Rucka’s Rebirth retcon
released OUT NOW! Publisher dC Comics Writer Greg rucka Artists liam sharp, Nicola scott, Matthew Clark
“Double shipping” – it’s what happens when a monthly comic transforms into a fortnightly one, and it’s a phrase that superhero comic fans love and dread in equal measure. In theory, double shipping means twice the amount of action per month, but it also means twice the cost, and can often lead to inconsistent fill-in artists and a general downturn in quality.
DC’s decision to shift the majority of their main superhero titles into fortnightly mode for their new Rebirth relaunch has raised some eyebrows (especially since previous DC weeklies and fortnightlies have been patchy at best), but while it’s a risky choice, there are interesting results in the latest Wonder Woman ongoing comic.
The new series sees respected writer Greg Rucka returning to DC, and also features an unusual approach to the double shipping conundrum. Instead of just telling one story and alternating each issue between the separate art styles of Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott, we’re actually getting two separate alternating Wonder Woman adventures, one of which is a newly updated official “Year One” origin story.
We’re four issues in (including the Rebirth prologue issue), and the present-day section of the story (drawn by Sharp) links in with some of the continuityrelated shenanigans happening elsewhere in the DC universe. Here, Diana becomes convinced that her history has been altered, while her home island of Themyscira has gone missing and something strange is happening in Olympus.
Meanwhile, in alternating issues, the new origin (drawn by Scott) gives us a nicely played, traditional take on Diana’s early years. Rucka is so far handling each timeline with style, going for a mythic dark fantasy vibe while giving Diana the right mix of strength and heart. His new origin is also retconning most of the revisionist touches added to the WW mythos by the recent Brian Azzarello run, making this a good jumping-on point for new readers.
Sharp and Scott give each story thread its own visual identity, and these opening issues have already pulled off impressively atmospheric sequences alongside some creative page layouts. The alternating-issue structure means that the plot isn’t exactly moving quickly, while Rucka’s take on the origin story doesn’t quite have the nutty energy of Grant Morrison’s recent Wonder Woman: Earth One graphic novel, but this is still a surprisingly consistent and well-executed superhero comic that’s a strong showcase for one of DC’s most important characters. Saxon Bullock
Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary is looming. DC’s celebrations include a oneoff special (80 pages), due 26 October.
Rucka is so far handling each timeline with style
Animal lovers, look away now.
You’ll believe a bat can fly.