Wonder Woman issue #2 should have been issue #1 or at the very least a combination of the two. In this issue, writer Brian Azzarello sets up the new direction of his rebooted Wonder Woman and manages to clear up the mystery behind Wonder Woman suddenly having a father and the why a human woman is being chased down by Greek Gods. In one issue, Azzarello’s story has turned from confusing to compelling. It’s the kind of writing that’s made Azzarello such a sought after comic book author.
Opening on Mount Olympus, Wonder Woman #2 introduces us to Hera, wife of Zeus and her trouble-making daughter Strife. Hera, angered that her husband has impregnated yet another human female, sent the two assassins from issue #1 to kill her. The interference of Wonder Woman has opened up some old wounds for Hera, wounds she wants to see avenged. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman has brought the woman (Zola) and the wounded Hermes back to Paradise Island for protection. Azzarello is smart here, he answers the questions from issue #1, but doesn’t give away his entire story arc. The main point he delves into is the new origin of Wonder Woman.
Unlike his peers, Azzarello seems to be adding to a legend as opposed to re-writing it. The original history of Wonder Woman is still intact – Hippolyta still created her out of clay and she still came to life through the Gods. While the legend remains intact, it’s just a legend, one that been accepted by all as the true origin of Wonder Woman. As the issue progresses, Strife attacks Paradise Island by fooling the Amazonians into trying to kill each other. Confronted by Wonder Woman, Strife exposes the reality that Zeus is Wonder Woman’s father. It's a revelation that surprises everyone, most of all Wonder Woman. I’m really interested in Hippolyta’s reaction. Did she know? Will this be a surprise to her? Azzarello has set up a nice cliffhanger for the end of issue #2.
Some will take issue with my original argument that Wonder Woman #1 was too confusing because Azzarello cleared most of it up in this issue. I still think when you’re rebooting a hero the first issue should be a little more straightforward. If Issue #1 had a few of the elements in #2 it would have been perfect. Instead, it was just a bit off the mark. With issue #2 under his belt, Azzarello is poised to do some really interesting things with Wonder Woman.
Cliff Chiang’s art is also stronger in this issue. The lines are cleaner and the characters have a more solid appearance on the page. Outside of his obvious ability with action and movement, Chiang has a penchant for expression. Often in comics faces are just there, they don’t react unless it’s an extreme situation. Chiang uses the entire face to give his characters real reactions to every situation. It’s a nice change that adds some depth to the whole issue.
CRAVE ONLINE RATING: 9/10