Written by Steve Orlando
Pencils by ACO
Inks by David Lorenzo
Colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Issue #52 starts a new arc in Wonder Woman as Steve Orlando presents us with an intriguing team up story consisting of Diana, Artemis and Aztec. Aztec is a character Orlando introduced during his JLA Rebirth run that recently ended, but the character was initially created by Grant Morrison, Mark Millar and Norwood Steven Harris. In current continuity Aztec is a woman named Nayeli, however seasoned readers will remember Aztec as a man named Uno. In any case, the all female team up will give you those Birds of Prey feels so if you like that sort of stuff then read on.
It is so nice to see Artemis pop up in another title and not be restricted to just Red Hood & The Outlaws where she is often underused in many respects. Some of the best issues of Red Hood contain stories centered around her, or where she is pivotal to the events taking place. Hopefully this arc will lead to other creators wanting to insert her into their storytelling and utilise her character and gifts properly.
Orlando’s plot centers around the three heroes trying to track down the long lost and thought dead Atalanta, Diana’s great aunt, who left Themyscira when Diana was very young to lead a nomadic existence with the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall.
Artemis, being a member of this splinter tribe of Amazons, joins Diana and Neyali because Atalanta was sister to the founder of that tribe, Antiope. Most new DC fans know Antiope’s characterization from the Wonder Woman movie starring Gal Gadot where Antiope initiated Diana’s training despite Hippolyta’s protestations. On their way to hopefully finding Atalanta, the three will have to get past rogue deity Tezcatlipoca, who’s trying to break into our world, and of course things do not go smoothly, in fact they go quite pear-shaped.
What is clear from Orlando’s writing in his first two issues of Wonder Woman is that he is not afraid to utilize characters who the current readership may not be familiar with and may need to research a little to get a complete picture of who they are and what their ties to Diana are. Some might like this new direction and some may not, but at least it is distinctly different to James Robinson’s over-persistence with Diana’s brother Jason and not trying to bring in other characters for more than one issue.
The art by ACO, David Lorenzo and Romulo Fajardo Jr. is yet another change in personnel from the previous issue, but the art style is what regular Wonder Woman readers are used to. So it is safe to say that it will please the readership, and so it should, as ACO does quite well on his first issue with all panels carefully rendered and finished off nicely by Lorenzo’s clean and purposeful inks.
All the leads in this issue look fantastic, especially Artemis, and all the actions scenes are depicted clearly and are easy to follow. Regular colorist Fajardo Jr does a great job yet again setting the tone and overall feel of the issue with his consistent color work that always compliments whoever has done the pencils and inks.
Last issue’s regular cover by Artgerm was quite the head turner, but this time Jenny Frison gets back her attention seeking art title with a fun variant cover of Diana on a beach towel holding a beach ball. It has nothing to do with the plot, but who cares as it looks absolutely great and might help push sales a little higher than usual for Wonder Woman.
This team-up has promise and even if it is not something permanent, there are plenty of other reasons to pick up this issue and the next couple of issues that will follow. Those reasons are Artemis, Artemis and Artemis.
7.5 out of 10
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