Wonder Woman #55
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín
Colors by Borja Pindado
Things have come to a head in Qurac and this issue’s story is equal part action and philosophy as Steve Orlando explores the motivations of conflict and attempts to muddy the waters of right and wrong taking every opportunity to showcase the antagonists viewpoint to get you to question your views on who is right or wrong. Clearly it is not that black and white.
Orlando pits Diana against Artemis, Rustam and Faruka in what is meant to be a physical battle to the death but ends up becoming something completely different. Way back in #25 Greg Rucka made the decision to return the golden perfect to Diana and it is not until this issue do we see it make an appearance of significance as the lasso of truth becomes the chief protagonist of the issue with Orlando choosing to break down in lots of detail what the perfect does and doesn’t do.
The easy route would have been for Diana to have swatted each attempt to thwart the attempts of the Bana Migdhall through sheer power and ability, something she is easily capable of doing but Orlando has taken a different tact since he took over and has elected to showcase Diana as a diplomat, an empath, a friend.
What you will see from Orlando’s writing in this issue is a Wonder Woman committed to the truth and reason thanks to the golden perfect’s ability to reflect one’s truth onto themselves. This may not be what everyone wants out of a comic that has an Amazonian warrior princess as it’s lead, but it feels right in this issue, and it demonstrates that the lasso doesn’t work by submission, even though it may appear that way, it works by bringing the subjects true feelings up to the surface no matter how deep they are buried. Orlando is not trailblazing new territory here but it is terrain we haven’t seen for a while, and he does a good job of reminding us of the scope of the power that these gifts Diana possesses have.
The art by Raúl Allén, Patricia Martín and Borja Pindado in this issue is consistent with their work from the last, so that continuation makes the events here seamless. Often, I like to read the final few pages of the previous issue before delving into the next, and it was so nice to have that bridge from #54 to #55. The art team does well to set the mood of a Qurac on the brink of war, punctuated in no small part by Pindado’s pastel influenced colors. Given that Qurac is mostly an arid desert, the presence of all those yellows, oranges and red work splendidly well together. It feels like you are reading a period piece, even though this is modern day Qurac and that transportation is further testament to the quality of the art.
With this arc concluded, the next fortnight will bring part two of a crossover with Justice League Dark so it will be interesting to see how well Orlando and Tynion IV play with each other when they have to share the story. In any case with Emanuela Lupacchino returning to do the art it won’t matter in the slightest as her pencils are always a wonderful treat.
8 out of 10