Story: Marguerite Bennett
Art: Laura Braga
What They Say:
Wonder Woman pleads with Queen Hippolyta to allow her to enter the war raging in the outside world. When her mother refuses, Diana calls upon her friend Mera to assist her.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening arc of the Bombshell’s series is one that I enjoyed a great deal though I felt that the second installment was the weakest as it gave us a far too familiar origin story for Wonder Woman. Which is why I’m so very glad to see this one take that basic piece and expand upon it in a far more interesting way. With its time here we get to delve into a couple of really good areas that sets the tone for a lot of characters and the situation as a whole that they’re facing. Just the fact that we get to spend our time with Steve Trevor and see how he’s going through “Battle Fatigue” after recent events is great, because it’s at least realistic. That he talks about the changing nature of what it’s called is even better with its echoes of George Carlin’s line on the nature of language. We see the evolving nature of language in the comics medium a lot these days, though it’s largely for the better. This angle here works to really make Steve a lot more interesting but also provides a tie to Diana as she talks about the “shield sorrow” that Amazons have experienced as well, giving them something to relate to.
The push here is to get Diana to join the fight in the world while her mother and queen is insistent that they focus on their own issues. It’s a familiar enough angle but one that feels more urgent with the way Diana listens to what Steve has to say and really feels that this war is something far different. So much so that it gets her to make a move to break him out, steal the valuable weapons and artifacts of her heritage and head off into the world to bring justice to it. Because it needs to be done. She’s always been portrayed as willing to sacrifice for others in search of justice, but Bennett brings it through with a strong kind of focused passion here from here that it’s one of the few times that I’ve really felt like the character is being handled right – especially for an origin story. Though she may not realize she’s growing to care for Steve, it’s not the driving factor of why she does what she does. It has a really good end point as well that helps to showcase what her foundations are going into the world through her mother and the Amazons.
While Diana is a large focus here, we do get the introduction of Mera to the series. Mera’s always been a fun character and one that I’ve liked from my various readings over the years so seeing her here and in this form is spot on. Presenting her as one that will never sit on the throne due to the line of succession instantly provide a lot of quick insights into her character. Rather than wait around and doing nothing, she ties herself to her friend in Diana and opts for a chance for adventure in the world, though she knows Diana’s all about justice. She’s a great participant in the breaking out of Steve and provides some fun use of her abilities but also just her personality, such as that she’ll sing her chants because she knows and admits she has a pretty voice. Mera brings something new to the table and I cannot wait until we get this group together in some form to see how they all interact with each other. Especially because the series is not one that, so far at least, is intent on doing everything character building-wise through action. That we get characters sitting around talking and digging into themselves is utterly fantastic.
Having been reading a couple of other digital-first series, I know that the artist side of things has to change from time to time because of what’s involved. It’s not Japan where these artists can bang out the kind of crazy health-defying things they do on a weekly basis. I utterly loved what Marguerite Sauvage did in the first three installments and was really curious to see what Laura Braga would bring to the table as I only saw her brief work in Sensation Comics. What she does here is just top notch, through and through, especially with the color work done by Wendy Broome. It’s similar but distinctive on its own as it brings to life these characters and locations. It’s an issue that has made me a fan of her work that I definitely want to see more out of.
Bombshells kicks off its next three issue digital arc in a good way here and you can see how the threads are going to start tying together as the various sides make their way to war. Marguerite Bennett is putting together a fantastic storyline that’s working a good build while being able to play in a world that’s got so much potential to it – and what looks to be a great line of artists excited to be a part of it as well. It’s not a fast read or one that’s empty on thought and ideas. There’s some rich material to delve into here and the chance to shed new light and angles on these characters and situations through the period and shift in players from the men to the women is fantastic.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: August 15th, 2015