The story of Wonder Woman is one that almost everyone is familiar with. An Amazonian princess from Themyscira discovers a man, Steve Trevor, on her island. Trevor teaches her about the horrors of World War II. Because of this, she leaves the island to go fight to help rid the world of the darkness that threatens to overcome it.
That origin story gets told many times over, so it’s rare when it deviates from what readers know. Telling that origin in a new way is always a challenge, especially when all the characters are already so familiar.
In The Legend of Wonder Woman, Volume 1: Origins,’ though, DC Comics retells this story in a new and refreshing way. The story is basically the same, but there are enough additions and changes that make this graphic novel a refreshing read for existing fans. It’s a new way to introduce us to Wonder Woman, but is also a way for us to relive a reimagined version of her life as a young princess on Themyscira.
Reimagining Wonder Woman’s story in a way that remains true to her character is tricky. But in this collected volume of The Legend of Wonder Woman comics, issues 1 through 27, writer Renae De Liz does just that. Certain parts of the story must remain the same, but De Liz manages to change enough to keep things interested. This includes creating new conflict on Themyscira that Diana must deal with: a political battle among the Amazonians. This adds more tension to the beginning of Diana’s story, which also shows us what life is like for the girl at a younger age than we’ve seen her before.
Sometimes, though, the writing feels off, as if some of the dialogue repeats itself. This is probably due to the fact that this is a collected work of single issues of comic books. Issues often repeat particular plot points so that the reader doesn’t forget the key details between months. In the collected work, though, this sometimes feels repetitive, but, fortunately, isn’t too much of a detractor from the main story.
And although the origin story here is compelling, things really pick up once Diana lands in the “real” world, where she meets the fabulous Etta Candy. This volume introduces Etta in the only way the bombastic character can get introduced and explains how her and Diana become riends. We also can’t forget the romance between Diana and Steve, which is so much a part of Diana’s original story.
For fans of Wonder Woman’s more mythological roots, there is a lot here to love: the gods are always present in the princess’ life, even after she finds herself trapped in man’s world.
It’s obvious that The Legend of Wonder Woman is a labor of love for De Liz, because she’s also the artist on the project. This shows in the way that she draws the princess, as a tall, muscular and strong woman, a woman who stands out from all others. This is Wonder Woman as we know her, a formidable force who brings truth and justice to everyone around her without even trying.
The panels are extraordinary and do much to move the story along, perhaps because De Liz is both writing and providing the art. The colors, inked by Ray Dillon, jump off the page, so that when the darkness moves in, with the lack of color, its visibly unsettling and we feel Diana’s anxiety over this power that’s taken over the world.
The Legend of Wonder Woman, Volume 1: Origins is available now, including Amazon.
Rating: (4 / 5)
Note: FanGirlConfessions.com received a review copy of The Legend of Wonder Woman, Volume 1: Origins.