Wonder Woman: Black & Gold #3
“We Built A New World” by Janet Harvey Navara and Megan Levens was a great start to this issue. It’s a story we’ve seen a fair bit of before, of Steve Trevor crash landing on Paradise Island, Diana finding him, her rebelling against her mother and going with Steve to Man’s World, etc; but the way it’s written and portrayed in the art is very well done and emotional.
As this is the story that features Steve the most, I think this was a solid representation of him and his love story with Diana. We don’t really get a lot of his perspective – which makes sense since this is from Hippolyta’s point of view, but I do wish we could have gotten more details, especially when it’s mentioned that Steve and Diana had conflicts. I would have liked to have known what they were and how they worked through it.
“Espionage” by Robert Venditti and Steve Epting was absolutely fantastic. It’s an interesting consideration of specific moments in Wonder Woman’s history: her mod period where she had no powers, and the relaunch of the Wonder Woman TV series that had Diana Prince working as a spy. When you think about it for a moment, the idea of an Amazon who is focused on the truth is possibly the worst candidate to be a spy. But I think what she does here shows how those two sides of her can make sense. Also, Steve Epting’s art was just straight up gorgeous, with an amazing mood to it.
“Beat the Heat” by Paula Sevenburgen and Inaki Miranda is…okay. I feel like the plot element of “mankind causing it’s own destruction through global warming” is one that I’ve seen a lot in these shorter Wonder Woman stories, and while the cause is noble, it kind of all blends together after a while. It works well enough on a technical level, but the twist ending of “it was man that was the villain all along” just didn’t have any impact for me.
“Do No Harm” by Nnedi Okorafor and Jack T. Cole was really cool, mostly from the art department. This and the next story I think really did the best jobs in this issue of incorporating the gold part of this whole series, making it not just pop off the page, but important to the story. I really enjoy Cole’s take on Diana, the way he draws her and her space costume and the design of the space creatures. It has a certain European feel that really stands out.
What I think does kind of falter in this is the plot. On one hand, props for putting in Vixen, she’s always fun to bring in. On the other…I feel like the ending is kind of a dud. I think this and a lot of the shorter WW stories I’ve read tries to do this stuff where it says “Wonder Woman should be more of an ambassador than a fighter,” but none of them actually does the work of showing her as an ambassador. We see a lot of talk about all the bad things in the world, but even in these stories we don’t see her actually doing anything, which makes the sentiment just feel very hollow to me.
Finally, there’s “The Stolen Lasso of Truth,” by Aimee Garcia and Sebastian Fiumara, which was pretty fun. The idea of a regular kid having the Lasso of Truth and seeing how she uses it is fun. The art also was great and the coloring was on point – while it didn’t have as much narrative reason as the main story, the way the gold shows up really sets a great mood, especially the panels where Diana shows back up again where they are practically bathed in gold.