With the 75th anniversary of the appearance of Wonder Woman and the premier of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, it comes as no surprise that DC Comics would shift their focus to Wonder Woman this year. The Legend of Wonder Woman brings us a very familiar origin story, in which Diana is molded from the clay beaches of Thymescara, and raised as the princess of the Amazonians. This story, however, begins when Diana is but a child, and able to feel an illness that sickens the island – an illness only she is aware of.
Most stories about Diana focuses on her appearance among mortals of the outside world, so in that sense, The Legend of Wonder Woman is certainly fleshing out a story that was once covered in summarization. Writer and penciller, Renae de Liz, certainly bit off a large chunk of the apple and based on the first issue, it seems like she could succeed in making this well-known origin more interesting and gripping than it has been told in the past. Though the overall plot lacks some originality, the storytelling itself is very interesting. We get to see the backstory of the Amazonian hierarchy, and learn a bit of Greek mythology (DC-style, of course). For a first issue, there is every indication that the storytelling will be intriguing, and I’m curious to see what adventures the pre-teen Diana will face.
Perhaps the most unique part of The Legend of Wonder Woman is Ray Dillon’s artistic style and vivid imagery. The style is heavily influenced by cartoon art, with large eyes and interestingly proportioned bodies, drawing from anime but clearly Western at the same time, with bold lines and bright colors. Additionally, the paneling and page flow seems almost custom-made for vertical scrolling, particularly in the first ten pages of the issue, with very little horizontal movement to the panels. If you plan on reading Wonder Woman digitally, I think you’ll be pleased with the overall flow and movement of the story. The coloring techniques and vividness of the pages seems perfect for digital viewing.
All in all, I think this comic is a little expected, and not nearly as groundbreaking as the original conception of Wonder Woman. If DC is looking to draw in new Wonder Woman fans, starting with an origin story is the best tactic. However, if they’re looking to WOW old fans, I think they’ve missed their mark. Moving forward, I would really like to see Diana struggle and fight to become the woman we know her to be. A lot of Diana’s allure is that she is a female warrior who defies the expectations of men, and inspires the imaginations of women. We rarely get to see her weaknesses, and as a child, she must have had some low moments to build her into the strong woman is as an adult. Hopefully, Renae de Liz can give some more substance to the woman in Wonder Woman, as opposed to just another origin story.