THIS WEEK: In a week of strong output from DC Comics, Yara Flor takes the spotlight as the new Wonder Girl miniseries kicks off. We look at how the first issue sets the stage for the series and the character’s role within the DCU.
Wonder Girl #1
Writer & Artist: Joëlle Jones
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover Artists: Joëlle Jones & Jordie Bellaire
After much anticipation, Yara Flor has finally arrived. Sure, readers met an older version of her back during January and February’s Future State event, and a three-page sequence in Infinite Frontier #0 briefly introduced her younger iteration. But this week’s Wonder Girl #1 is the first chance we’ve gotten to spend any substantial time with the character as she is in the present-day DCU, and as an introduction to the character it’s incredibly effective.
The Yara that readers met in Joëlle Jones and Jordie Bellaire’s Future State: Wonder Woman was a woman on a mission, full of attitude and more or less fearless in the face of danger. The younger Yara presented in Wonder Girl #1 is on a journey of self-discovery, having returned to Brazil for the first time since she was a small child to try and learn more about where she comes from. Jones writes a Yara who has the confidence of youth, even as she finds herself in unfamiliar surroundings and faces unexpected obstacles. She’s instantly relatable to readers of any age, and also decidedly heroic before ever donning a costume or taking a codename.
Jones also smartly ties Yara to the larger DC Universe in an intriguing way. This series is set to touch on many different aspects of the established Wonder Woman mythology, which makes sense given Yara’s background as an Amazon of Atalanta. But a spread towards the issue’s midpoint, while the dialogue is slightly cheesy, also strongly hints that something larger is going on with the character with more far-reaching ties than just the Amazons or Mount Olympus. Whether that’s actually the case, or the spread is just an entertaining way to signal to readers that the new Wonder Girl is going to be an important part of the DCU going forward, remains to be seen, but either way it was nice to signal that, while this series is exploring a little-seen corner of the universe, it’s still firmly planted in the DC Universe.
That spread, by the way, is utterly gorgeous, as is all of the art throughout this issue. This is unsurprising, as Jones is a skilled storyteller. Her page layouts are interesting, her characters full of movement and emotion. Jones and letterer Clayton Cowles also cleverly and effectively incorporate textual design elements to the pages that bring readers away from Yara to other corners of the DCU, and Bellaire’s colors aid in the flow between characters and locations flawlessly.
Wonder Girl #1 is a strong start to this series, and a fantastic introduction to Yara Flor. The issue establishes the character well and sets up plenty of areas or exploration and mysteries for the rest of the series to solve. It also ends on a well-executed cliffhanger, which is an achievement in and of itself. If this issue is any indication, you’re not going to want to miss this series.
Final Verdict: BUY.
- In Batman/FortNite: Zero Point #3, Batman fights Snake-Eyes. For basically the whole issue. I don’t know what more you could want from a superhero comic.
- Ram V, Fernando Blanco, & Jordie Bellaire’s Catwoman #31 is super-enjoyable, with Selina and the Alleytown Strays essentially pulling a heist to rescue Poison Ivy. The issue deftly blends the fun of a caper being executed well with exciting action and some legitimately shocking moments. My only complaint is that it starts in media res and then flashes back to ‘Earlier That Night,’ but that’s only a complaint because I hate that particular storytelling trick.
- Both stories in Justice League #61 were also really fun. Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez, and Tamra Bonvillain‘s main story finds the League scattered on Naomi’s homeworld, which allows for some entertaining character pairings, and the effect the world has on their powers also makes for some interesting moments. Ram V, Xermanico, & Romulo Fajardo Jr.‘s Justice League Dark entry moved its story forward nicely as well, bringing the team together and taking them to a mythical new location. For a moment I thought they were heading to The Dreaming, but maybe that’s verboten again? I don’t know what the rules are between mainline DC and
VertigoBlack Label titles anymore. A new location does give the team more leeway to establish it the way they want it, though, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
- Nightwing #80 is another stellar issue of the run from Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo, Adriano Lucas, and Wes Abbott. This book more than any other Bat-title is really effectively highlighting the ‘family’ aspect of the Bat-family and it is just a joy to read.
- This week’s issue of Superman: Red & Blue is another solid anthology of Superman stories. Michel Fiffe‘s story, in which Superman and the Justice League take on Kilg%re, and Brandon Thomas & Berat Pekmezci‘s story about the frequent encounters between the Man of Steel and an ordinary citizen of Metropolis, were my personal favorites.
- Even The Flash #770 manages to shake up the formula the series has landed in over the last few issues, with Wally West Quantum Leap-ing into a young Jay Garrick for an adventure that involves punching Hitler in the face, something The Beat strongly endorses as an organization. Getting more of a look at what was going on before Wally arrived was a smart move for Jeremy Adams to make, and Jack Herbert‘s art fits the mood and time period of the story well. Honestly, though, even if the rest of the issue had been awful (which it’s not), the final page cliffhanger would have made the whole journey worth it.
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