- March 8, 2022
Trial of the Amazons #1 Review
Written by: Stephanie Williams, Vita Ayala, Joelle Jones, Michael W. Conrad, Becky Cloonan
Art by: Laura Braga, Skylar Patridge, Joelle Jones, Elena Casagrande
Coloring by: Romulo Fajardo Jr., Jordie Bellaire
Lettering by: Pat Brosseau
Trial of the Amazons is the first big Wonder Woman-centric event since 2007’s Amazon’s Attack! Sorry for giving you all that flashback. This one will hopefully will be the start of more to come, and I think overall it puts a good foot forward. There’s a trial brewing and if you should know anything about me it’s that I love tournament arcs. The three Amazon tribes must put worth a warrior to compete for the right to guard Doom’s Doorway, and another contest to become Queen of all the Amazons tribes.
Trial of the Amazons sets up this premise well without feeling overly stuffed with exposition. The creative team pieces out important information through natural dialogue. Even better than how it sets up the plot, this issue sets up the rivalry between the Amazons that will carry this event.
I do like the hostile dynamic of these three Amazon tribes. It’s not catty at all, but there’s some true bad blood between these tribes who need to work together. They’re trying to settle into a rivalry rather than a hostile relationship, and the creative team captures that well. Diana’s little scuffle with Faruka and quick reconciliation early on is a good example of the dynamic this event is trying to create.
I’m excited to see tensions and feelings flare as they compete, though I am worried that it’ll get sidetracked by the big death the marketing materials have been teasing. No spoilers, but it’s disappointing that the death is one half of an LGBT couple who only recently became context instead of subtext. That’s disappointing. Poisoning or putting this character in a coma for the event would have worked just as well over killing them. Maybe that will be revealed in the next issue.
But where the writing was top-notch, the art was less so. There’s nothing ugly about this book, but it has structural problems. The art and the lettering in Trial of the Amazons can feel sloppy. That’s the best word I can use to explain it.
In terms of art, there are multiple artists, with different art styles throughout. It tries to use different art styles for the special effect to introduce new characters, but it doesn’t work too well. Rather than use it for a signature splash page, there are several panels leading to a splash page that stick out like a sore thumb. They should stun but they don’t and that’s a shame. Then they’ll immediately change into another art style. It can be abrupt and distracting at times. I’d rather they had delayed this event to consolidate the art better.
The error with the lettering is more egregious. There are several panels where Diana was saying Queen Faruka’s lines and Faruka’s saying Diana’s. That may only be in the digital copy I read, but that’s still pretty ridiculous. That’s straight-up an example of the comic mechanically not working. This kind of mistake rarely happens so it sticks out.
So overall, the first issue of Trial of the Amazons is a good start. The wheels are already turning and this won’t be a story you want to miss, especially if you think Wonder Woman’s side of the DC Universe has been undersold. If you had to pick an Amazon, to be Queen of all three tribes, who would you pick? I’d cheer for Nubia in a heartbeat.