms into Cheetah by Veronica Cale and Dr. Cyber. I like how Rucka portrays Veronica Cale as being so conflicted about this. She has clearly not turned into the villain she will later become. I suspect something may happen to her daughter that puts her over the edge. Rucka’s work on this series continues to impress me. It is the best Wonder Woman has been…well…since his last run on the title.

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Wonder_Woman_Vol_5_1Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #1
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Liam Sharp

This was one of the books I was most excited to read when Rebirth was announced because I have extremely fond memories of Rucka’s original Wonder Woman run from the early 2000s. I wonder if he will bring back Ferdinand the cook?! I sure hope so. First of all, the art in this first issue is downright breathtaking. In this issue, it seems that Wonder Woman is having trouble remembering her past with all the changes in history and all that and seeks out Cheetah to help her find her way back to Themyscara. Etta Candy is now African-American which I am not sure…maybe that is the new 52 change. I like it. And I like that Steve Trevor is now younger even though I am not a big fan of his character. I look forward to seeing where this is going. I trust Rucka to come up with a new back story for Wonder Woman that respects her entire history and her status as a feminist icon.

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Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #2
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Nicola Scott

This issue begins the new Wonder Woman: Year One story – her true origin story I assume. Hippolyta is back to her dark hair – I had heard she was blonde during the new 52 – I always liked the idea that Hippolyta went back in time to be the golden age Wonder Woman and I hope that this is restored to continuity so this makes me happy. The issue is also beautifully drawn by the ever talented Nicola Scott. We see Diana’s life before Steve crashes on the island (Although her birth and childhood is not touched upon) and the issue ends with the crash. I never saw Steve’s crash quite as tragic as he loses a friend who he is the Godfather of his baby in the crash. This is a good start.

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