Trial of the Amazons kicked off with a major death that shook the Wonder Woman franchise to its core. It was certainly unexpected that Hippolyta would be the character that would meet her untimely end. That set into motion a contest of champions of the different Amazon Tribes that now takes on even greater meaning for everyone. Diana in particular looks to striking out on her own to find out who is responsible for killing her mother. Will Diana be able to find the killer in the midst of a contest of Amazon champions about to begin? Let’s find out with chapter three of Trial of the Amazons in Wonder Woman #785.
Writers: Michael W. Conrad and Becky Cloonan (Trial Of The Amazons Part 3); Jordie Belaire (Young Diana back-up story)
Artists: Rosi Kämpe (Trial Of The Amazons Part 3); Paulina Ganucheau (Young Diana back-up story)
Colorists: Tamra Bonvillain (Trial Of The Amazons Part 3); Kendall Goode (Young Diana back-up story)
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: While Atalanta, Rhea, and Yarima keep watch over Doom’s Doorway continues a mysterious person is seen approaching Themyscira at night.
Earlier in the day Wonder Woman makes it clear that every Amazon, including Donna Troy, Cassandra Sandsmark, and Artemis, are suspects in her mother’s murder. Queen Nubia quickly calms the situation by saying they will be conducting a thorough investigation into Hippolyta’s murder.
Nubia speaks with Diana alone about their next steps. Diana does not hide her frustration about holding a funeral before finding the suspect behind her mother’s death. Nubia swears to find the killer. Diana says she doesn’t need promises and will find the killer herself.
Diana then goes to the Temple of Athena in hopes that Athena will help guide her to finding Hippolyta’s killer. Another mysterious person appears in the shadows to asks Diana why she isn’t participating in the Trial. Diana says she is not interested in the Trial. The mysterious person taunts Diana about whether her desire to find Hippolyta’s killer has usurped her duty as an Amazon. The mysterious person then disappears before Diana can capture them.
Over at the Bana-Mighdall camp Artemis speaks with Queen Faruka about who they will select as their champion to ensure victory for their Amazon Tribe. As they deliberate Donna Troy appears and declares that she is swearing her loyalty to the Bana-Mighdall. Happy with this, Faruka quickly designates Donna as the Bana-Mighdall’s Champion.
Outside the Themyscira Palace Diana speaks with Nubia and Cassandra Sandsmark about what the mysterious person told her at the Temple of Athena. Those words made it clear to Diana that because her mind and heart are going on opposite directions she can’t be trusted to not wield the Lasso of Truth in anger against her sisters. Diana then hands over the Lasso of Truth to Nubia.
As Diana walks out of the Palace, Atalanta tells Diana that she will need to choose a side eventually.
Over at the Esquecidas camp Anahi holds a ceremony that will help declare their Amazon Tribe’s Champion. When the ceremony is complete Yara Flor is selected as the Esquecidas’ Champion.
Back Doom’s Doorway the door is suddenly breaking as much to Atalanta, Rhea, and Yarima shock. A mysterious shadow suddenly attacks and kills Rhea and Yarima.
As this goes on the Themyscirian, Bana-Mighdall, and Esquecidas hold a funeral pyre for Hippolyta on the beaches of Themyscira.
The next morning, Nubia is shaken by the deaths of Rhea and Yarima. Philippus tells Nubia that they must select a new champion for the Amazons of Themyscira since Diana isn’t competing on their side. Nubia knows this and decides to take some time to think.
Eventually the three Amazon Tribes gather where Donna Troy is announced as Bana-Mighdall Champion and Yara Flor is announced as the Esquecidas Champion. Nubia then announces the Themyscira Champion is Philippus.
Just as the Trial is about to begin Diana appears and declares that she is entering as Champion of no tribe but of all Amazons. End of issue.
The Good: Wonder Woman #785 keeps up the momentum created by the first two chapters of Trial of the Amazons from Diana’s perspective. Given the gravity of Hippolyta’s death giving Diana’s side of the narrative was something Trial of the Amazons needed to establish early on. In the process we see another major shift if the characters position within the franchise.
Right away Michael W. Conrad and Becky Cloonan make it clear that there are greater forces at play with Hippolyta’s death. A major development that Conrad and Cloonan establish is the fact that the Gods, not even Athena, are getting involved in the Trial or Hippolyta’s death. This revelation by the mysterious figure who talked to Diana makes the entire mystery around Hippolyta’s death have even bigger question marks. Because you would think Zeus, Athena, and other Gods would have a say in Hippolyta’s death. None of the Gods answering Diana’s call for help is going to be something to keep an eye on in the background, especially as we see two mysterious figures appear on Themyscira that seemed to be tied to the Gods.
Diana for her part is understandably looking for answers on who was responsible for her mother’s death. It was odd that Diana’s state was not brought up during part two of Trial of the Amazons in Nubia & The Amazons #6 until the final page. Which made the flashback that opened this issue on Diana’s side of the story more impactful as we are seeing how the longer the suspect goes unfound, she begins to lose her control more. Even Diana confronting all the Amazons and calling out that everyone, including Donna Troy and Cassandra Sandsmark, are suspects showed she was letting her emotions get the best of her. Which was all understandable as this is how you would expect a daughter to react to the murder of her mom.
This also made the development of Diana coming to recognize that she is too emotional to appropriately use the Lasso of Truth for the right reasons a major character moment. This shows actual growth within the story for Diana as she needs to rediscover her own place with the Amazons after the death of the Amazons. Which all made Diana declaring that she belongs to no Amazonian Tribe but rather represents all Amazons a strong character moment to end Wonder Woman #785. This both places Diana on her own path while still spiritually being connected to her Amazon sisters.
Diana announcing her participation in the Trial of the Amazons increases the anticipation for the contest. The contest already gained interest with Donna Troy and Yara Flor being announced as the Champions of the Bana-Mighdall and Esquecidas. These two Wonder Girls competing against each other already had high potential for a lot of story possibilities. For Donna it is great to see that she is being positioned to once again have a prominent role within the franchise. While with Yara, being the Esquecidas Champion further integrates her into the Amazon culture and position her to step up even more with what we know is taking place in the DC Universe in a few months.
Nubia selecting Philippus as the Champion of the Amazons of Themyscira was also a great way to elevate Philippus character. Out of all the Champions, Philippus is a major wild card that I could see winning the title of Champion of the Amazons. It fits with her having closely being connected to Hippolyta and likely knowledge that was passed on to her during their relationship.
While the Trial of the Amazons contest and Hippolyta’s murder mystery gets the bulk of the attention in Wonder Woman #785 the dangers of Doom’s Doorway was touched on enough to remind the reader what is at stake. The deaths of Rhea and Yarima is an immediate reminder of why there is such urgency for a Champion of the Amazons to be declared. Without a Champion to guard Doom’s Doorway things will get much more dangerous for the world. It’ll be interesting to see how much of a ticking clock Doom’s Doorway and how it will impact the pacing of the Trial of the Amazons.
Rosi Kämpe artwork throughout Wonder Woman #785 was great. Kämpe got across the different state of mind that Diana, Donna Troy, Yara Flor, Nubia, and other characters were. It helped to put over how impactful Hippolyta’s death was and how it is shaping the Trial of the Amazons. She did an especially great job with how she presented the moments Donna Troy, Yara Flor, Philippus, and Diana were each declared Champions competing in the Trial of the Amazons. Each character was given an aura of importance as soon as each one was announced.
With Hippolyta’s death being such an important part of the main story in Wonder Woman #785 it made the back-up by Jordie Bellaire and Paulina Ganucheau a strong compliment. Seeing the loving mother-daughter relationship Hippolyta and the young Diana had was touching. It all helped to further emphasize how big of a blow Hippolyta’s death was as she was a great mother, friend, and Queen.
The Bad: For as strong of a third chapter of Trial of the Amazons that Wonder Woman #785 was it does run into one problem we see in a lot of crossover events featuring multiple titles. That problem is how the character focus is handled. As this is the Wonder Woman series the majority of attention is given to Diana, just like Queen Nubia got the majority of attention in part two of the event in Nubia & The Amazons #6. With the Trial of the Amazons contest now officially underway hopefully the future chapters provide a good balance between all the Champions rather than focusing just on the lead character of the title character of the series the next chapters of the event.
Overall: Wonder Woman #785 did a great job exploring what has taken place thus far in the Trial of the Amazons crossover. The impact of Hippolyta’s death and Diana reaction to her mother passing away all pushed the story forward. The ending with the official Champions participating in the Trial of the Amazons being revealed greater intriguing going into the next chapter of this Wonder Woman crossover event.