After not knowing who she was or where she's come from for as long as we have, it's refreshing to finally read a Wonder Woman who is self assured and confident in herself once again. This might be the Wonder Woman series her fans have been waiting for.
First, Cliff Chiang is phenomenal in this issue and is the perfect artist for the book -- it's also clear as to why he was chosen for this project. Chiang's style is angular and reminds me of the art from Greece's Archaic period; the same illustrations that can be found in the sculptures and clay pots of that era. I'm no art expert, so I've linked to some folks that are to help draw a comparison between Chiang's style in Wonder Woman #1 and the art from that period, here.
When it was announced that this version of Wonder Woman would be darker, they weren't kidding. The issue opens with the son of Zeus (though it's not clear which) who is hungry for power, surrounded by beautiful women. You get a clear idea that this will be the adversary Diana will likely face in this story arc, and he's interesting. The dialogue is entertaining, and the character is very creepy. He is able to possess and manipulate women with ease, and he seems to have little regard for human life. The second adversary in the story is Hera, and it's true what they say; Hera is not a woman you want to cross paths with -- particularly if you're human. Diana steps into the issue about a third of the way in and she seems to immediately identify her adversary in this book. The dialogue is interesting and entertaining and will leave you wanting more.
As much as I wanted to like Zola, I didn't feel her introduction in this book was a very strong one. Additionally, Wonder Woman's appearance was rather brief, and it is not quite clear as to why she should have been the one to "save the day." This become even more confusing when Diana uses the key to travel to Zola's home, and Hermes says she "shouldn't be [t]here."
This is such a great issue. It introduces Diana's adversaries (albeit briefly,) and gives the reader just enough to really get into the story, without giving everything away. After reading through the first issue you will likely be left with a lot of unanswered questions, for example, "who is the adversary in the beginning of the story? How does Diana know how to use the key? What happened to Zola and what is her relationship with Zeus?" You get just enough Greek mythology to make you feel like you are reading a Wonder Woman story, but enough modernity to feel like you are dealing with the present day. The dialogue is interesting, the narrative is exciting and will leave you with a lot of unanswered questions. While there may not have been as much Wonder Woman in this first issue as I would have liked, it still left me wanting more and I am willing to wait for the next issue to get my fill. Very good start to the series, and accessible to new readers who are unfamiliar with Diana's character. This was almost a five. Almost.