Pros: This volume is great, yet again, and continues to deliver on both suspense and storytelling. It also does a great job in showing off the messed up dynamic of Wonder Woman’s new family of gods. On top of that, the artwork remains just as great as it was in the first volume.
Cons: At times, it seems like the series just throws in action sequences just to have them, rather than making them contribute to the story.
Overall: This collection takes everything that was great about the first collection and improves upon it. It introduces more of the Greek Pantheon, contributes significantly to the overall story, and adds some wonderful twists that keep the story suspenseful and fun throughout. If you liked Volume 1, then you will love this.
The series keeps up the momentum and delivers another collection worthy of Wonder Woman. In Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Guts, the focus seems to be on the family for much of the time. Their relationships and rivalries are absolutely insane and make for a delight to read. Speaking of delights to read, the overall progression of this story is surely a delight. It is just as smartly written as the first volume but adds in much more suspense and intrigue into the mix, leaving the audience wondering about many pieces yet to be reveled. It then ends on a perfect cliffhanger that I doubt anyone saw coming, making the thought of Volume 3 more tantalizing than ever.
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This collection has kicked it up a notch and sees even more gods picking sides in this war. This, in itself, is great to watch as the family dynamic of these ancient deities is both tragic and interesting. Azzarello makes the reader care for these gods and shows that all of them actually have a reason to do what they are doing. None of the villains are doing what they are doing out of pure malice or hatred, like what can be seen in some other works; they all think that they are actually doing the right thing but choose different ways to do it (except for Strife but that also is the point of her character). Hades was a perfect example of this in this collection. Despite his actions being evil, his motives seem to be somewhat pure and the end of his arc gave good reason to actually pity his character, despite the fact that he shot our hero. Overall this collection pulls a lot into question and makes for a wonderfully thought provoking read.
In ComicBookWire’s review of the previous volume, the smart writing style was discussed as a positive. This book continues with that trend in a way that really needs to be appreciated again. The comic clearly takes some pointers from works like Hellblazer and Sandman to show that ingenuity and planning can often overcome raw power and strength.
It also doesn’t hold the reader’s hand by explaining every piece of plot point or character trait to the reader. Other writers, Scott Lobdell being famous for this, will demonstrate something happening on one page and then explain exactly what just happened, through narration bubbles, on the next page. This series does not do that and simply assumes that the reader can figure it out for themselves, a refreshing and desired concept. For example, Azzarello does not tell the reader that Eros’s gun is akin to “Cupid’s arrow”, he leaves that for the reader. However, while this leads to wonderful little references meaning so much more to fans of Greek mythology, it also means that those who do not know as much about Greek mythology might end up a little confused at points.
The biggest problem with this book, which was also present in the previous one, is its attempt to manufacture generic fight sequences. Much of the physical conflict in both this collection and the last could have been completely omitted and the story would still make perfect sense. In this collection, the big offender is Hades, sending a creature after Hephaestus. This sequence kind of comes out of no where and adds very little to the plot and storyline. Later fight scenes, like the one on Olympus, make sense and contribute to the story but those that don’t simply feel out of place. Overall, these scenes come across like they were just added to fill some sort of quota for action and fight sequences.
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The art is really great throughout this volume, consistent with how it was in the last collection. It is worth mentioning, once again, how well this series treats the Greek gods and how good each new one, introduced in this volume, looks. Chiang and Azzarello blend the different traits that each god possesses and infuse them into how that god looks, right down to their clothing. For example, Artemis is often represented in Greek mythology by both animals and the moon. So in this collection she is shown with skin that glows like the moon, a form that can take on that of animals, and clothing made completely from fur and leather. The attention to detail here is wonderful and is consistently good in nearly everything Chiang draws here.
For some comic series it is not necessary to read the previous volume before reading the current one, however this series heavily builds off of itself, so reading them all in order is highly encouraged. In addition, this series is rather closed off from the rest of the DC Universe and does not cross over with any other series as of yet.