Conan must fight Wonder Woman in this second issue from Dark Horse and DC Comics.
Conan and Wonder Woman are teaming up, but first, they must fight! This is a rule of comic books (it must be), but how long before Gail Simone’s interesting backstory catches up with them? We review the second issue in the series out today!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Diana has escaped the Cimmerian gladiator’s arena, but she’s exchanged that battleground for an equally dire fate. Now she’s chained to Conan-the warrior who refused to fight-and they’ve been sold to a pirate’s crew! When their ship founders in a storm, a leap into shark-infested waters seems like the safest course… Co-Published with Dark Horse Comics.
Why does this matter?
In a crossover that makes some sense — considering Wonder Woman would have been alive during the time Conan was kicking ass — Gail Simone and artist Aaron Lopresti have created a complex combo. That’s because there’s some interesting back story that suggests the two knew each other as children. With the world of Conan there’s always magic afoot though so it remains to be seen if we’re really seeing Wonder Woman or some imposter!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The kid has a point.
This issue further fleshes out the time Conan and Wonder Woman were children and Simone does a good job establishing the little details as far as Wonder Woman’s tribe. It’s also interesting to note Conan knows her as Yanna so something is definitely a bit odd. There’s enough information given to allow readers to start to form some guesses as far as what is going on, which aids in the main story as Wonder Woman can’t remember who she was.
These flashbacks are visually striking with beautiful vine and sword borders to separate it from the present day. Lopresti continues to draw a solid series: in particular, the character acting and facial expressions are all on point. Young Conan and Wonder Woman (or is it Yanna?) look accurate as children which is no easy task. The crow women are pretty scary too with their feather dresses and freakish powers.
The main story continues to push Conan and Wonder Woman to their limits and this issue has them sparring. Simone has cleverly given Wonder Woman amnesia, which allows Conan to prod her as she strikes down on him. The story also hops from the gladiatorial ring to the seas hence the sharks on the cover. It’s nice to see the themes of sword and sorcery stretching their legs. The relationship between Conan and Wonder Woman is also interesting due to her amnesia forcing them to rekindle the friendship they had as children.
Young Diana, or whoever she is, is pretty boss.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The narrative can be overly wordy to the point where I wanted to skip a panel just to get on with it. The captions are well written, but they’re also slowing things to a crawl. It’s particularly evident when the book takes three pages to get a move on with the plot as it focuses on Wonder Woman and Conan’s duties on the ship. They’re weary travelers and victims of a cruel system, but they’ve also faced worse odds and taken over faster than this too!
The cover is also a bit of a crime in terms of being misleading, though that’s common in comic books these days — so not that big a deal. Not only is Wonder Woman sporting her modern costume (she doesn’t once in this series so far), but it’s also the very last moment of the book! Why they didn’t go with a Conan sparring with Wonder Woman cover is anybody’s guess!
Is It Good?
Wonder Woman/Conan continues to weave in an interesting mystery of the characters youth and mixes in a seafaring theme well. Unfortunately, the pace is too slow and can’t sustain the action on the page for short sections!