Wonder Woman #17
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Liam Sharp
Colors: Laura Martin
Letters: Jodi Wynne
Covers: Liam Sharp & Laura Martin; Jenny Frison
Editors: David Wielgosz, Chris Conroy & Mark Doyle
Publisher: DC Comics
How far would you go for the people you loved? For the people who’ve seen you at your absolute worst and helped you be the absolute best? What would you do to protect them? That’s the question Barbara Ann faces in this issue of Wonder Woman. While Diana, still confined to a mental hospital and being visited by (I assume – hope) Asclepius, tries to piece together the many aspects of herself – in a clever nod to her current, New 52, Post and Pre-Crisis incarnations, Barbara Ann heads off to try and negotiate with Veronica. However, like all people who’ve been hurt deeply by an act of evil, Veronica isn’t having it. She wants to put boots on the ground at Themyscira (to what end remains to be seen) and she’ll do whatever she must to achieve that.
This issue Rucka continues to lay the groundwork for an all out war between the three factions of the Spear Group, Veronica’s people and the Amazons. It’s done deftly, it’s brutal and at times deeply upsetting (Barbara Ann continues to be the heart of the group and the choice she makes to protect them is disturbing and gut-wrenching), with a small glimmer of hope. Even that hope is questionable as at every turn Rucka leaves you guessing: what’s real, what isn’t and who (or what) the hell has been messing with Diana’s mind?
Liam Sharp and Laura Martin’s art amplifies the trend towards darkness. There’s an unhinged quality to the work that helps build the atmosphere. The Amazons look like warriors, from the eldest to the youngest, in a way they’ve not been depicted before. They look battle hardened, weary and yet ready for whatever comes next. As for the non-Amazons, an old (and welcomed) friend makes an appearance and is every bit as awesome as I remember.
Overall the stage is being set, the question is, who’s the performance truly for?
4 axes out of 5 .