Writer: Tom King
Art: Daniel Sampere and Belén Ortega
Colors: Tomeu Morey and Alejandro Sanchez
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: November 21st, 2023
Wonder Woman confronts Sarge Steel with an ultimatum in Wonder Woman #3 as a more insidious threat is revealed amidst the turmoil raging between the United States and Paradise Island. By this issue’s end, a MAJOR twist is revealed that will have ramifications for years to come.
Wonder Woman #3 starts with Diana showing up at Sarge Steel’s office in a comical scene that’s a lighthearted beginning to an issue that gets progressively grimmer. Sarge Steel unfortunately remains a very one-dimensional character. He’s the typical flag-waving, “tough as nails”, and borderline insane military guy who has been relentlessly trying to arrest and deport Wonder Woman since issue #1. It’s a shame he’s so one note, because everything else with the series has been fantastic so far, with the growing hostilities between the United States and Paradise Island, Amazons being forcibly removed from the USA because of an incident in issue #1 where an Amazon defended herself against a group of male bikers who tried to rape her in a bar, killing some of them.
As with most things these days, the incident gets blown out of whack until Americans are convinced it’s the start of an Amazonian siege on the country and thus the conflict began.
This issue is divided into two sections. Section one has Diana confronting Sarge Steel about a secret he’s hiding on the “Amazonian incident” and section two features an old wealthy man who seems to be immortal and wants to destroy the Amazons by manipulating current events to fan the flames of hatred against the Amazons. Section one is kind of like a take on the film “The Raid: Redemption”, as Diana fights her way through soldiers and guards, working her way up to Sarge Steel’s office.
She wields her tiara much like Captain America’s shield and it’s fun to watch her battle the hopelessly outmatched soldiers. She seems to adopt Bruce Lee’s philosophy of “the art of fighting without fighting” in most cases, taking out anyone in her way with just enough force to stop them but not seriously hurt them. You can take the woman out of Paradise Island, but not Paradise Island out of the woman, and her zen view of things is a great counterpoint to Sarge Steel’s cigar chomping mania and a major stunner of a secret is revealed once she reaches Sarge Steel’s office.
Section Two focuses on an elderly wealthy man who appears to be the world’s oldest incel. This is the kind of guy who, if he were younger, would be polluting Facebook and Instagram, making sure to stamp every post about female superhero films with a laugh or anger emoji. Strangely, the man’s not given a name, so I assume he’s going to eventually be revealed to be someone from DC’s rich history. He goes on and on about how the Amazons “destroyed men’s manhood” and if this guy is going to be the big bad of this storyline, it’s cringy. Granted, I see what Tom King’s doing here, he’s making a statement on the horrendous incel and misogynistic culture that’s so rampant these days, but I think his message would be better served if it were more subtle. As the great philosopher Bugs Bunny once said, sometimes a carrot works better than a stick.
The old man’s visited by a young soldier from last issue’s battle with Wonder Woman and the old man immediately starts manipulating the soldier with shocking results that will most likely cause anti-Amazonian feelings to surge across the country. There’s a backup story set a few years in the future with Damian Wayne babysitting Trinity, Diana’s daughter. It’s a fun story also featuring Killer Croc and Jonathan Kent.
Daniel Sampere’s art on Wonder Woman #3 accomplishes the impossible task of making Diana look both majestic and intimidating. There’s a particularly nice shot of Diana walking out of an elevator on page 9 that’s stunning and I’d love to have a poster of that image. It perfectly encapsulates Diana’s confidence and beauty. Belén Ortega’s art on the backup story fits the comic tone of the story, giving five-year old Trinity some especially hilarious facial expressions while making Killer Croc still look intimidating. It’s a cute backup story that’s a nice closer after the seriousness of the main story.
Wonder Woman #3 continues the fascinating storyline, as Diana desperately continues to find a way to mend relations between the USA and Amazons. The villains are too one note but the overall story arc is just interesting and thrilling enough to make up for that.