Rating: 3.5/5 – Adventures in Babysitting (with Gods).
Olympus has been up for grabs in the pages of Wonder Woman and the fight for the throne has intensified since the emergence of The First Born (Zeus’ first child who was cast out of Olympus). Brian Azzarello has brought Gods and New Gods together in the pages of Wonder Woman as an epic battle is underway. Another of Zeus’ children, baby Zeke is caught in the middle and each issue Wonder Woman and her friends are tested as they protect baby Zeke from those who wish him harm.
Azzarello and regular series artist Cliff Chiang have been weaving an intricate tale involving the family of Zeus as they vie for his place on Mount Olympus and the decision to incorporate the Gods (and eventually New Gods) has been a good one as Wonder Woman has been one of the most consistent and entertaining DC books month in and month out.
Issue 25 has guest artist Goran Sudzuka (also known for Image’s Ghosted) filling in for Chiang and his style fits with the book well. Strong lines and expressive characters are evident in his style throughout the issue and his style was similar enough to Chiangs that the vibe of the book did not change as he came aboard for these several issues (Chiang picks back up with the art duties on issue 27)
This issue feels like a filler issue and that is where my problems lie – not a lot happens. Orion comes back into the mix with the group and has a brief confrontation with Hermes and Strife reappears to cause her usual trouble, the latter of which has me scratching my head, shaking my fist and giving me the biggest problem with this issue. At the end of issue 25 Wonder Woman’s sister Siracca (which she met earlier in the series) comes to alert her of her brother’s kidnapping, a subplot that has been happening since the last issue. Where I think the book and its characters veer from common sense is with the decision Wonder Woman makes to leave Zeke with Strife as she and the others go to find her brother Milan.
I certainly trust in Azzarello’s plan and have enjoyed the book throughout its run but this last cliffhanger ending leaves me a little confused as it seems too out of character for Wonder Woman and her group to just up and decide to leave the baby they have been protecting with their lives with the one person who has been causing the most problems for them. At no point in this issue did Strife create any goodwill that would make this decision seem logical and it took me out of the book a little bit as I thought of the implications. The decision serves its purpose for the creative team as the cliffhanger does put Wonder Woman’s group and Zeke in two precarious positions for the upcoming issues which I am looking forward to seeing but seems more like a plot device than something Wonder Woman would normally do.
Outside of the ending, the issue has solid art and some good character moments that have been hallmark of the series. The “lunch” Apollo sits down for is one of the creepier moments in the series and further illustrates the ends to which gods will go to entertain themselves. While issue 25 is not the best example of how good the book has been since its relaunch it is still of high quality and leaves the characters in a place that will have implications for many issues to come.
Reviewed by: Jeff Bouchard – firstname.lastname@example.org
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