Wonder Woman #3
Writer: by Greg Rucka
Artist: Liam Sharp
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: Jodi Wynne
Review by John Dubrawa
Writer Greg Rucka continues to re-mold Wonder Woman into a character worth reading again with Wonder Woman #3, but what he does with Cheetah throughout this emotional issue is perhaps even more astounding. Here Rucka takes a villain that has been used merely as, “oh, this Wonder Woman issue needs a villain so I don’t know…Cheetah?” and transforms her in mere pages into a character worth caring about. I don’t know if Rucka is secretly making a pitch to write a solo Cheetah title somewhere down the line but if he is, he’s making one hell of a case.
There is plenty of opportunity for Rucka’s script to dip into melodrama but it never even skims the surface. In this issue we’re literally baring witness to the emotional breakdown of Cheetah and it’s utterly heartbreaking. It’s obvious there’s definitely some of Barbara Ann left in Cheetah as she goes from snarling at Diana to crying in her arms recounting an emotionally abusive relationship with her God, Urtzkartaga. Although this is still very much Diana’s quest for the truth, there’s a lot more to Rucka’s script involving those around her, and by the issue’s end we see a semblance of just how Diana, Cheetah, and Steve Trevor (who has a brief appearance in this issue) will soon be converging with one another.
I will say that if Rucka does wind up writing a solo book about Cheetah, I hope Liam Sharp can pull double duty. His redesign of Cheetah is just as essential a part of the empathy we feel for her in this issue as Rucka’s words. But at the same time, the man can draw one heck of a compassionate, strong, and determined Wonder Woman. So much of the emotion that comes out in this issue is a direct result of Sharp’s closeups of both Wonder Woman and Cheetah and the perfection of the craft that’s exhibited therein. Laura Martin’s colors add just the right amount of detail and depth to Sharp’s pencils, and Jodi Wynne does an extraordinary job with the lettering of this issue, particularly with the way Cheetah speaks. You can just hear her ssss’s rolling through the jungle.
Buy it! I mean, come on, this is the Wonder Woman book we needed and deserved and we are getting it twice a month. Wonder Woman #3 matches the quality of the issues that have come before with the added touch of being an emotionally compelling Cheetah backstory to boot. Not to mention the end of the issue suggests a showdown is afoot, and I for one can’t wait to see Liam Sharp draw the hell out of that thing!