Publisher: DC Comics
Release: November 21st 2017
Issues: Wonder Woman 16, 18, 20, 22, and 24
I received an advanced copy of Wonder Woman Vol. 4: Godwatch from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The order in which Wonder Woman is read depends pretty heavily on if you’re reading it by the issue or by the volume. This has been the case since the beginning, as two plots have been bouncing back and forth every other issue (note: the issues covered in this volume are 16, 18, 20, 22, and 24). Godwatch concludes what was started in Year One; fleshing out Wonder Woman’s origin story for us, as well as the backstory for many of the side characters and antagonists.
Godwatch brings us the conclusion of both plot arcs that Rucka has created for Wonder Woman’s Rebirth line. I’ll admit I’m not sure what is next for Diana; but I certainly hope that the series will continue from here. I’m too attached to let it go at this point.
I mentioned above that there’s two ways of reading this series (issue vs. volume). I personally read everything by the volume; but that has more to do with my preference of reading comics in bigger sums than just one at a time. I found the story to make sense this way, even when events didn’t always happen in order. It’s just a different storytelling style, and in this case is really works.
I still can’t get over the level of depth all of Rucka’s characters have; Wonder Woman is such a complex character (more so that one would assume at first glance), she’s full of love, hope, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. Listing her attributes out like that makes her sound so flat, but that isn’t the case. Alongside her we have a strong female villain, Veronica Cale, and the morally grey character Barbara Ann. Both have complex backstories and reasons to doing the things they do. Together these characters make up the backbone of the series.
While I still really enjoyed continuing Diana’s origin plotline, what really caught my attention were some of the other character’s backstories. I truly wasn’t expecting Veronica Cale to be fleshed out the way she was; but in the end she became a sympathetic villain for me, and I almost found myself wishing for something better for her (a little less so when I saw the lack of sympathy she showed towards Barbara Ann, but that’s a different story). Turning a villain into a person we can sympathize with is not an easy task, but Rucka managed to do it, all while juggling other plots and character development points.
I think I still like the artwork in volume one the best; but Godwatch still had some very strong artwork. Most of the artwork is consistent throughout this volume, with the exception of issue 22, which gets a change in style. It’s borderline chibi style, with the characters looking much cuter and simpler than normal. The change actually works really well with the story being told, so I enjoyed it.
I keep seeing people say that Godwatch is the end of Rucka’s run with Wonder Woman. I sincerely hope that that isn’t true, as I think he did a phenomenal job. If it is true, I hope Wonder Woman continues and picks up another talented writer.