This wraps up the main story for Greg Rucka’s run on the title and he does bring the narrative into much sharper focus here. Even though Diana of Themyscira is struggling with a mental breakdown for the first half, she overcomes it through her own strength and with a little help from some of her friends. We also get an explanation in regards to the first volume’s most confusing assertion that the title character has never been back to her home island. This is in spite of the fact that she did this multiple times during the great Azzarello/Chiang run.
On that note, the explanation we get winds up confirming my biggest fear for this series. Rucka effectively wipes out the entire “New 52” run of the series in telling us the real reason why Diana has been deceived. You could argue that these events still technically happened to the title character, but only in the sense that it was a mass delusion shared by everyone around her. It also means that Diana’s “Pre-52” origin is canonical again, just in time to be ignored by the movie.
Clearly Rucka had issues with how Wonder Woman was handled in her previous run and wanted to set them right. The problem here is that he had to effectively kick out a run that I really liked in order to do that. If you did have a problem with the Azzarello/Chiang run, or the Meredith Finch-written run that followed, or both then you’re probably going to appreciate what Rucka does here. To be entirely fair, the actual storytelling here is very solid. Diana gets plenty of changes to show off her strength (both physical and character), the actual way in which she was deceived is quite interesting along with the consequences should she ever find out, there are some clever callbacks to the “Year One” arc, and Liam Sharp’s art is quite good when he’s not rushing up against a deadline. It’s the kind of quality work I’ve come to expect from Rucka, except that it’s all in pursuit of trashing something I liked.