Can a good plot spring from a rather unfortunately named series? See within!
Written by Josie Campbell
Illustrated by Vasco Georgiev
Colored by Alex Guimarães
Lettered by Becca Carey
AMAZON WARRIORS FIGHT FOR A WORLD THAT’S MADE THEM OUTLAWS!
After the shocking events in Wonder Woman, the Amazons are now fighting for a world that no longer wants them! Led by their fearless Queen Nubia, a ragtag group of Amazons featuring Wonder Girl and Faruka II frantically searches for answers as their existence and way of life are threatened.
Will the tribes survive their new reputation? Find out in this roller coaster of a debut issue!
Brought to you by rising stars Josie Campbell (The New Champion of SHAZAM!) and Vasco Georgiev (Batman: Urban Legends), this series promises to be an action-packed adventure featuring the greatest warrior women in the DCU!
Before we go into the meat of this review, it is best to address the war elephant in the room. The “Wonder Woman” mythos is in a weird place with contentious writer Tom King at the helm. As such, it was a particularly odd choice to name an event around the various Amazons and their allies (excluding Diana “Prince” of Themyscira herself) as “Amazons Attack.” The original “Amazons Attack!” in 2007 (note the exclamation point, which is absent on this new story) was infamous for a wide variety of reasons, enough that they would completely derail this review if addressed further (though suffice to say there is no “deadly bee weapon”). Therefore, the decision to name an event already coming out of a run by a writer with something to prove is… definitely a choice that was made, to put the situation as kindly as possible. However, setting aside the oddity of this miniseries choosing that name in particular, how does the creative team handle a story of this kind?
Writer Josie Campbell does a fairly good job of balancing the various Amazon characters and their closer allies. Campbell has more experience with Mary Marvel (at least in the era she showed during “The New Champion of SHAZAM!”) than the Amazons, but even so, with the young mortal heroine as part of the picture, the focus remains primarily on the Amazons be they from Themyscira, Bana-Mighdall, or the Amazon. In general, while some characters are written are more abrasive (Queen Faruka II of Bana-Mighdall, for instance), and others are overly stubborn (Queen Nubia of the Amazons), none of it comes across as mean spirited on the part of Campbell. Mary Marvel, when she does show up, is a breath of kindness and fresh air. There is comedy in how she interacts with her loyal sidekick, particularly when even the more humorous characters have less to add than usual.
Unlike the tense atmosphere around “Trial of the Amazons” a bit further than one year back, Campbell writes this assembly of warriors women as at least semi-cordial, barring ego. This relative camaraderie can be seen as a combination of the events of the intervening year, which are helpfully supplied in brief one-or-two sentence summaries on the very first page of “Amazons Attack” #1, giving brief mention to the “Nubia: Coronation Special” #1 and the ‘Revenge of the Gods’ story arc that branched out of ‘Lazarus Planet.’ Furthermore, unlike the story of a similar name to this one, the Amazons are under attack after being apparently framed for terrorist behavior, not initiating the attack on “Man’s World,” so readers are far more likely to be willing to at least watch them and see how they do together. In all, this story does seem to be heating up, and even newcomers can at least grasp some of what is going on. Perhaps reading the connected “Wonder Woman” run will help, but it does not seem strictly necessary as of yet.
Barring the prelude to this miniseries in “Wonder Woman” #2, Vasco Georgiev does not have experience drawing Amazon-based stories for DC Comics. However, one would be hard pressed to think so, given the expertise with which he crafts every image. The wider angles help to showcase the scope of the apparently wide-sweeping phenomenon of a global crackdown on Amazons’ place in society, while closer ones zero in on the facial expressions of those who are, be it overtly or implicitly, important to the tale. Faruka’s confidence (or perhaps arrogance, depending on who you ask) comes across equally well in combat and in relatively calm situations. At the same time, the softness of Mary’s expressions gives light to her youthful exuberance, enough to make even the most jaded crack a smile at some of her social awkwardness around the warrior women. Perhaps she is a bit more immature than usual, but Georgiev’s illustrations help make the personality and her innocence work perfectly for the story.
Meanwhile, Alex Guimarães does a fantastic job on the color choices for this story. An ethereal blue marks a holographic image in a deliberate blur, while darker colors and heavy use of shadow and light help to showcase both the time of day and the tone. Mary Marvel sticks out pretty well against the gold and other darker colors, but not in a way that makes it feel too out of place.
Final Verdict: 7.5– Despite a worrisome entry point on several levels, this series is off to a good start.