Wonder Woman #31

Writer: James Robinson
Artists: Carlo Pagulayan, Sean Parsons, Jason Paz, & Scott Hanna 
Colorist: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Cover Artists: Brian Hitch & Alex Sinclair
Publisher: DC Comics

Review by Nico Sprezzatura

With her 2017 movie still riding high in the collective minds of many, Wonder Woman is having a pretty good year. While she won’t be appearing on the big screen again until this November’s Justice League, fans of the Amazon warrior still have plenty of comics to devour before then. This week’s Wonder Woman #31 offers a new jumping-on point for those interested. However, the problem is that Wonder Woman #31 doesn’t actually feature Wonder Woman much at all.

Taking over from a brief run by Shea Fontana (DC Super Hero Girls), James Robinson’s first issue on the title doesn’t really offer much in the way of giving Wonder Woman fans what they want — namely, Diana herself. And, especially given the character’s pop cultural relevance right now, that’s kind of a problem. Look, I’m not saying Wonder Woman #31 is inherently sub-par because Diana only appears in six of its twenty-one pages. The fact that she barely appears in her own comic, rather, is a side effect of the story Robinson seems to be telling with his first arc.

For those who haven’t been keeping up, one of the bigger (and more unpopular) developments of Meredith Finch’s Wonder Woman was that Diana has a secret twin brother named Jason. Seeing how this aspect was ignored entirely during Greg Rucka’s acclaimed Rebirth return —which honed in on “the lies” established by Diana’s New 52 era— it feels wrong-headed to remind people that Diana supposedly has a brother she never knew about. (It doesn’t help that the character suggested to be her brother isn’t very interesting.)

Creative choices aside, Wonder Woman #31 just isn’t very new-reader friendly. While Robinson’s recent turns on Scarlet Witch and Nick Fury for Marvel largely succeed as entry points for those interested in the characters, this inaugural issue will likely confuse casual fans and/or new readers who gained interest in Wonder Woman from the movie. Are you familiar with Darkseid? No? Well, good luck finding the will to care about his daughter, who also features heavily in this one.

While the story here isn’t very appealing, the art is actually pretty nice. Penciled by Carlo Pagulayan (whose work on Christopher Priest’s currently-ongoing Deathstroke is very good), inked by Sean Parsons, Jason Paz and Scott Hanna, and colored by Romulo Fajardo Jr., Wonder Woman #31 at least looks worthy of the character. Pagulayan in particular is skilled at drawing action scenes, while Fajardo Jr. turns in quality coloring work. Saida Temofonte’s lettering also deserves a mention, since she makes Robinson’s average script appear more exciting than it actually is. There’s one particular rendering of an onomatopoeia (I love onomatopoeia!) of a falling tree early in the issue that’s very subtle but totally effective in context.

The Verdict: 
Skip it. Though ostensibly a jumping-on point for new readers, Wonder Woman #31 offers little in the way of giving fans of the character (casual or hardcore) what they want from the Amazon princess.

Nico Sprezzatura
Nico Frank Sprezzatura, middle name optional. 24. Schrödinger's writer.

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