By Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp, and Laura Martin
Wonder Woman was one of the most hotly anticipated new series to come out DC Rebirth thanks to the involvement of Greg Rucka on writing duty. Here with “The Lies” he returns to the character with mixed but promising results, putting Diana and her supporting cast in the spotlight for an interesting new beginning.
“The Lies” benefits from an interesting structure. Six issues (#1, #3, #5, #7, #9 & #11), plus the Rebirth one-shot make up the contents of this book and the decision to split up the odd-numbered issues and the even-numbered ones is in large part due to the fact that Rucka has decided to tell two stories at once in the ongoing series. The even-numbered issues look at a completely different story that will be collected in the second volume, looking at Diana’s origins. Here a greater mystery is on display, and it’s one that feels considerably more fresh than the origin story approach which will no doubt already be familiar to most fans of the character.
The book itself provides a good character study for Diana as she learns about the significant gaps in her memory and doesn’t have a strong foothold on past events. Things are made all the more complicated by the fact that she can’t return home to Themyscria to ask her mother about what has transpired, forcing her instead to turn to Cheetah for help. It’s an interesting approach that moves away from an end-of-the-world type storyline in favor of character growth, but suffers from the fact that it feels too slow of a burn at first. There are a couple of continuity issues here that don’t make this the most accessible beginning for people who have never read a Wonder Woman comic before, but then again, that’s what the even-numbered issues are there for.
The artwork, from Liam Sharp and Laura Martin on pencils and colors respectively, is excellent. Sharp’s character design of Diana is really fantastic, it’s strong and consistent throughout the book and Laura Martin’s colors really help bring this larger-than-life character to the book effectively, adding some great depth to her portrayal. The character expressions are really powerful and Sharp puts us inside their emotions and manages to effectively convey them to the audience, leaving nothing to be desired. It’s also worth taking into account just how good the jungle landscape looks as well, with Laura Martin’s colors really doing a vivid job in helping to bring the book and it’s world to life.
Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The Lies makes for an interesting, if flawed, start. The fact that trade readers will have to wait until Vol. 3 thanks to the split narrative approach for a resolution will no doubt leave some frustrated. If you can put that aside, this is a promising start that provides a great new and exciting take on one of DC’s most memorable protagonists.