An issue rendered with delightful visuals by ACO.
Wonder Woman is a god now in DC Comics and so it is no wonder she’s fighting gods of all sorts these days. In Steve Orlando’s latest story arc, “The Enemy of Both Sides,” she fights the god of Mexico. Thankfully she has Aztec on her side. Wait, is this the ’90s?!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Our heroes have received some bad intel. Now they have to navigate a murderous maze crawling with mythical monsters and help their renegade sister stop Tezcatlipoca-since they were the ones who unwittingly unleashed it!
Why does this matter?
ACO draws this issue who is the master of layout design. Seriously, if you see ACO on the cover of a book you should pick it up on sight. This book also showcases a huge god vs. god battle with incredible multiverse stakes in play.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
ACO draws yet another jaw-dropping issue. The layouts continue to explore space, ACO utilizes sound effects in new ways, and overall the work is stellar. Wonder Woman and her compatriots must fight a giant god and that scale is never lost. The art keeps the action pulse-pounding, never letting you forget the stakes as Wonder Woman is pummeled and struggles to fight back. This is visual storytelling on steroids.
The story itself is quite interesting too, and Orlando keeps the voices of each character very clear. There are some clever choices made to turn the tide on the villain which further integrates Wonder Woman into a realm of godhood. She’s not just a strong superhero but a god and Orlando plays around with that. There are also some interesting details about the multiverse that are brought up with an incredible page revealing the enemy is everywhere. If you like alternate dimension heroes you’ll dig what Orlando and ACO do here.
The biggest win for this issue story wise is how Orlando makes you want more from Artemis and Aztec. These are characters who have had flashes of interesting moments, but here they feel real and robust. Wonder Woman isn’t carrying them. They can stand alone.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I adore the art, of course, but it’s hard to understand where characters are in relation to each other. That can make a full-on the battle sequence like this issue difficult to track. Is Artemis near Wonder Woman, or far away readying her bow? Where exactly are these characters standing? A lot of the backgrounds are streaks of light that don’t give you any semblance of space or location.
Is it good?
An issue that has art that’ll impress at every turn of the page and a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Wonder Woman’s place in the DC universe only seems to become more interesting and complex with every appearance.