Greg Rucka had a notable run chronicling the adventures of Themiscra’s Favorite Daughter — which I missed the first time around (but will see about rectifying before the movie comes out). I decided to not make that mistake again with the writer’s return to the character for the “Rebirth” era. While I’d love to pat myself on the back for this, the over-arching story Rucka is looking to tell here leaves me somewhat cold. You see, “The Lies” starts off with an acknowledgement that the character’s origin can be considered “multiple choice.” Is she the clay daughter of the Amazon Queen brought to life by the Spirit of Truth? Or the result of the queen’s tryst with Zeus? Rucka raises more questions directly linked to her current status as the God of War, eventually leading Wonder Woman to realize — by use of her own golden lasso — that she has been deceived.
Her quest for the truth begins with tracking down one of her oldest foes, the Cheetah. Or, Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva as Diana keeps reminding her. Trapped in a humanoid form resembling her namesake, she agrees to help the Amazon in exchange for lifting her curse. Said curse was inflicted by the god Urzkartaga, who happens to be backing a warlord that one Steve Trevor and his group of special forces soldiers are looking to take out.
The business with Urzkartaga is the strongest part of this volume as he provides a suitably nasty force for everyone to fight against while also doubling as a metaphor for toxic masculinity. Rucka also does some great work in making the Cheetah– Er, Barbara Ann compelling to read about as a strong-willed woman cursed by a god’s pettiness. The art provided by Liam Sharp is also wonderfully gritty and detailed, but even it can’t overcome the fact that the nature of the threat facing Wonder Woman’s identity feels vague and undefined at this point. It seems as if Rucka is calling everything about her history into question so that he can provide a new unified origin down the line. That may work, except it also appears he might be kicking the excellent Azzarello/Chiang run on the character out of continuity in the process. We’ll see if some answers regarding that are in store as the narrative goes back to the future for “Year One” in the next volume.