Aztek’s helmet displays a message that indicates the location of an Amazon fighting Tezcatlipoca in a place called the Smoking Mirror. Naturally, Aztek seeks the aid of Wonder Woman whom learns that the Amazon is named Atalanta, who lead a nomadic tribe of Amazons that split off from those on Themyscira. She knows another member of that tribe: Artemis. Diana and Aztek go to her before searching for Atalanta and Tezcatlipoca.
I oddly appreciate Steven Orlando’s willingness to use Aztek as much as he’s able. This is probably because, if I wrote a DC comic, I would inject Hawk and Dove at every available turn.
Whatever the reason, this is still a pretty neat team-up. We have Wonder Woman, Aztek, and Artemis trying to halt a war between their patron gods.
It takes a bit for the comic’s plot to get going, as it needs to explain the premise through Aztek and Diana, then convince Artemis to join these two for the ride. The chemistry between the characters makes even these scenes enjoyable though. Diana is unconditionally kind to them both, Aztek is a bit in awe working with Wonder Woman, and Artemis is perpetually angry and ready to fight literally anyone.
Once the story gets rolling in earnest, things get a bit surreal. The Smoking Mirror is a temple that follows none of the conventional laws of physics, and its guardians are massive tiger-men-corpse beasts wrapped in armor.
ACO’s work especially shines here, as his 3-D rendered work makes the supernatural environment within the temple even more strange to behold. Diana, Aztek, and Artemis are all made to look like the badasses they should be. The monsters have a great look to them too. Romulo Fajardo Jr.’s color work is similarly wild for the Smoking Mirror portion and adds even more strange flavor to this divine location.
Wonder Woman #52 is another good issue from Steven Orlando. The last issue was a solid attempt at an interpersonal story between Diana and an old foe; this installment is just a fun team-up between disparate heroes with good artwork. Consequently, it earns a recommendation. Check it out.
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