By Zack Quaintance — Let’s just get this out of the way: Steve Orlando’s brief run on Wonder Woman, which concludes with this issue, has been an absolute delight, right up there with the work that Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott, and Liam Sharp did with the character at the start of Rebirth. He’s had an outstanding lineup of collaborators—from Laura Braga on Wonder Woman #51 to ACO to Raul Allen/Patricia Martin—and his scripts have delivered concepts that have given them all a chance to shine.
This issue, bittersweet as it is, is a fitting end, so much so that it makes me look forward both to the future of this book as well as to the work Orlando has coming with other DC characters (including Martian Manhunter, and a new concept set in a Kirby-molded corner of the DC space-time called Electric Warriors). Orlando is a writer who really excels in two primary areas: drawing sensical plot points from continuity, and swagger. You can see the latter is his villain dialogue here, when Rustam yells at our heroes, “Life? These soft-brained idiots are drunk on blind faith. I weep for them, but they must be put out of their misery...So there’s all of that.
Wonder Woman #55 as an individual comic book is itself quite good. It’s largely an issue consumed by a large-scale battle, a fitting end for a two-part story arc with a scope that has seen Diana negotiating nation boundaries for the formerly nomadic Bana-Mighdall. In this story, Diana must be equal parts forceful and diplomatic. She must show that she’s not afraid to throw down while also pushing peaceful alternatives. It is, simply put, yet another way that Orlando has found to derive a compelling narrative from this character’s core values, and I loved it. (A line that stands out as particularly superb is Diana telling Artemis: People are fighting for no honest reason. I expect help.)
I also loved the artwork here from the team of Raul Allen and Patricia Martin. As I said in my Wonder Woman #54 review, they’re one of my favorites in all of comics, and it’s a real treat to see them teaming with a writer as thoughtful as Orlando. What I find most striking about their work in this issue is the sheer variety of it. The way they can make a pair of disembodied slowly-closing eyes in the darkness as compelling as kinetic combat sequences. There’s a confidence of vision and a clarity of execution here that I just find remarkable. The scenes where we go inside Diana’s prefect are crucial to the plot, and the team gives them the visual weight they demand.
Overall: A fitting end to a stellar 5-issue Wonder Woman run from writer Steve Orlando, one that has reminded me of the vast and unique potential of this character, while putting her in an excellent place for the next creators. 9.5/10
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Zack Quaintance is a tech reporter by day and freelance writer by night/weekend. He Tweets compulsively about storytelling and comics as BatmansBookcase.