Wonder Girl 2022 Annual #1 Review

Writer: Joelle Jones and Douglas Marques
Art: Emi Lenox, Adriana Melo, Sweeney Boo, Ben Dewey, and Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Pat Brousseau
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $5.99
Release Date: August 30th, 2022

Wonder Girl 2022 Annual #1 is 44 pages and PACKED!  See Wonder Girl (Yara Flor) battle the Cuca, a powerful spell-casting creature from Portuguese myth!  Thrill to the Esquecida (Amazons living in the Brazilian Rainforest) battling an army of giants!  And fly high with Wonder Girl’s Pegasus Jerry as we see his origin story!   This book has it all!

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Wonder Girl 2022 Annual #1 Review.

The Story

The Wonder Woman line of books has been killing it these days, with one great issue after another.  Following last week’s Olympus Rising #1, which was an amazing book featuring Hippolyta and the Greek gods, Wonder Girl 2022 Annual #1 focuses on Yara Flor, who’s personally my favorite “Wonder” character in Wonder Woman’s universe.  And guess what?  It’s another home run, a fun and thrilling book that’s action-packed and downright touching in places. The issue starts with the origin story of Jerry the Pegasus.  Turns out he was kind of a troublemaker, but only in the best way.
The remainder of the issue tells a two-fold story that alternates between Wonder Girl in Brazil, attending the Festival Folclorico de Palintins, and battling the Cuca while the Esquecida battle giant monsters in the surrounding rainforest.

The Cuca is a fascinating creature.  We get to see the origin of it also (or at least a variation of it) and it’s a surprisingly tragic and bloody story.  We’re practically submerged in Brazilian mythology throughout the book, especially in these scenes, as we see one of the Brazilian gods in action.  I know little about Brazilian mythology, but the colorful spirits and deities shown here make me want to go read more about them.

Wonder Girl has some nice scenes before the Cuca shows up.  It’s fun watching her relax with a few of her Amazon sisters and some romance even pops up.  When she battles the Cuca, she’s pushed to the limit, using every weapon in her arsenal.  And she has a lot of weapons!  It’s an epic battle as Yara fights the creature while simultaneously trying to keep people at the Festival from being injured.

The scenes with the Esquecida are also a blast.  They remind me of the Dora Milaje from Marvel’s films, powerful warriors wielding primitive weapons and their faces painted in fiery red, throwing themselves into combat with beasts 4 times their size.

The pacing of the book is fantastic, jumping back and forth between the two conflicts keeps the energy level high.  Reading the issue reminded me of “The Two Towers” film when the movie alternates between the battle at Helm’s Deep and the Ent siege on Saruman’s tower.  It’s thrilling and in the case of the Esquecida, you wonder who’s going to survive it. This was a great book with wall-to-wall action and makes me want to see more of Wonder Girl in the future.  And isn’t that what an annual’s supposed to do?

The Art

The Wonder Girl 2022 Annual #1 was drawn by a league of artists, each with varying styles.  Since the action alternates between two locations, the style changes aren’t too jarring. All the work is great, but the pages drawn by Adriana Melo were my favorite.  No one draws powerful women as grand as Adriana!  I was a huge fan of her work on the Female Furies mini-series, where she gave the women of Apokolips a Kirby-style grandeur, and she does the same here with Wonder Girl.  In one panel, Wonder Girl leaps at the Cuca with jagged sword in hand, her long hair whipping about and fury in her face, and even as you’re rooting for Yara to sink that sword in the Cuca, you pause for a moment and realize how beautiful that panel is.

Sweeney Boo covers most of the Esquecida battle, and though her work is a bit more cartoony, it still conveys their desperate battle in a glorious fashion. Emi Lenox draws Jerry the Pegasus’s origin, and it reminded me of Jill Thompson’s work, it has a lovely “Neverending Story” feel to it. Ben Dewey draws part of the Cuca’s origin and the part of the Esquecida battle, and he draws a wonderful splash page that captures details of the Cuca’s origins in a montage of images that create a lovely single image. Tying it all together is Jordie Bellaire’s amazing color work, which makes every page pop beautifully.

Final Thoughts

Wonder Girl 2022 Annual #1 is another fantastic issue in the constellation of Wonder Woman books.  It’s heartfelt and gives us some epic battle scenes and lots of interesting Brazilian mythology.  It’s exotic, fun, and highly recommended.


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