Wonder Girl has been off to a solid start as Yara Flor’s journey to take claim to the name has taken her to possibly become Hera’s latest champion. Through this journey Yara Flor was able to gain the fight training and education to make her a formable foe. Now the decision for Yara that is in front of her is if she will fully embrace being Hera’s champion and take on all that comes with taking on that title. What is next for Yara? Let’s find out with Wonder Girl #5.
Writer: Joelle Jones
Artist: Adriana Melo
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Yara Flor asks several questions that end up annoying Hera, who does not appreciate someone like Yara with her mixed blood heritage not just drinking the elixir after all the training she provided.
Hearing this Yara announces to Hera, Eros, and the rest in attendance that she will not drink the elixir to become Hera’s champion. Yara then says she plans on defeating Hephaestus army, grabbing her belongings, and flying away with her horse so she doesn’t have to return to Mount Olympus again.
Pissed off Hera sends Hephaestus soldiers to take out Yara. Yara fights her way through all of Hephaestus’ bronze robot soldiers and is able to reach Jerry, the Winged Horse, to fly away.
Back in a forest in Brazil, Cassandra Sandsmark talks to her uncle Hermes about her frustration over Artemis leaving just as it seemed as though they were becoming friends. Hermes gets up and reveals that Yara has refused to drink Hera’s elixir and is now fighting Hephaestus army. He then takes off.
Back in Mount Olympus, Zephyros attack causes Yara and Jerry to crash hard on the ground. Yara goes to check on Jerry and can’t sense life in him anymore. Yara angrily screams at Zephyros while crying over the death of her friend.
Back in Brazil, Cassie meets up with Potira to apologize for Artemis leaving already. Potira says she understands Artemis drive to protect her people. She goes on to say that she believes her group of Amazons will need Cassie and Artemis Amazons help in the future. Potira then offers to take Cassie to meet her Amazons, which Cassie happily accepts.
Later, Potira brings Cassie to Akahim, the home of the Amazons of the Amazon known as The Esquecida (which translate to The Forgotten, similar to how the Bana-Mighdall Amazonians are known as “The Lost Tribe”).
Back on Mount Olympus, Yara’s clash with Hephaestus causes her sword to break on his hammer. Hera appears and reminds Yara that her sword was created by Hephaestus so of course it would break in their clash. Hera then tells Yara that she still has a chance to accept the offer to become her champion. Yara once again turns down that offer.
Hera immediately chokes and drives Yara hard into a mountain. She quickly lets go and goes to meet with Hephaestus before deciding on Yara’s eternal punishment. Hephaestus then opens the ground below Yara and traps her in a ravine while he goes to talk with Hera.
Back in the City of Akahim, Potira shows Cassie around the city and explains to her the culture of The Esquecida. Potira goes on to say that with the scales being out of balance The Esquecida must set things right, part of doing so is to get Yara back.
Potira goes on to say that after that The Esquecida plan to march on Themyscira which Cassie tries to question. Potira says she will explain more but first must show Cassie the last weapon they must get ready.
Potirathen opens a curtain to reveal Donna Troy behind it much to Cassie’s shock. End of issue.
The Good: With all of the developments around Yara Flor and her journey to become Wonder Girl this latest issue does a great job using everything built to make it worthwhile. This is all credit to the work that Joelle Jones to make Yara’s inclusion in the Wonder Woman mythology to be as seamless as possible.
Yara questioning Hera about why she was chosen to become her champion was something missing from the previous issues. Everything from being offered this to going through all the extensive training and education she got was extremely quick. For Yara to not question this as she is still brand new to this world did not feel right. But now to Yara’s credit we do see how she used Hera’s offer to learn more about her heritage before questioning things. This made it so she could have a stronger opinion when she did speak up in a world she was previously not familiar with.
Hera unleashing her wrath on Yara was equally appropriate. No God would be happy that after giving someone everything they would turn down their offer. Hera’s reacting by sending Hephaestus’ bronze robot soldiers showed this isn’t a decision that Yara would be able to make lightly. There are real consequences to not only turning down the offer but being so brazen to toss the eternal life elixir in front of Hera and her followers. That further drove home why Hera would be aggressive about making sure Yara knew that “No” was never an option to take.
This development allowed Yara to show the extent of her capabilities after going through such extensive training. We were able to gauge her level as being one that is a fierce warrior that can take on the likes of Hephaestus’ bronze robot soldiers. At the same time she still not at the level of Wonder Woman, Donna Troy, and other contemporaries that have been able to reach the level of fighting against Olympic Gods or others on lower levels. It is the right spot to place Yara in as she still has a lot of room to continue to grow as she becomes a bigger part of this world.
Splitting the time in Wonder Girl #5 with having the reader spend time learning about the Amazons of the Amazon and giving them an official name, The Esquecida, was very much needed. This has been one of the important aspects of Wonder Woman’s mythology that Jones has been able to introduce through Wonder Girl. Expanding on how there are more factions of Amazonians across the world gives depth to the mythology in Wonder Woman’s franchise to not strictly be tied to Greek Mythology.
Throughout Potira’s speech about that The Esquecida culture you do feel that there is a door to a whole new world within Wonder Woman’s franchise that is being opened. While there are similarities to the Amazons in Themyscira and Bana-Mighdall there are still enough differences to make The Esquecida their own group. What was most interesting about learning so much about The Esquecida is that they are being positioned to not be allies to Themyscira and Bana-Mighdall right out of the gate. There are clear conflicting issues between the Themyscira, Bana-Mighdall and Esquecida that need to be work out. Which could lead us to a big event with great political intrigue for the Wonder Woman franchise.
Making this portion of Wonder Girl #5 even more interesting is the surprising ending with Donna Troy appearing at the end of the issue. This is a fantastic hook ending to end not only this issue on but add to the mystery of everything Potira spoke about with Cassandra Sandsmark. It is also just great to see Donna being brough back into the Wonder Woman franchise as she has been exclusively appearing in the Teen Titan comic books. Donna has such importance to the franchise and I’m glad that this ending recognizes the great status she has.
With how much goes on in Wonder Girl #5 it is great that Adriana Melo gets the chance to take over as the sole artists for this issue. So far she has been sharing art duties with Joelle Jones. As great as Jones’ artwork is there was enough differences between her and Melo that the change in art styles was always notable.
But now that Melo takes on drawing Wonder Girl #5 we see how she takes on making the book her own as an artist. Her style works very well for the larger than life feel as we see Yara Flor take on the Gods and Cassandra Sandsmark learning a new part of the Amazon mythology. There are several great splash pages that are stunning with how multiple things go on with characters all within the page. This all makes me confident Melo can take on the full responsibilities as the artists while Jones focuses on writing and does art for special issues of Wonder Girl.
The Bad: The only thing that does not completely work in Wonder Girl #5 is the characterization of Cassandra Sandsmark. The character just continues to feel off as she comes across as a new character rather one with experience in all that is going on. While it is understandable that she is fascinating by what she learns about The Esquecida from Potira her characterization just feels off. Cassie just does not give off the feeling of an experience superhero as she should be at this point. Which just goes back to how DC Comics has really had Cassie take steps backwards so she is more like she was during her original Young Justice days rather than the experienced hero she was pre-Flashpoint.
Overall: Wonder Girl #5 is the strongest issue to date of this young franchise. Joelle Jones and Adriana Melo do a great job making the mythology that is being built around Yara Flor to be so fascinating. Which makes the major decision Yara makes and the final page with a surprise appearance hit hard. It all goes to build hype for what will happen next in this series.
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