Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Wonder Woman #23.1 Cheetah
Ostrander & Ibanez
The true mark to see if a gimmick is paying off is to take a reader and hand them a book about something they know nothing about. This is basically the situation when it comes to Cheetah for me as a reader. What I found was a story that was comprehensive about telling an origin story but it also gave the character some purpose as well as motivation. These little elements were a nice surprise and left me wanting more of this character. That tells me that this comic is more than just a really cool looking cover.
The story is constructed with a mix of flashbacks and present day sequences. The book manages to tie this book to Forever Evil but it’s done in a very subtle way. This is helpful because the focus stays on the main character while still managing to explain where the super heroes are. The book does contain one dream sequence that I have to admit I found odd because I’m not sure the relevance other than to insert Wonder Woman into the book.
Ostrander brings a couple of interesting characters into the fold as he sets up the origin and establishes a potential foe for Cheetah that isn’t Wonder Woman. While these characters are defined fairly well for a single comic book it isn’t done in a manner that is too exposition heavy. There’s a good balance here that Ostrander finds quickly and it helps the pace in the process.
We come away from the book with an understanding that Cheetah is a character that wants to let her past go and she figures out how best to do that. It’s basically a story where the character embraces what she’s become. We find she also has a moral standard when it comes to her cruelty, which also helps to provide a distinct definition that so many characters lack today.
The artwork is very good. There are plenty of scenes of hunting and no dialogue and Ibanez pushes the visual story forward with great skill. The book also provides a lot of detailed panels as the story demands certain scenes to set up the mood as well as the situation and Ibanez is up to the task and then some. Then there’s the depiction of Cheetah, which comes across as bold, strong, sexy and driven. There’s an interesting array of traits she contains visually and it works well for this story.
Cheetah seems like a flat character on the surface. A character that only exists to give Wonder Woman something to fight occasionally. However, what we find here is a character that is given her own meaning, her own motivation and a strong background. There is no reason why this character couldn’t be developed further and pit against any DC hero or villain. I could even see her being included in any number of teams. I liked what I saw in this comic book and I can’t help but wonder where she will pop up again. I hope it is in story that will deepen her character more in this direction. This is a good comic book.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles