Celebrating Wonder Woman with the 750th issue, DC delivers both Steve Orlandos conclusion to the latest arc, and multiple short stories honoring the character. With a number of different takes on the character, the two standout stories came from Vita Ayala and Greg Rucka, alongside Steve Orlando’s finale.
In Greg Rucka’s storyline, we see Diana confront Circe during Mardi Gras to ask a favor to revert Cheetah back to Barbara Ann Minerva. Greg’s story gave us some fun Circe moments with her pseudo-carefree attitude, but willingness to help Diana. Seeing Circe in a different light than how she is in the current Justice League Dark, was a nice look. I also loved the designs by Nicola Scott. Seeing the whole town in celebration, Circe’s outfit and somewhat lavish apartment. Everytyhing came together, alongside what would’ve been a more compelling storyline, should Rucka been given more pages to tell it. Giving this storyline more pages, we’d’ve seen more come from Cheetah and her decision to remain Cheetah over Barbara. We also would’ve seen more dialogue between Circe and Diana, in relation to how the two interact with each other. Seeing Diana offer her prefect, and then Circe return it when Cheetah remains the same, showcases what matters to the two. I’d love to see this line of thinking explored more, because we saw how Diana treated Cheetah in Steve Orlando’s finale.
During Orlando’s finale, Diana resolves everything through the use of her prefect, without need for Silencer to intervene. This results in Diana coming to terms with what Hera is doing and Cheetah is doing. Acknowledging the ways that both have tried to help her at times, and how those two have acted similarly towards her.
Spending half of the finale on Diana resolving the issues between Hera and Cheetah was good for showcasing Diana’s ability to resolve issues without the need for brute force. We also were given a gorgeous full page spread when Diana got her prefect back. That pose was absolutely beautiful in this finale and done well by Jesus Merino. Another good aspect of this finale was the return of the Godslayer and moment where Diana reflects on her past with her mom. This leads to the two making new bracers for her, and a moment reflecting on the job that Wonder Woman’s done so far. This issue even delved into a mention of the nonevent, Event Leviathan and what became of Steve Trevor. All of the pain, suffering, and changes that Diana has gone through are welcomed.
How Orlando ends this issue however is what puzzles me. At the end of Flash, Flash arrests himself due to uncontrollable powers. Orlando however, shows Diana getting arrested too. While I’m uncertain if the two instances will be connected, DC has connected series before, like Wonder Woman and Supergirl recently. Since the two Justice Leaguers are getting arrested, I’m curious if they’ll meet up in the same prison or if the two endings are separate but similar. If they are separate, it’s at least ironic that we ended two Year of the Villain arcs by having two heroes get arrested.
While Orlando’s and Rucka’s stories were strong, they weren’t the only good storylines in this issue. Vita Ayala’s focus on Silver Swan and her relationship with Diana was a story I’d want to see more on. Seeing another character who admired Wonder Woman and was corrupted by nanites, resulting in another villain, was a nice change. Ayala even went a little more in depth by focusing on Diana being unable to meet Swan during her treatment, due to the need to help others. The focus on feelings of betrayal, and the inability to help everyone, everywhere, all the time, delivers something I wish had more pages. I love it when we get panels of action and large character studies at times in issues. Being able to balance these ideas for a character is very good. Too much dialogue, and it can get boring and taxing. Too much action, and the artist ends up doing more work than the writer and the story becomes less cohesive. Balancing these two elements; Ayala, Rucka and Orlando all delivered in this large issue.