Title: Wonder Woman #51
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artists: Laura Braga
Cover Artist: Artgerm
Variant Cover: Jenny Frison
Colors: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letters: Saida Temofonte
She may be the best fighter and one of the most powerful heroes in the DCU, but Diana’s greatest powers are hope, love, and respect.
PREVIOUSLY: In Wonder Woman #28 Diana squares off against Mayfly who shoots Diana through the abdomen, but is later apprehended and imprisoned.
WHAT HAPPENED: The story opens with a scene from Wonder Woman #28 and then transitions to Mayfly’s imprisonment in Slabside Prison. Diana begins to visit Mayfly, real name Moon Robinson, declaring that while their fight is over Diana does not abandon those in pain.
The issue, as well as the visits, take place of the course of several years and chronicles Moon’s transformation from hardened and violent criminal, to a temperamental inmate, and finally someone who believes that she can better herself.
This is a dialogue-heavy issue and I wish I could go more into the plot, but I can’t, in good conscience, do that. This issue is a journey in recognizing past traumas and experiences and realizing that, no matter what, you are worthy of love and respect. This issue really needs to be experienced with a clean slate.
WHAT MARY HASS TO SAY: Holy F&%$, folks. You all have probably gathered that I am a giant Wonder Woman snob. I have spent thousands of dollars amassing a collection of comics (Golden, SIlver, and Modern ages), trades, merchandise, statues, and even a 6-foot cardboard cut out of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. (Yes. You read that right.) So, believe me when I say that this is probably one of the best single issues of Wonder Woman that I have ever read.
This issue brings together so much of Diana’s history and reminds us that Diana’s great weapons are her words and her greatest strength is love. Orlando delivers this so well that it is just stunning and proves that Orlando has a thorough understanding of Diana’s character.
There are a lot of festive easter eggs in this issue. The biggest being Transformation Island, a creation of William Moulton Marston. Here it’s not so much a place as it is an idea, but the issue is one of the best interpretations of the concept since the Golden Age. There are also nods to several other Wonder Woman runs from Jimenez, Simone, and Rucka. See if you can spot them all.
Orlando’s script is out of this world. Diana’s dialogue is completely organic and we really feel the intent and emotion in Diana’s words. The pacing is bloody fantastic, we see several years of Mayfly’s transformation over the course of 20 some odd pages and not one ounce of it feels rushed.
Laura Braga’s art is absolutely breathtaking. I adored her work on DC Comics Bombshells and she continues to hit it out of the damn park with this. I am big on facial reactions matching the dialogue in comics and Braga does this so well. It’s all brought together Fajardo’s colors and Temofonte’s letters.