Review & Spoilers: LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN #1

LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 cover A

The LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd series} #1 (of 9)

Story & Pencils: Renae De Liz

Inks, Colors, & Letters: Ray Dillon

Covers by: Renae De Liz w/ Ray Dillon; Dustin Nguyen

Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

“” (30 pages)

Peer back to ancient times for a re-telling of the greatest warrior princess of all: Wonder Woman!!

LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 darkness brought lightEvery myth, legend, tale has a point of origin. Greek culture had dark days in its onset. From there, light began to permeate. Hippolyta, along with her four sisters, would usher in a new era. Their exploits impressed the gods so much so that they were granted immortality. Too much of a good thing is not good at all. There was one heart-wrenching downside: living forever deprived them of childbirth.

LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 Hippolyta

LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 original Amazons 2.1

Hippolyta felt a fire within her core that could not be extinguished. Thus, she attempted to feed that flame. Her relationship with Theseus ended in the cruelest betrayal and a steep fall from grace. War broke out between the ageless women and the mortal males. Casualties were experienced on both sides. Her sister Penthesilea perished, the others were duped by masculine charms. Hippolyta wanted to die for her sins. Instead, she was granted forgiveness by her tribe and regained the crown.

The Olympians’ battle with one of the Titans resulted in a self-imposed exile and the creation of an island paradise – Themyscira. This was Zeus’ gift to his worthy women warriors. His pantheon bestowed children upon the worthiest of Amazons à la immaculate conception every decade.

LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 Paradise Island

LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 immaculate conception

The passage of time accelerated and Hippolyta was still horribly empty inside. Her grief was so intense that it was felt on Olympus. Pettiness from the pantheon prevented her wish fulfillment. There was a twist to it all: from the earth emerged a baby girl. Hippolyta immediately named her Diana.

LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 gift from the gods

Diana is a six-year-old child destined to be queen. She is aloof at school. The studies of the gods are the farthest thing from her mind. Her predestined life is critiqued by Troia, one of her classmates. All the children are mortal. As such, they cannot occupy the throne. After class, Diana tells her teacher that she senses something amiss on Themyscira. Her instructor reassures that it’s an impending storm and nothing more.

Hippolyta desperately tries to ingrain royal duties upon her daughter. She easily dismisses Diana’s foolish notions of combat training and developing fighter skills. Education is key. Diana mentions the doom surrounding the island. Her mother senses nothing and assures her that there are individuals suited for such an eventuality. Diana disappoints Hippolyta when she balks at the idea of immortality.

LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 no danger

A feather of light drifts above her. Just as quickly as it appeared, it vanishes. Diana espies Alcippe, the fiercest Amazon of all. She is in awe and fear of the woman’s ferocity. As brutish as she may be, the other young ones realize she is the best at what she does. The two exchange glances. Alcippe is hardened and honed.

LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 five against oneLEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 awe & fear

Boredom and loneliness accompany the princess. An elite position like hers is isolating. Curiosity drives her to explore unseen parts of Themyscira. Diana runs gleefully through the forest. Her peaceful meditation is interrupted by an illuminated golden deer. The radiant beast leads her to other wonders. It is not just an uncharted part of the island, it’s another realm. Diana has the privilege to see Olympus and the majestic steed Pegasus. The princess feels a connection with the winged horse. It flies off in a panic when a black mist approaches.

LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 Ceryneian HindLEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 Olympus

Engulfed in darkness, Diana finds herself face-to-face with the Manticore. The child is absolutely terrified. Luckily, Alcippe arrives and slays the hybrid creature. Diana tries to exert her authority by ordering Alcippe to train her. The woman knows her place as well as Diana’s. She instructs her to return to the palace where she will remain safe.

LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 Manticore

LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 timely arrival

The two create a bond when Diana again brings up the growing darkness on the island. It has become unbearable for her. Alcippe is a kindred spirit. Her warnings have fallen on deaf ears. Each of them has felt a sinister presence for months. Alcippe has been unsuccessful at determining the cause but she is certain that it is an outside source. Diana is ready to lay down her life for her people. This strikes a chord with Alcippe. The captain delivers a dagger for protection as they head back. Request granted. The hard stuff begins tomorrow.

LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 useless ordersLEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 fight for your life

My closest friends already know this tidbit. For those of you who carefully read my reviews, this is obvious. Either way, I will overstate it: Wonder Woman is the ultimate super-heroine. To say that I’m completely bananas over her is a gross understatement. I scoff at the ‘lack of respect/attention’ she has received in her 75-year existence. There are enough ardent individuals out there who acknowledge her beauty, her bravery, her empathy, her intelligence, her strength, and her tenacity among innumerable traits. I’m thrilled that this is an ‘intentional’ supplement/replacement to SENSATION COMICS!!!

Wonder Woman by Renae De Liz

Renae De Liz, pleased to make your acquaintance 😀 Your name came to my attention when I learned of this now printed series two months ago. I had the digital copies stored in my PC. For whatever silly reason, I never got around to reading the first nine chapters. Anyone unfamiliar with DC digital firsts – each chapter is twenty pages but ‘reduced’ to ten when it hits print. Ergo, the first nine chapters are issues 1-3 in proper book format. I gotta jump ahead to see what transpires 😉

Renae De Liz

Ms. De Liz has an impressive independent body of work!! I can’t stress enough that the truly talented ones are those who excel at more than one skill. Scribing and illustrating, what’s not to applaud?? Ms. De Liz delivers a deconstructed streamlined version of events pertaining to the Amazons’ origins. It is airy and light, devoid of heavy narration and weighty dialogue. Millennia of history encapsulated into six pages. The dialogue is straightforward but not too basic. There is an all-ages appeal. It is not too infantile nor is it too adult. I’m ecstatic that she is passionately devoted to recounting two hundred and seventy pages of the destined-for-greatness protector of peace!!!

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The artwork is so refined. Every main character has the feminine mystique. There’s no objectification. Alcippe proudly carries herself. The minutiæ is every bit as astonishing as the bigger pictures – the entirety of the island; the ionic columns as well as the intricate floor pattern; the looming presence of the gods; the fantastic creatures great and small; the simple white wardrobe contrasted with the warrior dress. I could keep going but will cool my jets. The close-ups of Diana have depth, honesty, intensity, and maturity. Such a young lass with so much weight on her shoulders 🙁

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Ray Dillon is a three-in-one Titan!! There is a finesse in his technique that perfectly pairs with Renae’s pencils. He gets to splash all the hues and tones – the lush, verdant landscape; the metallic grey for the armour; the whimsical wisps. His lettering is appropriately elevated. I marvel at his transcription of Ancient Greek (or is Themysciran??) The colours clash in the narration boxes making it a bit of a struggle. The hiss of the Manticore stopped me dead in my tracks.

LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 blood runs red

Ms. De Liz lays out straightforward panelling. One page that stood out to me is the glare Alcippe shoots at Diana after rescuing her. The boxes shift, giving it a ‘decreasing’ feel as if Diana shrinks once again over the expert combatant. There is clever division through the use of clouds for the recap of the Amazons’ beginnings.

I’ve always been gung-ho about mythology, especially Greek ^_^ I’m going to divert a bit and impart my knowledge.

Sisters are doin’ it for themselves:

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  • Hippolyta, matriarchal monarch. Alternate spelling – Hippolyte. In the seven and a half decades of her lifetime, she has always been designated as Diana’s mother. Various re-tellings and retcons have brought about interesting changes to her character. It is implied that she is the first and absolute ruler in this particular story although past incarnations have indicated differently.
  • Antiope – The mucking of her existence has had her as Hippolyta’s mother. There are seven women with this moniker. In this case, she is a sister, one of the five original Amazons. It is safe to assume that there is no biological connection but a sororal bond.
  • Glauce – The winner with ten associations!! In one myth, she was abducted by Theseus, not Antiope, and became his wife. Her one-panel appearance feeds the imagination.
  • Melanippe – Runner-up with nine nomenclatures! One myth is ‘correct’ in stating her sisterhood to Hippolyta and Antiope, spawned from Ares. Another contends that she was taken from Theseus and became his bride.
  • Penthesilea – Another daughter of Ares. Also queen of the Amazons. Sister to Hippolyta, Antiope, and Melanippe. The Trojan War tells the tragedy of her accidentally killing Hippolyta. As a result, she sided with the citizens of Troy to defend their city.

Dirty, rotten, no good!! Theseus is the man who duped Hippolyta and engaged in enemy fire with her sisters. That’s for this tale. By most accounts, it was Hercules/Heracles who wooed her then stole her golden girdle for his ninth labour.

LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 Theseus

Achilles is mentioned as the one who slew Penthesilea. These heroes weren’t very heroic.

Divine right, intervention, and proclamation: Zeus created Themyscira to shield the Amazons from the horrors of the world. He and his fellow Olympians granted the first generation with ever-lasting life. Lastly, the population increased with the magical insertion of innocence. Typically, the goddesses are the ones who gifted the Amazons. They in turn were favoured by the warrior women. Aphrodite, Artemis, Demeter, even jealous Hera. It’s a bit of a head-turner to see Zeus espouse such fatherly instincts.

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Clash of the Titans: This particular scene is art-worthy.

LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 clash of the Titans

Battle-born(e): Alcippe is the name of various women from Greek mythology. Each has an interesting if not tragic story behind her. Fans well versed in WW lore know that this particular lady is a dead-ringer for Phillipus, right-hand woman to Hippolyta as well as her number one bodyguard. She and Diana have forged the beginning of a fruitful friendship.

Supreme beings: The one major appeal to Greek mythology are the various beasts, creatures, and monsters. Some are gentle and benevolent; others not so much.

  • Golden deer – This is the Ceryneian Hind. It was sacred to Artemis. Hercules captured but then released it for his third labour.
  • LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 golden stag
  • Nereids – those beautiful denizens of the ocean a.k.a. sea nymphs.
  • LEGEND of WONDER WOMAN {2nd Series} #1 Nereids
  • Hyperborean giant – not a Cyclops. Peaceful folk who lived far north of Thrace.
  • Charybdis – the sharp-teethed whirlpool, perilous to all seafarers.
  • Hippogriff – similar to the Griffin. Half-eagle in the front, half-horse in the back.
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  • Pegasus – beautiful winged white horse.
  • Manticore – one part man, one part scorpion, all parts terror!

My enthusiasm cannot be contained!! I intend to look at every single issue in the following eight months.

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This is upper level young readers’ fiction on the same echelon as Hans Christian Anderson!! I gladly give this book 9 stars out of 10.

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Eternal appreciation to my local comic shop for providing me with this mini-epic ^_^

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