Advertised as a Tie-In to Bendis’s Event Leviathan mini series, Wonder Woman Annual number 3 disappoints as the majority of the 40 pages annual focuses on a character more integral to the current storyline in Wonder Woman.
As an issue advertising Event Leviathan, I picked up this annual expecting more information about the mini series, but instead got 5 or so pages with Leviathan at the end, resulting in the development of a character in the Wonder Woman storyline and adding no new information for Leviathan. I went into this issue, since I’m not reading Wonder Woman, thinking I’d get more out of the Leviathan mini series, whose last chapter is coming out soon. Instead I got nothing.
Nothing isn’t terrible in term of storyline, as this issue does more for the Wonder woman storyline and does deliver as both an engaging read and featured a few fun sequences by artist, V. Ken Marion. The issue focuses on ARGUS agent Helen Paul as Wonder Woman saves her and they go on missions together. Diana looks after Helen and treats her as a daughter, despite hiding a dark secret.
At the beginning of the issue, Marion give us a two page spread on the 2nd and 3rd pages, showcasing Wonder Woman saving Helen from a burning Nazi building. Then we get a few pages leading up to Helen’s cadet graduation and some fight sequences between Helen and Wonder Woman, against various enemies. These sequences then follow with another 2 page spread featuring Helen, Diana and Argus Agents against Dinosaur enemies. The overall varied amount of full page spreads and 2 page spreads by Marion helped add variety to the issue. Even sequences of Wonder Woman, Steve and Helen cloaking themselves as gorillas was well made.
Compared to the Outsiders annual, Wonder Woman’s artist did an excellent job throughout the issue with numerous pages and fight sequences. I loved especially when Wonder Woman gets between Steve and Grodd’s men to stop the shooting and continue peace. That page was well made and helped emphasize the writing by Steve Orlando.
Another aspect of this issue that I enjoyed was the ending reveal and using the Grodd infiltration mission to set up the surprise at the end. Orlando chose to structure the issue as a recap episode for the first few pages, and then show an important mission with Helen, only to give a surprise ending that will impact the Wonder Woman storyline.
Compared to previous annuals I’ve read, this was by far one of my favorites this year, alongside the older Justice League Dark annual. I highly recommend picking this issue up as it was one of my favorites, but if you are looking for a Event Leviathan Tie-In, as I was, you’ll be disappointed. Leviathan’s sole purpose was to provide the twist and reveal at the end of the issue, otherwise, the character served no other purpose.