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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.
I read 6 comics last week: All Star Batman #2, Wonder Woman #6, Detective Comics #940, Action Comics #963, Spider-Man #8 and Black Panther #6.
The best comic I read last week was Wonder Woman #6.
Greg Rucka is some kind of comic book writer. Given the opportunity to re-interpret Wonder Woman’s origins for this DC Rebirth series, Rucka is not wasting the opportunity. He knows the character well having written her during a very successful run years ago. Now he’s back with the character and fans who aren’t reading this book are really missing out. Rucka is kind of having his cake and eating it, too, writing and every-other-issue, interlocking narrative story. The odd numbered issues tell a modern-day tale of a seasoned Amazonian princess while the even numbered issues feature Wonder Woman’s origins. The juxtaposition of these two narrative time-frames works incredibly well.
Issue #6 is an origin issue and it plays out (hey, look at the cover) like a very cool, very accessible, very updated version of a Disney princess story. Clearly that’s intentional. In this Wonder-Disney story, the princess is the most compelling, most 3 dimensional character and she doesn’t speak a word of English – well, few at any rate. Rucka writes an incredible Wonder Woman and he has streamlined and updated her supporting cast brilliantly as well. If the makers of the upcoming Wonder Woman movie have half the success with their reboot that Ruck has here, we are in for a fantastic film.
As good as Rucka is, what puts this issue over-the-top is the star making turn by artist Nicola Scott. Without question, the colors by Romolo Fadjardo, jr are terrific and add depth to what Scott has rendered, but the richness and, dare I say, beauty of this book is truly remarkable. I have enjoyed Scott’s work for years, but she has taken a quantum leap here. Perhaps the fact that she is inking her own pencils is why the art is so amazing and perhaps she can do that because she is illustrating the book every-other-month. Whatever. All I know is that I want her on EVERY title. Right now. Is that too much to ask?
What a wonderful (pun intended) book this is. This is the book Wonder Woman deserves going into what, hopefully, will be a very big year for her. Pick it up. It’s tremendous.