Wonder Woman #14 – Year One: Finale
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Nicola Scott
Colors: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letters: Jodi Wynne
Review By: Nate Mondschein (@33andMoonshine)
—Spoilers Ahead for Wonder Woman #14, Nicola Scott and Greg Rucka’s general badassery, and Steve Trevor’s rockin’ bod–
And so we’ve reached the end. With Wonder Woman #14, Black Magic super-duo-(re)turned DC-saviors Nicola Scott and Greg Rucka round out their definitive Amazonian origin story in decidedly heroic fashion, and in the process offer us a veritable bucket-list of Diana’s Greatest Hits: Magic Lasso deity-wrangling? Check. International bomb-diffusion? Check. Gods in the form of owls displaying uncanny technological savvy? Sure, why not. Through the torrent of action that carries us from first page to last, we never question Diana’s ability to save the day, nor does our certainty lessen the stakes.
In her final issue on the WW title, Nicola Scott further cements her already substantially cemented reputation as the highlight of DC’s Rebirth era, imbuing even her most deified protagonists with a humanity that grounds them in the here and now: Diana struggles to stand, bloodied and woozy from Ares’ mental onslaught, wiping her face as she rises to meet the angry god; weary, earnest joy bleeds out from the princess’ smile after overcoming the last of the SEAR agents. Even in the midst of the most gloriously-rendered super heroics, Scott never overlooks the smaller expressions, the fear and the effort and the urgency that keep us rooting for Diana rather than simply expecting her success. And all the while, Steve Trevor’s topless act continues, slowly but surely chiseling away at the generations-long gender imbalance of inexplicably spontaneous disrobing, in the process doing everyone a favor by showing off one of the better six-packs comics have to offer.
Wonder Woman #14 also offers Rucka (who will remain on the title beyond Scott’s departure) another chance to display his uncanny ability to seamlessly interject thesis in the midst of action. When coupled with his thorough understanding of (and dedication to) the ideological core of the Wonder Woman character, his script becomes a vehicle for the restoration of legacy that extends beyond its driving narrative, while never distracting from it. Etta Candy’s climactic marching orders ring out past the confines of the moment, declaring “No matter what happens, not matter how it looks…you can trust the woman with him with all our lives.” Soon after, in a frenzy of chemical-induced bloodlust, Diana fights back against more than just the SEAR group’s plans, striking out at years of misguided narrative violence: “I will—nh-not…be this…he lies…he lies, this is not us…this is not…me…this…is…not–TRUE!”
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of this moment. For many, Diana has long been the subject of a misguided disregard as third-string Trinity member. Others have been forced to wallow in years of off-brand messaging and narrative, indistinguishable in all the wrong ways from the rest of DC’s roster.
But Scott and Rucka will not abide by either of these outcomes any longer. Over the course of their seven issues together, they have found a way to not only right the ship, but to do so in a manner that honors the spirit of Wonder Woman herself: an elegant, compelling, and compassionate reckoning with the ways we strayed off-course, and why it is so important for us to find our way back. Their Wonder Woman is as humble as she is powerful, as brilliant as she is innocent, as much a savior as she is a reminder to all of us of our own ability to save. A testament to the true possibility of heroes, real or imagined. Whether we knew it or not, we missed her while she was away. And it feels wonderful to finally be home
VERDICT: Buy and Read and Re-Read and Tell Your Friends to Read It Too. We will be talking about what Scott and Rucka have created together for a long time.