Partly, Diana's acceptance is due to persuasive words from Superman, colleague turned potential boyfriend. But I'm choosing to believe that she's growing, further evidence being that she doesn't loose her sword on the Cheetah during the scrap that kicks off this issue. Instead, she's a Wonder Woman I recognise, appealing to the friendship she once shared with Barbara Minerva, antiquities expert turned host to 'the goddess of the hunt'. It seems that in the DC New 52 universe, the big cat goddess shares - or fights for - territory with Diana's namesake, adding a new layer to the Cheetah and Wonder Woman's traditional enmity.
We learn the Cheetah's origin via back and forth scenes: Steve Trevor tells it to Batman and Aquaman from his hospital room, while Diana fills in the other JL members at the Watchtower. All the superheroes finally converge on the Amazon jungle, where a nasty surprise awaits.
Other business sees Wonder Woman and Superman ponder what last issue's kiss - which has been going on for two months, given they're still super-snogging as we join them this time - means for them; and Cyborg and Flash bond some over the former's enigmatic existence. This second scene is my favourite part of the issue, showing that the Leaguers can be more than the suspicious frat boys they've seemed to date.
For whatever reason, writer Geoff Johns gives us his best JL script in awhile, with a satisfying blend of villainous antics and deepening character. Another thing in the book's favour is the absence of regular penciller Jim Lee and his inflatable Diana doll. Instead we have Tony S Daniel, who's equally adept at the big moments, but stronger than Lee when it come to the acting. For example, he really sells the attraction between the League's heaviest hitters (click on image to enlarge).
There's no Shazam back-up this time, instead, there's a prelude to the upcoming Justice League of America series. Amanda Waller tells Steve Trevor she's replacing him as JL liaison, and Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow, shows up with a mysterious object. It's six pages of fun foreboding courtesy of Johns, Jeff Lemire, Brad Walker and Drew Hennessy. The artists do well in distinguishing between Steve and Oliver - they're both lantern-jawed blonds but it's easy to tell then apart, and the composition throughout is first class.
I guess we'll find out once January, and the JLA's debut issue, rolls around. Meanwhile, I'll be watching this Cheetah serial with interest, hoping for yet more improvements.