Written by James Robinson
Art by Stephen Sogovia
Colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
A new arc begins this issue, and it is called the Dark Gods. Several times through the issue they are referred to as the Next Gods, and the premise is that a phenomenon is occurring that is causing many people to give up on their love for the gods they have always worshiped to deify these Next Gods.
There’s a lot going on this issue as we welcome several past characters back into the fold that were common during Greg Rucka’s run at the beginning of Rebirth. Veronica Cale gets a visit from her frenemy Doctor Cyber at the start of the issue who informs her that Cheetah is back on the radar, and they team up to capture and study her once again. As we know full well, Dr Minerva cannot be subdued for long, and soon enough, she breaks loose and makes a beeline for Cale to take her out. Lucky for her, Wonder Woman turns up just in time to take her on. A fight ensues, and Wonder Woman has the best of it. Cheetah decides to take off but not before making a cryptic comment about the Next Gods and how she wants to free herself from Urzkartaga before facing them.
A decent chunk of this issue is also dedicated to a mission that Jason undertakes to free his surrogate father Glaucus from a Kobra base. Glaucus is excited to see Jason again and remarks about his new gifts and armour and has many questions about both. Jason explains that he has limited knowledge himself and is still trying to figure things out as there is still a week of time he cannot account for.
Right at the end of the issue, Wonder Woman is faced with another adversary who is keen on taking her out in the name of the Next Gods which is the cliffhanger the issue ends on. I won’t completely spoil it, but the clue I am willing to give out is that it is a Kryptonian who has now proclaimed Rao dead and remarks that Wonder Woman is next.
Robinson’s story is written well enough, but I don’t really like the cryptic nature of some of it. He has been teasing answers about Jason’s heroic transformation for quite a while and, given how lukewarm many reviewers and readers are to his run on Wonder Woman, maybe it is time he turned his cards and showed us what he’s been holding so that we can decide if we like it or not. The longer this goes on, the better it needs to be, and that’s maybe more equity required than Robinson may be holding. I do like that Robinson has brought back Cale and Minerva into Wonder Woman’s post rebirth continuity, and perhaps he was hesitant to do it sooner to separate his work from Greg Rucka, but to be honest, you gotta play the strength of whatever rogues you can access, so maybe these returns can give the sales a boost.
The art by Stephen Sogovia is very good, and Wonder Woman and Jason are rendered really well, but some of the supporting characters are not as polished. Cheetah must be so hard to draw well on a deadline, and perhaps in the next issue we will see a more refined look that gives her justice. As always Fajardo Jr. has done great work on the colors and makes sure that even when the penciller and inkers change that the colors maintain some sort of consistency for the reader who picks up Wonder Woman every other week.
There’s some potential here for a nice upswing if Robinson gets the story right and manages all the spinning cups he’s initiated this issue. Fingers crossed he can do all the characters justice, and that this arc stays interesting.
7 out of 10