Review by Frank Plowright
Wonder Woman has a problem. As a side effect of the ancient gods being returned to Earth in new forms, the Amazon island of Themyscira is missing. The search is postponed for what at first seems to be a quick mopping up exercise as the mythological Titans manifest as stone giants on an almost unimaginable scale. Who better to help than old Wonder Woman enemy Giganta?
What might have been just another run-in raiding the back catalogue is improved by G. Willow Wilson’s imagination. It’s possibly been done before, but a villain explaining the realities of their life and earning potential is certainly a novelty, and so is the way Wilson complicates the already formidable threat the Titans pose, and then escalating it. Cary Nord’s art is better suited to this story than The Just War, and he accentuates the sheer scale, the difficulties faced in dealing with something of that monumental size, and the consequences of it.
The introduction of Aphrodite in the previous volume seemed somewhat arbitrary, but she has a part to play in the title story, as seen on Xermanico’s sample art of her bawling the cupids out. His art also makes a greater impression than before, particularly with the clever decorative sequence following the sample art, in which the panels echo the story by being laid out in the form of a woman’s body. This is far more ornate art, rich in detail and personality, making each turned page something to anticipate. Wilson’s part of that as well, supplying the plot resulting in the art via use of an obscure Greek deity not seen before in Wonder Woman. Through them we explore different types of love, and how it can play out, resulting in some home truths for Wonder Woman. It’s skilled and interesting because it exploits a vulnerability in Wonder Woman, and the resolution to the initial problem is some distance from expectation and an interesting way of dealing with desire.
When Wilson moves onto a new stage Tom Derenick shares the art, his style not as baroque, but he’s an old hand at laying out action scenes to prioritise the dynamism. It serves a purpose in moving the bigger plot forward, and revealing the significance of a sword acquired in the opening chapter, but is more in the way of setting the stage for Loveless.
Also doing that is the final chapter from the different creative team of Steve Orlando and Aaron Lopresti. It introduces the idea of a mirror image of Amazonian society, a more warlike people, and what happened when Diana visited as a teenager. It’s a viable idea given a solid introduction in a volume that’s a step up from The Just War.