Wonder Woman #3 is published by DC Comics, written by Tom King, with art by Daniel Sampere, colors by Tomeu Morey, and letters by Clayton Cowles. There is a backup story written by Tom King, with art by Belén Ortega, colors by Alejandro Sanchez, and letters by Cowles. Wonder Woman pays Sergeant Steel a visit to his base whilst those at the head of the campaign against the Amazons continue their plotting.
This issue continues in a similar vein as the second issue, using action to drive it. The parallel stories show different intentions for the plot. One is existing in the present telling a chapter where the ramifications are felt in the here and now. The other is part of the wider story that King is telling, with a secret, ancient order that has an agenda against Wonder Woman. More of their capabilities and their darkness are revealed in Wonder Woman #3, focusing on the insidious ways they sow doubt about the princess. The stories intersect, jumping between one another.
Diana herself spends the issue progressing through a skyscraper filled with soldiers, looking like the same force of nature as in the battle against the army seen previously. The pacing is slow but relentless, enjoying itself as Wonder Woman makes a huge show of force against the pompous and bloodthirsty Steel, who has caused horror and tragedy for Wonder Woman’s sisters. Wonder Woman’s side of the comic is funny, providing incredible energy before some huge, ominous revelations and mysteries are created across all of the plotlines.
The script displays the formidable range of King’s writing. There are multiple layers within the story. The narration is a conversation happening elsewhere, with both subjects obscured. It raises eyebrows and clarifies that there is a greater force beyond even those that can be seen in the issue itself. Then there is the wit of Wonder Woman, jokey and sarcastic. It shows the ridiculous, fantastical parts of Diana’s lore, filled with references and variety.
Finally, there is the secret order, with the old man revealed at the end of the first issue. There is still little known about them, but a collection of artifacts within their location provides some intriguing possibilities. It isn’t clear what their mission or their plan is for the young man who enters their premises at the start of the issue, but the results are horrifying and disruptive.
The art is again a masterpiece of storytelling, unveiling much of the issue’s humor and horror. Many of the jokes are visual in nature, with extreme violence happening out of view, with the facial expressions of Wonder Woman being the punchline. Sampere’s ability to be both playful and powerful is magnificent. The panel placements and the sequential action create amazing fight scenes, almost remnants of something bigger. And through all of it, the mixture of elegance and tempered fury within the heroine is immaculate.
The colors are gorgeous. The natural, unimpressive shades are contrasted with the vibrancy of Wonder Woman’s armor. And then, for one new, insidious item that the villains implement, there is an absence of color that makes it the opposite of another object within the book. The lettering for the word balloons has been consistently brilliant but the white text on the blue background for the caption boxes can be tiresome over time and difficult to read.
The backup story leans into what has been building since Wonder Woman #800. A character whose origin is wholesome yet not fully explored is shown at a younger age, in the presence of other young heroes. The art is utterly adorable and is creating more history for such a new character while maintaining their secrecy.
Wonder Woman #3 elevates every element of the series so far. Both the enriching and mysterious storyline unfolds further, there are so many sides getting involved in the war on the Amazons. Wonder Woman’s resistance gets stronger, as do those conspiring against her, with so many unknowns lurking in the shadows.
But other parts of the book are getting even better too. There is more variety in the tone, venturing from funny to fearful, and the action features a new tactic in every issue. With each chapter, King establishes unique qualities in the book. The art has been stunning from the beginning, but there are intricacies within this issue that mean that even the unseen moments carry weight.
Wonder Woman #3 elevates every element of the series so far