By Anamaria Falcone ‘18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
STORY BY: Renae de Liz
ART BY: Renae de Liz and Ray Dillon
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Among the hundreds of DC comic book characters, there are three that stand at the forefront of the entire multiverse: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. We know the ins and outs of the origins of Superman and Batman. Little Kal-El was sent from his doomed planet Krypton to Earth and was raised as Clark Kent by a loving couple, and eventually becomes Superman when he moves into the big city of Metropolis. Meanwhile billionaire Bruce Wayne, haunted by the death of his parents, puts himself through rigorous training in order to become the Batman and instill fear in the hearts of Gotham City criminals. But what about Wonder Woman? Why isn’t the story of Princess Diana of Themyscira known as widely as her male counterparts? DC comics is hoping to fix that by releasing a nine part series dedicated to the history of the most beloved feminist icon of the franchise.
The Legend of Wonder Woman begins with a brief history of how the Amazon race came into being. Hippolyta gained immortality from Zeus as a reward for promoting peace amongst men with her band of female warriors. However, the price of immortality costs Hippolyta and the other immortal women their fertility. Hippolyta, driven by deep sorrow at this loss, betrays her people when she’s seduced by a man. Despite her mistake, Zeus allows Hippolyta and the remaining immortal and mortal Amazons a place close to the Gods known – Themyscira, also known as “Paradise Island.” There, mortal Amazon women are gifted children from the Gods –which only adds to Hippolyta’s suffering. An unknown force hears her pain, and a baby is made of clay just for her. Hippolyta names her daughter Diana. From then on out, Princess Diana lives a sheltered life within Themyscira’s palace walls. But even Diana can tell that something is wrong with Paradise Island, and seeks out help to save her homeland from whatever dark force is burdening it.
This new telling of Wonder Woman’s history stays true to her original origin story in the franchise while adding in extra details about Diana’s childhood that are never covered in depth in other comics. The new miniseries is also DC’s way of making up for changing her original origin story in the New 52 reboot, where Wonder Woman was born naturally from Hippolyta and Zeus, making her an Amazon goddess. In addition, the New 52 females of Themyscira replenish their island’s population by kidnapping sailors and killing them once they have their way with them. Thus, the New 52 Amazonians were not the peacemakers they were originally written to be. The Legend of Wonder Woman is intentionally seeking to restore the Amazonian women’s good names while shedding new light on a seemingly unknown story about comic book history’s favorite female superhero.
What makes this origin story series unique to previous Wonder Woman publications is that it’s written and drawn by a woman. Author and artist Renae de Liz, who has previous experience at creating strong female heroines in her other works like Lady Powerpunch and Womanthology, knows exactly how to deliver Wonder Woman’s story. The artwork is bold and fierce, yet at the same time is able to capture gentleness and fragility through the character’s expressions. Ray Dillon, de Liz’s professional partner and husband, does the coloring and inking on the comic. Dillon brings his wife’s creations to life with a rainbow of colors lighting up Paradise Island. It’s safe to say that DC comics picked the right woman to be telling Diana’s story.
Wonder Woman is a character that deserves as much recognition as her fellow trinity members, Superman and Batman. It’s about time her origin story becomes common knowledge amongst even the most casual superhero fans. De Liz’s story offers a great insight into the history of the Amazons, Hippolyta, and Princess Diana before she becomes Wonder Woman, showing that even the strongest of women can be vulnerable at times. Hopefully the next eight issues will be as compelling as the first — and hopefully the name Princess Diana of Themyscira can be as recognizable as Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent by the time the series is over.