This last week the film “Wonder Woman” was released on DVD and Blu-ray! As result, I am finishing up my week of reviewing the first three volumes of “Rebirth’s Wonder Woman” that have been released. Opps, this was a day late, so it got me pushed to the next week hehe 🙂
Rebirth – Wonder Woman: The Truth (Volume 3)
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Liam Sharp
Published by DC Comics
(Collects Wonder Woman 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, and 25 of the single issue series)
What would happen if Diana (aka Wonder Woman) snapped enough to disconnect from reality and was unable to perform her duties? This volume examines that briefly as Wonder Woman goes a little mad when she realizes a horrible lie that has been perpetrated against her for years. It floors her and she has to reexamine herself. This collection heavily focuses on the supporting characters that are being brought to the table (most of who have already been there, but not utilized properly), like Etta Candy and Steve Trevor. It also brings in Veronica Cale and why she wants to get to Diana. The book ultimately ends with us discovering who is behind much of what is going on and something from Volume 1 is revealed to not have been exactly as we thought reading it.
Wow, when I saw the image of Diana on the back cover of Diana in a straight jacket with the words “Divine Madness” on it I wanted to be like “Oh no, Rucka jumped off the deep end” but I found out that he didn’t do that. He wrote a story that allowed Wonder Woman to center back on herself, while giving plenty of room to develop the supporting cast that was lacking in previous incarnations of the book. Diana has to reexamine herself and figure out aspects of her personality given the bombshell lies she has been told for years (found out in volume 1, so no spoilers people). She needs to reconnect with herself and find her center and she does that while locked up in an mental health facility. It is humorous when the orderlies are laughing about her thinking she is Wonder Woman and then there is a moment that they find out. That was a great moment, so I spoiled one moment it isn’t the plot point and it isn’t something major to the overall story so get over it ;).
What was truly fascinating was that there was payoff in unexpectedly surprising ways. There was no way that you could know certain things were going to be revealed here that are. For example, a character that many Wonder Woman fans love returns in this volume. I was so excited to see this person that I actually teared up again. Yes, Cassie isn’t such a heartless biatch after all right? I was so happy they were included here and that it felt like a familiar way to bring them in. Another surprise element was a revelation of who someone actually was from volume 1 that no one could have possibly known it was these people and not the person we, as the readers of volume 1, thought it was. When I got to that moment I was like PAY OFF FOR LONG-TERM READERS! It made me happy that I was reading all three volumes in the same week so that I got it a little more rapidly than some of the fans that were reading it in single issue got.
There are moments in this volume that hurt your heart deeply. A moment where a former foe has to make a decision for a friend that alters her life forever and a moment between mother and daughter that also brought a small tear to my eye. The writing, in my opinion, is so strong under Rucka’s pen. He gets the core of Wonder Woman and what makes a truly wonderful story. These two moments will make you feel things and if they don’t well you may have to make sure you are human. Rucka truly has embraced the humanity within Wonder Woman. He has grounded her in such important ways through adding others as important characters and giving them important plot points. The difference between what some of the older writers and Rucka does is that Rucka roots the supporting characters in characters that people want to see. That people remember. There is no “I am going to create this entire new character to add to the cast” for almost no reason. These are people you hope stick around. These are people that are important to the history of the series. It doesn’t feel like he just pulled a special guest star for ratings, even those this is a comic book there is no “HEY BATMAN” this issue type of thing going on.
While I am praising the writing I do want to say that in this volume there are moments where the artwork seems to suddenly change to a lesser quality than I would expect from Sharpe, but I think this is as a result of a hurried schedule. I also think that by the time that this volume was getting finished Rucka and Sharpe had already announced their exit from the series, so there is a chance that maybe he wasn’t turning in his best work to DC any more for various reasons that I do not fully understand or fully care that deeply about. It does not remove that greatly from the story or any of the characters. What is interesting is even at subpar Sharpe is better than many people drawing in comics these days. The lines are crisp and characters look correct.
This volume is not recommended to individuals that have a hard time with portrayals of mental health related issues. While it is not addressed fully, you can tell in this volume that Diana is dealing with a lot while she is in the hospital. If you are easily offended because of mental health then steer clear. As someone that has mental health related issues though I was not offended because it did not appear that they were trying to claim that this was a story about mental illness. Instead it was about someone that had reached a point of breaking. As a result, I would still highly recommend this to those with mental illness to see what happens to Wonder Woman when pushed to a point of not believing in much of her world anymore.
This book is one that I cannot recommend enough to enough people. Rucka has created a masterpiece with his helping relaunch Diana for DC’s “Rebirth” event. He found the core of the character and breathed life into it. He took all those moments we know and said “live again, but in a fresh way.” I recommend this to people that want to see all those classic elements of Wonder Woman twisted in ways that maybe you are not expecting, but in ways that make total sense for a modern take on the character. I highly recommend this to lapsed Wonder Woman fans, which I was one, because you will find a connection to the character again through what Rucka is able to weave around the character.
In the long and varied history of the title of “Wonder Woman” there have been many key supporting characters. A few of them have even taken up the mantle of “Wonder Woman” at some point of that history. Two of those characters (there are others) are Donna Troy (aka the original Wonder Girl, aka Troia, aka Darkstar) and Artemis of Bana-Mighdall. Donna Troy is my FAVORITE DC comic book character, but Artemis ranks right up there as well. If you want to see some of the supporting character stories you can find volumes containing those two characters and you will see some peripheral stories of friends of “Wonder Woman.”