by Molly Jane KremerOk, guys. We knew this was coming. Greg Rucka back on Wonder Woman writing chores, with the stellar art team of Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott tag-teaming on art duties? It’s a veritable dream for most fans of the character. And besides: have you read Rucka and Scott’s Black Magick?. It’s incredible.

Full disclosure — I loved Wonder Woman: Rebirth.

Greg Rucka has undeniably proven his chops in writing Diana. There’s a certain amount of unmitigated joy seeing his return to the title, to find he still has an incredible handle on her voice. Which is a fine thing — with Diana’s multiple origin stories all tossed in the air, Rucka has quite a bit of juggling to do. And his Rebirth issue shows he can approach the disparate incarnations of the character told over seventy-five years of her existence with grace.

The plot’s meta overtones reminded me of Tom King and Mikel Janin’s excellent Batman: Rebirth last week; similarly, Rucka, Matthew Clark and Liam Sharp distill Wonder Woman’s quintessence in this Rebirth issue, ensuring a through-line from all of her recent portrayals. As much as I’d personally like to forget the dreadful past year-and-a-half or so of the Wonder Woman ongoing, nothing is negated or erased – instead, this creative team has taken Diana’s multiple (and often inconsistent) origins and storylines and begun the thankless task of making sense out of them within the post-Convergence continuity. It also manages to be new-reader-friendly, serving as an excellent introduction to the character, while simultaneously merging the essentials into a satisfying story for any Wonder Woman fan.

Matthew Clark pencils the first 75% of the book (with Sean Parsons’ inks and Jeremy Colwell’s colors), and at least in the first few pages or so, seemingly attempts a (quite passable) Nicola Scott impression. His art style varies throughout, in an apparent attempt to take on the style of the various artists who have drawn Diana over the past few years. The final six pages see Liam Sharp take the reins, with Laura Martin on colors, and the results are beyond gorgeous. I cannot wait to see a full issue with these two on art.

Though the transition from Clark to Sharp works, it’s also jarring, especially with a sudden coloring change that heavily saturates everything in red — but perhaps that was the point? Either way, they’re inconsistencies we may have to acclimate to in this post-Rebirth era, as the twice-monthly schedule doesn’t allow much wiggle-room for an on-the-cusp-of-monthly artist. Additionally (and no fault of the creators’), eight subsequent pages of ad content in the center of the book definitely marred the comic’s pacing, even with half of it in-house interviews and solicits.

Wonder Woman: Rebirth gets to the heart of the character in a way that’s been lacking — even Azzarello and Chiang’s run failed to truly get into Diana’s head in the way this issue does, as it’s almost completely made up of inner-monologue captions. The art is given room to speak for itself, and allows for a more intimate realization of a character kept at arm’s length from readers for far too long. Rucka’s nuanced return to Diana makes clear he’s only grown since he last penned Wonder Woman ten (holy crap, ten?!) years ago. Great Hera, this is a damn good comic.

DC Comics / $2.99

Written by Greg Rucka.

Art by Matthew Clark, Liam Sharp and Sean Parsons.

Colors by Jeremy Colwell and Laura Martin.

Letters by Jodi Wynne.

9.5 out of 10