Review: WONDER WOMAN #14

WONDER WOMAN #14
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Nicola Scott and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: January 11, 2017

Diana comes face to face with the God of War at last, but to defeat him, she will need to give up that which she holds most dear. Will her sacrifice to defeat Ares be enough? And what’s really the end game for the SEAR Group?

“Year One” comes to a close much as you would expect from a master like Nicola Scott. Not with one full-page spread. Not with two. But with three glourious full-page spreads and a double-page collage scene depicting the literal gods in battle.

It’s flat out enough to take your breath away.

As the conclusion to a story they’ve been planning for a lot longer than the course of these six issue, Wonder Woman #14 is without a doubt the perfect ending to Rucka and Scott’s tremendous ode to the idea of peace through resistance, the defiance of war, the importance of life, and how all those things define Diana like no one else.

Sure, it’s amazing to see the classic Perez-designed version of Ares, the foreboding brother who stands in opposition to Wonder Woman’s kindly patrons. It reinforces so much of what longtime fans prefer about the God of War as an opposing, not coddling, force for the Amazon Princess. And Scott does him justice like few possibly can, capturing the intricate detailing of his armor and helmet, reinforcing the menacing glow of his shadowed visage and stare.

But the true glory of this concluding chapter is the rendering of Diana, defiant and sly without a wisp of guile. She speaks truth, even in the most challenging moments, and sacrifices more than she realized — an idea I am dying to see played out in the coming months as we begin to uncover the truth behind her history in the years that followed this tale.

Everything Rucka is plotting and Scott is carving out of the pulp is just so dynamic and comfortingly warm at the same time. From the killer exertion we see in Wonder Woman’s bloodied eyes to the relief in her smile as she saves herself and humankind from the fate of the Maru Virus, we get a true sense of who this character is. She is deeply human and yet the best of us. At this stage, she represents the purity of a hero without knowing that’s what she’s doing. She just simply is. And it makes her a stunningly relatable, huggable figure.

“Year One” has been the quintessential take on the Amazon Princess, giving us the completely fresh and untainted view of what it means to sacrifice for a better world, to reach out to others in friendship with confidence and trust, and to still respect everything about your home and past, even as you find truth elsewhere.

This chapter, even more than the ones before it, has cemented the idea that Wonder Woman is, at her core, about the pureness of love — and the strength to never stop fighting for it. Her mission, like that of her current creators in crafting this tale at last, finds its blessings through inner strength and a commitment to what’s truly right.

And while it will only be 14 days before I get another dose of Greg Rucka’s wisdom and craft, this is where we regrettably say goodbye — and thank you — to Nicola Scott. It has been an honor to read, absorb, and adore every page along the way.

The Verdict: 10/10

 

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