Review by Ian Keogh
From her earliest days onward, Wonder Woman’s history has always been entwined with that of the Greek gods, and as seen in his opening volume, Blood, Brian Azzarello’s take on Diana moves her closer to them. He’s revealed her previous origin as false, surely a relief to anyone who’s felt the story of her being sculpted from clay as a gift from Zeus to her mother was frankly silly. The truth is more fallible, but after Zeus making another human woman pregnant, he’s disappeared.
Azzarello begins Guts with further revelations applying logic where previously there was none, and throughout the events of Wonder Woman descending into Hell to rescue a lost soul he supplies interesting ideas and clever, and occasionally smutty wordplay. Connected with that, the unusual design of Hades, ruler of the underworld, here supplies an additional layer of creepiness to an already disturbing story that shunts Wonder Woman into horror territory.
Once again, Cliff Chiang illustrates four chapters and Tony Akins almost two, with Kano supplying the remaining pages. It means considerable contrast to the art, with Chiang seeming looser and sketchier and Akins more polished at first glance, but Chiang is the better artist, with a solidity to his people and layouts. Akins has a more decorative style, but isn’t at home with people, especially expressions, or movement. Both are strong on design.
The over-riding plots continue to be the vacancy for a new ruler among the gods, and Wonder Woman protecting the latest human woman to have become pregnant by Zeus. They become surprisingly entwined, as a prophecy from the series’ opening chapter is open to differing interpretations, with each interpreter plotting their own course.
There’s no shortage of surprises here, and by the end we’ve learned that perhaps no-one can be trusted. The thrills continue in Iron, or alternatively that and the two preceding volumes are combined in an Absolute Edition. Anyone who really feels like committing can head straight for the Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang Omnibus.