Thursday, December 19

Wonder Woman, vol. 3: Iron (DC, 2013 – The New 52)

By Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang. Reprints issues #0, 13-18.

It's actually been several weeks since I read this volume, as part of my new luxury of reading the current month's batch of comics quicker and leaving time to pick up various collections. I think I read it early in Thanksgiving week, but the latter part of that week's family activities followed by the next two weeks finishing up the fall semester, with all the papers and final exam grading which that entails, as well as my son's soccer season kicking off (pardon the pun) and a fairly miserable head cold over the past week left little or no time for blogging. This will likely be a short entry  no worries about spoilers!

I've mentioned several times how my regard for this series has shifted radically, from high to low, and back to high with a realization that, for me at least, Azzarello's tale is much more readable and enjoyable in large chunks, which led me to drop the monthlies after the first dozen or so to wait for the collections. This is the first volume to pick up after the point I had gotten to about a year or so ago. It took a little review to get back set to proceed, but once I settled into it I really enjoyed this batch of stories. It definitely is not your standard super-hero fare, and doesn't mesh very well in terms of tone with Diana's other appearances in the new DCU even though it is during this period, especially with the re-introduction of the New Gods in the pages of this book, that it becomes clear that the events of this book are indeed contemporaneous with the rest of the DCU. But taken on its own terms, and with the possible exception of the introduction of Orion of the New Gods into the story, Azzarello is crafting a tale that is considerably more mythic – no pun intended – than your standard, run-of-the-mill super-hero fare, one that easily stands on its own. It's complemented very well by Chiang's straightforward artistic style. This series has been polarizing among Wonder Woman fans – my own reaction has run the gamut – but I think it will ultimately go down as one of the high points in the character's long history. I'm definitely looking forward to future volumes.

I liked this one so much, indeed, that I have already pulled out the previous twelve issues and prepped them for library-binding – one of the thinnest volumes I've ever had bound, but I would like to have those issues standing beside this one and future collections in this series.

Cheers! – and Thanks for reading!

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