After the previous issue, we were left with how Wonder Woman author Steve Orlando would handle multiple plot elements that he introduced within the first issue of the new arc. By the second issue, Orlando gives us some necessary but overly wordy explanations to multiple plotlines that helps elevate the story further.
A majority of this issue focuses on The Iron Maiden, Valda, as Wonder Woman seeks a compromise and means to come to an understanding with the displaced knight. Their talks bring about proper conduct on Earth, Amazon vs. Knight fighting styles, as well as mothers. By the end, Wonder Woman gives her sword to Valda and the two fly off to fight the beast who was transported to Earth with Valda.
Meanwhile, Orlando gives insight into Warmaster’s past and her plans going forward. We get multiple pages giving insight into Warmaster’s ancestry that stems from both Nazis and Valkyrie alike. Through a spear that gifts Warmaster power, similar to the protagonists power in My Hero Academia, Warmaster gets the strength of the Valkyries and warriors before her that’s been cultivated for centuries. After her monologue about the past, we get the hint that Valda will become recruited to join Warmaster in the fight against Wonder Woman and Orlando will have one last warrior introduced. Due to the way things are set up, we could see the return of Cheetah or see Artemis from the Red Hood series get involved, among other options.
While the dark fates had no part in this issue, we only got a brief moment with Wonder Woman’s detective friend who’s deciding on how to deal with Wonder Woman. As a character, the detective shows up late after the bar brawl, and then stays her hand as Wonder Woman talks to Valda. This was the weakest element of the issue as we saw no major developments, only brief moments. Though staying her hand was impactful in its own right, we still see no clear intentions from the Detective as to where she stands. We can assume that her staying her hand was an act of trust meant to showcase that she is trusting Diana more, but the two characters never interact in this issue to make those motives clear.
Other than strong character moments from both Diana and Warmaster, this issue also contained at least 50% pages of fighting, which was a plus. We saw the bar brawl between sword and lasso, resulting in Diana breaking Valda’s sword. We also saw a two page spread of Warmaster’s past, where Valkyries were slaughtered by Amazons. Both scenes by Max Raynor were fun to watch and featured some good compositions. On the last page, Raynor also gives us a fun view of our heroes faced with a minotaur looking beast that is crushing a college campus looking place. All of these moments added up to what was a stronger issue than the previous.
Within one issue, Orlando managed to set up multiple plot elements, and by the next, we get major developments on both of those issues. The only major pitfall of this issue was the large amount of words needed to describe different moments, and the lack of words for the detective. We had long narratives focusing on Valda’s past and Warmaster’s past, mixed in with fun fights and heavy scenes of characters standing around talking. Instead of finding unique ways to portray some of these moments, these instances fell flat compared to the other half with large amount of action or unique perspectives we saw during fight choreography and discovering Warmaster’s heritage further.