The third time’s the charm as this volume provides a decent conclusion.
We’re a little over halfway through 2017, which has been a great year for comic book movies, including Wonder Woman. It’s not only the most critical and commercial successful female-lead superhero of all time, but it brought a sense of hope and optimism that was sorely lacking in the DC Extended Universe. Hopefully this trend keeps going for their upcoming installments. However, it is a shame that the Greg Rucka/Liam Sharp run (which came to an end a couple months ago) can’t seem to bring out the best from this iconic figure.
What we saw in the first volume sets up an interesting dilemma for Diana Prince as she questions her own reality and sets out on a journey to discover what’s behind The Lies and why she can’t return to Themyscir. It was fun, even if it was an ultimately frustrating read as Rucka never fulfills in giving us answers. Following the second volume titled Year One, which retold her origin story (for the umpteenth time), Rucka reaches the climax of Diana’s quest with The Truth.
With the earth-shattering realization that she has not been home after all these years, Diana goes through somewhat a mental breakdown and for a large part of this book, she is in this crippled state, from the initial issue (drawn crudely by Renato Guedes) in which Steve Trevor tries to pull her away from the chaos around them, only for the Amazon princess to be hospitalized in an institute at the end.
Although I don’t mind superheroes showing some vulnerability, Rucka takes our hero into a strange direction where she’s not only hospitalized by doctors who believe that she’s Wonder Woman, but she starts talking to a snake that comes out of her wrist. It just gets to the point that it’s on the level of Marvel’s Netflix series Iron Fist — and that’s not a good thing. In fact, much of the fantasy isn’t all that clear, such as this big build-up for the impending battle for the Amazonian army which never pays off.
However, halfway through the final arc (following the random appearance of Ferdinand the Minotaur), things start to perk up when Wonder Woman suits up as she confronts the villainous organization Godwatch, headed up by Veronica Cale, who despite her ruthless methods to get results, her motivations are oddly sympathetic. This leads to a climax featuring a known character from Wonder Woman’s rogues gallery that could’ve been easily been a repetitious slugfest, but ends up being an interesting verbal confrontation that delivers on answers, even if everyone doesn’t come out unscathed.
Although there is a fourth volume coming as the continuation of Year One, this book features the final issue of the Rucka/Sharp run, which ends on a touching and poignant note with Diana, who has always wielded her golden lasso to reveal the truth from her enemies, only to reject it when confronting the truth about herself, much to the surprise of her fellow Justice Leaguers. As an epilogue that rarely features any action, it is weird that the rest of the run wasn’t as compelling as this.
As always, I’m sort of in two minds when it comes to Liam Sharp, whose art works better here than the initial volume. Along with colorist Laura Martin, Sharp’s strength is his detail towards large panels and cover art where you get the sense of god-like characters being larger than life, and yet when it comes doing small panel work, there is this roughness that just gives most of the female cast an ugliness. In fact, Bilquis Evely, who provided additional art in the last issue, it is more conventional and comfortable when it comes to illustrating Wonder Woman and her world that balances the contemporary super-heroics and Greek fantasy of her past.
Although Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp’s run hasn’t been an entirely successful run on William Moulton Marston’s creation, the third time’s the charm as this volume provides a decent conclusion to "The Truth."