COMIC REVIEW: The Legend of Wonder Woman #3 – Black Smoke | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: The Legend of Wonder Woman #3 – Black Smoke

By Buddy Beaudoin

COMIC REVIEW: The Legend of Wonder Woman #3 - Black Smoke

Writer: Renae De Liz

Artists: Renae De Liz, Ray Dillon


DC Comics

The Legend of Wonder Woman from DC Comics has been off to a promising start, and this most current issue certainly feels like creators Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon are hitting their stride early in the nine-part miniseries.

COMIC REVIEW: The Legend of Wonder Woman #3 - Black Smoke

The Legend of Wonder Woman #3 – Page 5

So far, the art on this series has been outstanding. Each issue has featured gigantic double-paged splash panels through the entirety of the book. Renae De Liz, outside of writing the script, provides the line art which is refined and detailed. The double-page spreads give the art a lot of room to breath making each page meticulously detailed. Ray Dillon takes care of all the other art components. His inking is good and his lines are perfectly clean, but where the art really shines on this series is the color. The way that Dillon captures light in his colors is profound, and makes these huge art pieces a gorgeous experience. The cover work is an interesting choice. While I suppose that the series will be easily recognizable and consistent on the shelf, they have elected to use the same cover art on each issue – each with a title bar that denotes the current chapter you’re reading – and that’s the only difference. While this isn’t necessarily a poor choice, it does feel like they’re missing out on an opportunity to feature more artwork on this series, especially since each cover is wrapped around the back.

The story progresses nicely. Last issue found Diana raging against the mother machine and going out to venture the island alone. She was greeted by a glowing stag that led her to a vision of times gone by – which was a cunning way to introduce Olympus and some more of the lore behind Wonder Woman’s legend.

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Issue three picks up literally right from the last scene of the previous issue. In fact, the first page is essentially the same as the last, but with different text. Diana is greeted by a Pegasus and delivers her worry about the oncoming darkness of the island. Her worry is confirmed when a black mist appears and produces a posses Manticore that attempts to take her young life. She is graciously saved by Aclippe, trainer of Themyscira’s armed forces, who swoops in out of nowhere and cuts the beast down. While this scene looks excellent, I can’t help but connect the dots to LOST – a growing darkness on an island that presents a black smoke monster to protect its secrets – which makes me wonder when the DHARMA Initiative is going to make an appearance.

COMIC REVIEW: The Legend of Wonder Woman #3 - Black Smoke

The Legend of Wonder Woman #3 – Page 10

Diana pleads to Aclippe to train her in the ways of combat. Aclippe seems stoic for a few seconds, but is easily persuaded when Diana mentions she feels that the island is growing dark — a feeling that Aclippe has felt herself. The issue ends with Diana receiving a dagger from Aclippe with the promise of future training.

The story in this series is well crafted. The pacing works well, and the art is big enough to work a lot of lore and mysticism into the background of the scenes. However, with each page taking advantage of that double-splash technique, the story is a bit lacking. They’ve cut their page count in half, meaning that this nine part series could have easily been released in four, or even a trade or stand alone graphic novel. While the book looks fantastic and the art really shines, it seems unnecessary to favor such massive panels, especially because it doesn’t feel like it adds much to the storytelling.

COMIC REVIEW: The Legend of Wonder Woman #3 - Black Smoke

The Legend of Wonder Woman #3 – Page 23

All of that being said, this is the best issue yet. The first was perhaps more backstory than was needed and the second didn’t seem to progress the story very much as it was essentially just three short scenes. This issue, however, finally pays off on the promises of the first two, and makes it feel like we’re finally about to get into the action side of Diana, who is on all accounts a tremendous bad-ass.

The “Best There Is:” The art in this issue is stellar. It’s nice to finally have some of those mythological beings present in a series based in mythological lore. De Liz and Dillon do a magnificent job of filling these landscape sized pages with beautiful things to look at, and crafting a setting that is just as glorified as the script.

The “Not Very Nice:” Unfortunately, putting so much emphasis on how this book looks is a detractor from content of story. The series could easily look just as good with a more typical panel structure and fit in a lot more of De Liz’s excellent scripting. At a $3.99 price point, each issue is a rather short experience given that the story is so straight-forward.

FBI Score: 8.5 out of 10. The Legend of Wonder Woman is a collection of gorgeous works of art complete with an enjoyable story. De Liz and Dillon are a winning creative coupling, and have done their due diligence on making this series the enchanter that it is. While certainly not the first time the Wonder Woman’s origin story has been told, The Legend of Wonder Woman is a welcoming and accessible fresh start for those who have never taken the opportunity to dive into her mythos.

Buddy Beaudoin

Buddy Beaudoin is a writer and independent comic creator from Upstate, NY. He's a fan of tea, spacey music, and a nice pair of slacks. He LOVES comics. Batman, Swamp Thing, and Jonah Hex are some favorites, but he's also a pretty big fan of the indies. Should you ever need him, walk outside and yell his name loudly...

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