Loose storytelling and a lack of tension hold the hero down.
Although I would consider this to be the year of Wonder Woman as her cinematic solo feature was an absolute delight and a huge success, her recent adventures in the pages of DC Comics haven’t quite reached that success in quality. After 25 issues, Rucka has departed from the title and thus the fourth volume features the remaining issues that mark not so much the end of his run, but oddly the middle.
Since the beginning of his run, Rucka has told two separate storylines, with an installment of one story published every other issue and vice-versa. So, while the third volume was the climax of "The Truth", this volume is the continuation of "Year One", in which the Amazon princess makes a name for herself in our contemporary world.
Despite being seen as a hero by many, there are some who think otherwise, including Veronica Cale — leader of the mysterious organization Godwatch and head of Empire Industries — who will stop at nothing to use Diana to get what she wants: revenge on the gods who have cursed her daughter. Conceived within Rucka’s original run during the early aughts, I get the sense that Cale is basically Wonder Woman’s Lex Luthor and on the basis of this story, she has an emotional arc that somewhat negates our protagonist, who is more of a reactive character.
As this volume bridges the gap between "Year One" and the present day, the issues jump from year to year. Although there is consistency throughout from the aging of Cale’s daughter, the storytelling is very loose, with numerous supervillain origins that come and go while Wonder Woman occasionally fights the likes of Cheetah and Circe, who add some levity in her villainy that would’ve been more welcoming. However, despite what I was currently reading, I already know the outcome from what I’ve read before so there is a lack of peril.
The one saving grace from Rucka’s writing is the annual (drawn by Nicola Scott) that concludes this volume, which features a new origin of the Trinity, in which Superman and Batman first meet Wonder Woman. Iin this brief union, Rucka provides plenty of quips showcasing characters who are all about friendship as opposed to the antagonism of their recent cinematic outings. Along with the aforementioned Scott, there is colorful and vibrant art by Bilquis Evely and Mirka Andolfo, all of which add a feminine touch to all the characters.
Ultimately, it was a mistake for the simultaneous telling of two storylines as Greg Rucka should have gone for a more straightforward narrative. The character of Wonder Woman will always remain strong but this run overall has not made her victorious.