Wonder Woman #23
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Liam Sharp
Letters: Jodi Wynne
Covers: Liam Sharp & Laura Martin; Jenny Frison
Editors: Dave Wielgosz; Chris Conroy & Mark Doyle
Publisher: DC Comics
Going into the finale of The Truth arc things seem bleak for the Amazons of Themyscira. Diana, along with Veronica, is seemingly trapped with Ares, though Izzy finally gets fully restored. However, nothing is as it seems and as we get Ares’ point of view of the events of the series a lot of things suddenly make a lot more sense, while a lot of other things get far, far more upsetting.
One of the things I’ve said about Greg Rucka’s run on Wonder Woman in general and this storyline in particular, is how it shows that no one is purely good and no one is purely evil. Characters who, in the past, have been nothing more than antagonist to Diana with no depth like Cheetah, Circe and Ares himself, get shades of grey that make them a lot more interesting. Characters like Veronica Cale, who in the past would’ve just been a power mad loony trying to get to Themyscira for her own ends, here gets a truly understandable and strong motivation for her actions: who wouldn’t go through hell or burn the world down to rescue their kidnapped child? (Hell, Liam Neeson has made an entire franchise of the concept…) So, it’s fitting, that the end of this arc is wrapped up in such an unexpected yet entirely in character way for everyone involved, while still leaving open threads that I’m sure will come back into play at a later date (particularly Izzy’s fate).
The artwork here left me hot and cold by turns. There are some truly amazing moments that are breathtaking: how Ares came to be bound to Themyscira; Diana’s handling of Deimos and Phobos (which ties directly into the Ares scene); Hippolyta and Diana’s brief, heartbreaking reunion, but at other moments it’s muddy and confusing, particularly during the battle scenes where I had no idea who was where (I really thought Philippus was dead af at one point and in the next scene she was standing up beside Hippolyta). That, combined with the sameness of faces, one of my biggest pet peeves, made this a visually hard issue to get through.
Overall this is a great wrap up to the arc, ending in a satisfying way that gets you ready for the next stage, marred by odd artistic choices. 3 Lassos of Truth out of 5.