Go back to the beginning of Wonder Woman’s story.
Even if Batman v Superman turns out to be a cinematic travesty, at least it’s compelling DC to shine a bigger spotlight on Wonder Woman. The Legend of Wonder Woman may be the ideal gateway for new readers interested in learning more about the Amazonian warrior princess. This digital-first series is set in its own continuity and recounts both the origin of Diana Prince and Paradise Island. This first issue drags a bit as it explores the latter element, but quickly livens up once Diana becomes the focal point.
Writer/artist Renae De Liz isn’t reinventing the wheel with this book. This origin story takes a more classical, Silver Age-inspired approach to the character. The story is relatively all-ages in tone, which is good since neither DC’s ongoing Wonder Woman comic nor the upcoming Wonder Woman: earth One really fit that bill. While this issue explores some of the troubled, violent history of the Amazons, the focus is less on warfare and bloodshed than empowerment and camaraderie.
Again, this issue starts out slow as De Liz offers a prose-heavy account of the origins of the Amazons and their place in Greek mythology. De Liz effectively channels the heartbreak and longing that plague Hippolyta in the lead-up to her daughter’s “birth,” but other than that this material is dry and forgettable. This issue finds its voice with the shift to a young Diana. De Liz captures the future Wonder Woman at a formative and uncertain time in her upbringing. While brave and determined, she’s far from the warrior she’ll eventually grow to be. She’s also very alienated from her sisters. This issue lays the foundation for what looks to be an engaging hero’s journey.
Given her previous work on IDW’s The Last Unicorn comic, it’s not surprising that De Liz renders this tale with an almost fairy tale-like quality. This certainly isn’t your traditional, superhero-oriented take on the franchise. For the most part that approach works nicely. It reinforces the mythological side of Wonder Woman and brings Paradise Island to vivid life. De Liz’s facial work is full of emotion, doing as much to showcase Hippolyta’s desperation and love or Diana’s desperate longing for adventure as the prose. The figure work can be odd at times, however. The squat character proportions and wide chins give every character, even the adult Amazons, a weirdly childish quality.