Wonder Woman #53
Continuing "The Enemy on Both Sides", Wonder Woman travels to Mexico in search of her lost aunt, Atalanta, accompanied by Aztek and Artemis. The Shadow God Tezcatlipoca is planning to invade Earth from Thirteen Heavens. Atalanta has held them back for decades but has finally faltered and the forces begin to break through. Diana and her companions travel through to Thirteen Heavens, only to find it deserted and Tezcatlipoca all but triumphant. As they confront the Shadow God on his throne, Aztek learns more about the nature of the gods she defends and defends against, facing some harsh realizations about her legacy. It will take the combined efforts of our heroes to harness the power of the Bow of Ra to stop the invasion. Will they be able to wield it or will it claim another life in the process?
The aftermath of the battle leaves the heroes shaken as they return to Atalanta and she contemplates her place in the world. She decides to see what has become of the Bana-Mighdall in her absence, but it seems the homecoming might not be what they expect as the story continues next issue.
With the second installment of “The Enemy on Both Sides” we see more of what started in last issue — learning more about Aztek and her pantheon, the tension between Artemis and Diana, and the continuing question of the implications of Atalanta’s return. Most of the story takes place in the context of a very large battle with a very large deity. The action is well-paced, the fights scenes look good and the story flows pretty well as the action progresses.
The battle takes an interesting turn when the Bow of Ra comes out and Tezcatlipoca pontificates about his nature and the nature of Quetzalcoatl. I admit I don’t know a whole lot about Aztek, but I find her powerset and interesting mix of technology and mysticism. Overall the take on this particular mythos is interesting, but I’m suffering from a little bit of god-fatigue at this point. The last 4 or 5 arcs have focused on Old Gods, New Gods, Dark Gods……it’s getting a bit like Dr. Seuss up in here with the gods. This is a good story, but another good story this quickly takes the grandeur away from what was a pretty impressive villain. The story and art more than make up for it, however, and there is plenty of humanity coming from Aztek’s self-doubt and Artemis’s over-confidence. And it looks like we’re heading into a less cosmic segue for at least the next little bit in the issue to come.
Two artists combined on this issue, with ACO taking the first and last parts and Hugo Petrus taking the middle of the story. The styles are distinctly different, but they fuse together seamlessly enough that you might miss it on a first read through. The switchover occurs during a transition point in the story and is melded together by a pretty impressive display of light and color. Which I will go ahead and just give some kudos to the colorist, Rumulo Fajardo Jr., on the palette choices for Tezcatlipoca. Everything about the art in this book from the pencils and ink to the colors and lettering has been consistently top notch. It’sIt’s no small task for a writer to match it, but Orlando has shown in just a few issues that he’s up to the job.
Overall this was a solid issue with both the story and the art. Even as god-fatigued as I am right now, I thoroughly enjoyed this issue. Aztek and Artemis are both excellent guest stars for the story, and I'm looking forward to what's going to become of Diana's aunt.
Wonder Woman #53: Sky God of Tomorrow?
Writing - 9/10
Storyline - 9/10
Art - 10/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 10/10
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