DC’s Wonder Woman #786 Comic Review

The contest to choose the champion to stand guard at Doom's Doorway is ready to begin. The tribes of the Bana-Mighdall, the Esquecida, and the Themysciran Amazons have chosen their respective representatives, with Wonder Woman joining the trial as an independent contestant, representing all tribes. What could have been a joyous occasion of reunion and celebration has been marred by the shocking death of the former queen, Hippolyta, leaving a veil of melancholy over the proceedings. Sinister forces never sleep, however, and are only plotting in the dark and biding their time to strike. Written by Michael W. Conrad and Becky Cloonan, with artwork from Rosi Kämpe, Becky Cloonan, and Marissa Louise and letters by Pat Brosseau, Wonder Woman #786 brings back some familiar and obscure faces from Diana's past as dangers lurk around every corner.

Published by DC Comics, Wonder Woman #786 opens with the oracles from the three tribes of the Amazons bestowing gifts upon their champions, items that would aid them in the contest. Yara Flor receives a bow and arrow, Donna Troy a knotted lariat, and Philippus gets a compass, while Diana chooses her trusty sword. Before the competition can start, Altuum the Survivor comes out of his hiding and blows on a horn that sinks the whole arena underground and mysteriously turns the Amazonians on each other. As the four champions find themselves trapped in an unknown part of the island buried under debris, they unite forces to hunt down the ancient monster stalking them.

Altuum the Survivor launches his attack in Wonder Woman #786

After much fanfare, the trials are finally underway. Subversion plays a role in replacing what was an expected contest between the greatest Amazonian warriors with a crisis. Wonder Woman #786 offers a different kind of challenge as an insidious force manipulates events from behind the Doom's Doorway. Writers Conrad and Cloonan craft an action-adventure style story, adding elements of horror and suspense to create a somber atmosphere. With the narrative split in two, one giving exposition from the surface and the other following the champions, the plot progresses rather rapidly, rushing towards the climax. As the story claims a sacrifice in a stereotypical battle with a one-off villain, the cold whispers of an old enemy bring a new dimension to the crossover series that once started as a tense affair with political themes.

Like the issue itself, the artwork of Wonder Woman #786 feels rushed at times and may not be the strongest entry in the crossover series. While artists Kämpe and Cloonan are strong patrons of detailed, intricate artwork, the continuous lines and disproportionate anatomical features distract from the reading experience. That said, it is not easy to depict action scenes as fluently as the duo manages to do throughout the issue, giving a dynamic tone to the illustrations. Colorist Marissa Louise utilizes heavy shadows and monochromatic backgrounds to dramatic effect. Louise does not shy away from using bright shades of colors as the characters glow in their gold armor, however gritty the situation may get.

The Champions continue the contest in Wonder Woman #786

Wonder Woman #786 ties into past multiversal adventures of Wonder Woman, bringing back an antagonist whom the titular character knows all too well. If the events of the book are any indication, Diana's life is likely to get more difficult from this point on. The issue, however, does not stop with the callbacks as it introduces the mysterious Altuum the Survivor into the main title, a man claiming to be the true heir of Paradise Island. Even Donna Troy gets a passing reference to her post-crisis identities. A dialogue-heavy story, Wonder Woman #786 is not without its intriguing bits, ending with a major turn of events that leaves readers speculating about what happens next.

Wonder Woman 788 Pride variant
Read Next
About The Author