Wonder Woman: Evolution #1 is written by Stephanie Phillips, penciled by Mike Hawthorne, inked by Adriano Di Benedetto, colored by Jordie Bellaire, and lettered by Tom Napolitano. It is published by DC Comics. For years, Wonder Woman has served as one of Earth’s greatest heroes, attempting to lead mankind into a golden age. That quest is put to the test when Diana is chosen to serve as the representative for a cosmic trial, with the fate of humanity in the balance!
On paper, this seems like a great story and one in line with what Wonder Woman represents as a character-especially as this year marks her 80th anniversary. However, Phillips’ script is slow to tackle this concept. Instead, half of the issue focuses on a battle between Wonder Woman and Silver Swan, with the second half focusing on a discussion with Superman about their place in the world. To Phillips’ credit, she writes great action sequences and the discussion between Superman and Wonder Woman will give readers something to think about. Phillips is best known for her work on Harley Quinn, which explores Harley’s quest for redemption; it’s great to see that she has a handle on other DC characters well, including Superman who has been falsely described as “too hard to write for.” Phillips underlines the friendship between Clark and Diana, and why he’d be the one she turns to for advice.
On the art side of things, Hawthorne and Di Benedetto go all out on the science fiction elements of the story. The opening page features Diana wearing a blue and gold bodysuit, wielding an ax while going head to head with a collection of alien creatures. The creatures themselves feel ripped from someone’s deepest nightmares, as their faces have no eyes and spikes jutting from every inch of their stone-hard skin. Hawthorne also designs a new take on Diana’s classic Wonder Woman costume, with armored boots and a larger tiara that pays homage to her live-action film costume and her design in The Dark Knight Returns.
Bellaire tops things off with a rich color palette that shifts depending on the sequences. The opening sequence, for example, is shrouded in shadows, with a pale green glow coming from Diana’s ax and the blood the alien creatures shed when she chops them in half. When Diana meets Superman in the Himalayas, their red and blue costumes offset the pale white snow covering the mountains. Napolitano’s captions are colored off-yellow, and the text within them resembles old scraps of parchment, which is fitting given Diana’s Grecian origins. Color is integral in a comic as it can enhance or downplay the impact of the art, and Bellaire is one of the best colorists working in the industry, so this comic is in good hands.
Wonder Woman: Evolution #1 is a slow, but solid start to a story tailored around the principles the Amazing Amazon stands for. The general concept is definitely a hell of a hook for a Wonder Woman story, and I hope future issues make the most of it. Wonder Woman fans should add this to their pull list, along with Nubia and the Amazons and the Wonder Woman: Black & Gold anthology.
Wonder Woman: Evolution #1 is available wherever comics are sold.
Wonder Woman: Evolution #1 is a slow, but solid start to a story tailored around the principles the Amazing Amazon stands for. The general concept is definitely a hell of a hook for a Wonder Woman story, and I hope future issues make the most of it.