Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín
Colors by Borja Pindado
The first thing that will grab you when reading Wonder Woman #54 is that the color has changed dramatically and that is because this is the first issue not colored by Romulo Fajardo Jr. since the Wonder Woman arcs were being split each month during Greg Rucka’s run. Fajardo Jr. has been an institution and instrumental in creating a beautiful aesthetic that I have thoroughly enjoyed on Wonder Woman, and it would be great to see him return in the not too distant future.
The new art team of Raul Allen, Patricia Martin and Borja Pindado have a style that does differ from the regular fare that Wonder Woman Rebirth readers would have become accustomed to. The style used in this issue will remind you of artists Cliff Chiang and Matthew Wilson from the bulk of the New 52 Wonder Woman run, only with slightly less hue in the colors. Changing an artist or art team halfway through an arc is never a popular choice, and it is sad that ACO could only do the first two parts of this arc, but these are the pitfalls of putting out a bi-monthly issue. Looking at the solicit for issue #55 it indicates that this new team will close out the final part of the arc in two weeks time so there will be no ACO return for those interested in knowing.
Steve Orlando’s story is one of political and personal ideology. The Quraci outcast Rustam is introduced into the arc and his backstory from Suicide Squad is summarized quite well so that the reader will not be at too much of a loss when reading this issue. Rustam is the tip of Queen Faruka’s spear as she attempts to stage a military coup within Qurac’s borders to gain independence for the Bana Mighdall, the nomad Amazons of Themyscira.
A lot of the dialogue in Orlando’s story is dedicated to Diana and Atlanta’s attempts at mediation with Faruka, and it becomes quite intriguing to see if either of them can be persuasive enough to sway her dogmatic beliefs. Time and past experience have made Faruka stubborn and somewhat bitter though, and Orlando demonstrates this by having Faruka shoot and jail Atalanta for trying to express to her what it means to be a Bana Mighdallian nomad, and how they have never impressed themselves on other people and Faruka should not start now.
Orlando wants to convey that Queen Faruka is sick of hearing whispers of frustration from her people though and how they have to move on every time things become problematic, so he allows her to express that she is done with turning the other cheek and moving on and that is why she is acting in this manner.
Stuck in the middle is Artemis, the champion of the Bana Mighdall and Orlando makes a bold choice with her this issue that won’t completely surprise you, but it might disappoint you. If nothing else, Orlando portrays her as being true to her self and not someone that will be kept from her duty by Wonder Woman, or anyone for that matter.
While this review may give you the impression that the issue is devoid of any action, and is just an animated discussion between the protagonists and the antagonists, it is far from that. There are actually some really nice battle sequences spliced in as Wonder Woman kicks some ass at the end, even if she doesn’t have it all her own way.
If you can get past the art style change from the previous issue then you will find issue #54 quite enjoyable. If not, just wait a month and you will be rewarded with the wonderful return of Emanuela Lupacchino in issue #56 when Wonder Woman crosses over with Justice League Dark to bring you The Witching Hour.
8 out of 10
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