on June 19, 2012
This one had me piqued from the get-go. I think Azarello's Joker is one of the grittiest comics I've read in a while and had one of my favorite Batman lines ever in it. That being said I had no idea how he'd handle this. I was pleasantly surprised.
Basically, he creates his own new mythos and destroys (I'm sure to the chagrin of a lot of pre52 WW fans) her original, laughable origin story and replaces it with something much more interesting (which in turn leads to a great reason for her leaving the island and becoming Wonder Woman in the first place). Her personality is very strong yet caring, as she should be. The plot basically revolves around this woman that gets pregnant by a god and the other gods are trying to kill her or exploit her for power in Olympus. There is a lot of power politics mixed with Greek tragedy, ti's not merely an excuse for Wonder Woman to chop off hers (don't worry she does that too though.) Cliff Chang's art was weird at first but now I find it's iconic and fitting with the style of the comic. The violence is necessary, all the people complaining about AN AMAZON WARRIOR killing just need to really analyze that statement. The humor and wit is also surprisingly good, lots of puns, quips, etc that actually develop characters and not merely showboat the writers storytelling ability. The portrayal and character designs of the gods are nothing short of amazing, from peacock dresses, flaming candle heads, gun wielding, leviathans. Honestly, this was my favorite announcement of the new 52. (besides Aquaman of course, another title that didn't disappoint in the slightest.) I can not recommend this enough, especially to those of you who knew Wonder Woman was badass but could never prove it, Azarello's run shows why she's so awesome.
on June 6, 2012
This is one of the best titles in the DC new 52 relaunch. It's a soft reboot meaning it's still basically the same character we all know and love but with some tweaks to enhance her mythology.
What they have done is focus more on the Greek mythology, but this isn't the traditional Greek gods in white togas! They look more supernatural and each of them have their own agendas. They're a godly dysfunctional family. What's great though is that their personalities are still very true to classic Greek myths as they personify aspects of nature.
This volume begins with Wonder Woman protecting a girl who sought her help. Along the way, Wonder Woman makes new discoveries about about herself, her family, and her past. There's intense action and some horror elements, but nothing our Amazon warrior princess can't handle!
To sum things up, this Wonder Woman welcomes all readers who are into superheros, mythology, and sand & sword fantasy. It explores the theme of truth, betrayal, family, and loss. It's gritty and more grounded than previous versions of the character, and it's something both male and female readers can get into!
I've never been much of a Wonder Woman reader, mostly tuning out of the character's solo series after Greg Rucka's run ended years back, and since then her series just hasn't had the kind of appeal to me that it ever had before. That being said, hearing that the Wonder Woman relaunch under DC's New 52 would be written by Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets, Loveless, Joker, Hellblazer, and many more) definitely got my attention, and the end result is the best Wonder Woman story I've read in quite some time. Under Azzarello's pen, Wonder Woman is less the princess and ambassador of peace that she was in the past, and is much more the full-fledged Amazon warrior that we all know and love. Azzarello has tapped so deeply into Greek mythology with this first storyarc that it's compulsively addictive, and the balance of the order of the Gods in the background makes it all the more page-turning, twisty, and will have you salivating for more. Combine all that with the wonderful artwork of Cliff Chiang (and to a lesser extent Tony Akins, who fills in for art duties on the final two issues of this collection) and Blood winds up being a winner. Even if you've never read Wonder Woman before, check out Azzarello's new and exciting take on the character. You'll be pleasantly surprised and glad that you did.
on November 11, 2014
Spoilers but good info
I will admit when I first starting reading this volume I did not know what to expect. Out of all the DC hero's WW is the one I know least about. From what I gathered, before the new 52 her origin story was that her mother made her from clay. Here that changes... alot. The way they incorporated this magical birth in this version was cool. But when this was shown to be a myth i was taken back. The way they wrote it was so cool. WW's mother, who's womb was bare, wished for a daughter. One night she went out to a field and in the clay ground she molded a baby. And then the Gods gave her a child. That idea was awesome so when it was proven this was no true, I actually was bummed. Until I kept reading. Not only does this change her origin but it changes everything about her. They actions of her mother have ripple effects and you feel it through to the last page. Aside from all that, there seemed to a good balance of simple dialogue and combat. I am pleased that I decided to buy this volume and i will be getting volume 2 next month.
on September 24, 2015
I've never read a Wonder Woman comic before, and I'm starting anew with The New 52 on all things DC. That being said, I did find this MODERATELY confusing, nothing too bad though. The art was decent, Im not sure why everyone else has a problem with it. Some of the characters looked great, and others (like Candle Head Boy) looked very confusing. Artist expression, I suppose.
Wonder Woman's story has been changed, which to me matters naught because I didn't know her original origin story anyway.
All in all, the very first comic is confusing as hell. It explains a lot more in comic two, and from there flows pretty smooth.
Im going to buy book two and hope it all makes more sense then. Who knows?
on June 30, 2016
My husband bought this for me after I began to express interest in Wonder Woman (particularly the movie character). I didn't really care for this comic. I felt that it was choppy and a bit hard to follow. Also, the dialogue seemed very unnatural. The pictures were decently drawn and I enjoyed the overall storyline. I will admit that this was my first exposure to a comic to I gave it a generous 4 stars, just in case the reason I didn't care for it is because I don't know what makes a good comic. With that being said, my husband said he read other reviews on this edition and they were not favorable- he quickly regretted that he chose this for my first-ever comic. I would open to trying comics again- even another wonder woman comic if it was written by a different author.
on June 5, 2012
For the longest time, I considered Wonder Woman a character only recognized with her association with the Justice League and as icon for woman around the world and really nothing more. It's just when you talk about other top name comic characters like Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Iron Man (that's a lot of men!)...they have certain stories and aspects that make them top tier characters. WW sort of felt like she was limited in just 2 categories, because she doesn't have a laundry list of stories people know off the top of their heads or having noticeable villains (not saying she doesn't have either. George Perez, Greg Rucka, and Gail Simone's runs are all excellent arcs on WW, for example).
But I started getting into WW about a year before her New 52 reboot took affect, and I started to slowly see the appeal. The thing is WW is a progressive character that is slowly evolving as time goes on. All the different incarnations of her and she is still finding her place as a compelling character after 70 years. Yet some of those great characteristics that writers like Rucka, Simone, and Perez have made her (her Amazonian side and Greek mythology) haven't been played to the fullest...until now. Brian Azzarello looks to take WW and put her in her own version of The Odyssey, because this looks like an epic of Greek proportions.
WONDER WOMAN VOL.1: BLOOD collects issues #1-6 and begins with a young woman named Zola who whines up on WW's door asking for protection from attackers. In the heat of battle, Zola finds out she's pregnant with Zeus's unborn child from Hermes, the messenger god and that those attackers were sent from Hera, Zeus jealous wife. From this information, WW, Hermes, and Zola then have to figure out a plan to work this whole situation out while protecting the unborn. As all this is happening, an omen from Apollo regarding Zeus, king of Olympus, looks to shake the foundation of Olympus itself...and Zeus is missing. With word of this out to the gods, many of them start making plays for power among themselves for the position of ruler of Olympus.
Azzarello sets up a lot of information in a short amount of time, one that is heavy on Greek mythology, theatrics, and inspiration. Azzarello wants this to be a Greek epic, again akin to Homer's The Odyssey. There is a little of everything in this same regard: adventure, mysticism, suspense, love, desires, humor, revelations, and a whole heap of things being setup for the future to come. This is meant to be a long and arduous journey for WW that, unlike many other trades out there from the New 52, where story arcs go up to the amount of the trade collected...this story doesn't end here. It looks to be that Azzarello wants this to last awhile. So if your going to read this run, you have to start here because your probably going to get left behind later on in the continuing issues to come.
Azzarello's WW is very much like her old self, despite many WW purist think. She may not be an ambassador of peace or a princess like her old self, but she cares for life, innocents, and justice her own way...but she's more Amazon about it here. There are many variations of WW over the years and it's very difficult to strike a balance with her to make her work (as well as appeasable to fans). Azzarello's WW I think strikes that good balance of warrior and hero at the same time. So for new readers, I think you'll love her. But for old WW fans, try to set your mind into this new WW before hand.
But to be honest, the real narrative here of the new WW is the world itself and the characters that inhabit it. Again, going with the concept Homer's The Odyssey (or the epic poem of Dante in the Divine Comedy), WW is meant to be about the journey and as a loose main character in awe of her surroundings. Going from a dead forest to England and to Paradise Island, or seeing the other characters like the gods own interactions, beliefs, and own personal twisted way of showing appeasement and retribution is intriguing. Characters like Apollo, War, Strife, and Hermes are all complex beings that could be made into case studies in and of themselves. They really are that interesting to read about, and Azzarello does a wonderful job in that regard.
I have to mention the beautiful art by Cliff Chiang. Do yourself a favor and go open a tab and look up Greek art in the search engine and you'll get an idea of what Chiang's art is meant to be like. The bold thick lines and distinct color contraptions are just excellent. Chiang's WW is also beautiful without looking like a Barbie-doll figure. She's lean and mean and beautiful in-between. And Chiang's designs for the Gods are creative and have a lot of hidden innuendoes in their designs that only Chiang and Azzarello probably know and won't tell us. And a honorable mention to Tony Akins who does issues #5-6. His imitation of Chiang's is a bit of a weak spot (especially WW's face expressions), but overall he still does some wonderful shots (you have to see his Poseidon) and I don't think it affects the art narrative that bad actually.
Now I prefer to give some level of critique when I review books to try to stay subjective and fair about what I review, but I'm at a loss for what to say for I or anyone might not like or agree with (though everything is subjective regardless of bad or good review). I really enjoyed this. So instead of a negative, I will mention the new origin that's been seen as "blasphemy" from long time fans. I've already mentioned the current take on WW with older fans, and then I sort of understand the complaints regarding her new origin. Azzarello's new focus on the world itself instead of Diana and the origin is quite a bit to ask for older fans. But I personally enjoy this new origin. It makes her more grounded and more inline with a traditional Greek twist in a storyline (and it still explains her power level). But again, the story might play out well once it's all said and done down the road. But if you're an old WW fan and you can't get behind this new take, then that's your own standings and I respect it. It's just a bummer you can't get into this.
WONDER WOMAN VOL.1: BLOOD is wonderful start for new readers to look into. If your one that by all means have never picked up a single WW comic in your life, I recommend giving this a try. And if you're a fan of Diana already and are open for the challenge, and then you can add on what appears to be another great interpretation of WW. Hera, give me strength...because this looks like this is going to be a great long run.
on June 28, 2014
In the new Wonder Woman series, Princess Diana (also known as the titular superheroine) finds out that she wasn’t really made out of clay by the queen of the Amazon kingdom, but rather is one of many results of Zeus’ philandering—indeed, that Zeus. She also has to protect a woman carrying another one of Zeus’ offspring from the jealous Hera. Speaking of deities, their heavy involvement lends a different air than is typically associated with DC Comics, a mythic one, which is nice. The deities’ appearances are the most creative aspects of the design work. The artwork itself is a bit uneven in regards to overall quality, but it is often clean and can be fairly detailed. The plot within this volume is effective in establishing a brawny, large-scale storyline ahead. From what I understand, longtime fans of Wonder Woman haven’t been very enthusiastic with the way Wonder Woman has been handled nowadays. If I may be honest, I like this new direction. I already have the next few volumes on my wishlist.
on March 27, 2014
This books is excellent. While it's impressed many new readers as well as critics, plenty WW purists are upset with the changes to her origins. So I wasn't sure what to expect. But honestly, I appreciate ALL the changes. I just wish they had kept her in pants instead of the impractical panties.
This volume is part of an extended arc which I really like - it's got stories within stores. It has sophisticated feel; unlike other comic series that feel very choppy with one huge plot after another, this one is like one really big story/mystery with small stories woven throughout. I really appreciate that consistency as it makes you care more about these characters and gives them more depth - even the ones you would normally write off as shallow. Azzarello is a great writer and has done some really good work here.
About the Amazons. The Amazons here are not a perfect society - which I find much more realistic. There is no such thing as utopia, and I always found it weird how a small and stagnant (though not so stagnant in all versions) society completely cut off from the rest of the world could be so presumptuous to think that they could teach the rest of the world how to live in peace. Peace is challenged by differences, and with so much uniformity among the Amazons, they're not exactly experts in dealing with those differences. (Example: When the Bana-Mighdall arrived at Themiscyra, civil war broke out.)
So while these new Amazons are not perfect and do commit morally reprehensible acts, I find them more "real" and interesting.
So what else? I really like that this book is apart from Justice League and the Superman/Wonder Woman series. I follow both of those as well, but WW is a character that can definitely support her own book without help from other characters. Also, her story simply has nothing to do with what's going on in the mainstream JL comic.
About the Artwork. I found Cliff Chiang's art very strange in the beginning. I don't know how to describe it properly, but it's kind of flat looking and...well it simply doesn't look anything like the art from other comic books. But now I love it! When I read a different series, I find myself missing his style. Once you get into it, you LOVE it. It's beautiful art - but takes a bit of getting used to. I hope Azzarello and Chiang stick together for this series because they are an excellent team.
SPOILERS alert!!! Instead of being formed from clay and gifted by the gods, Diana is Hyppolyta's daughter from an affair with Zeus. They use the original clay story as a cover story (to avoid Hera's wrath) which I thought was neat. While some people think it takes away what makes her unique, I think it makes more sense (although I never hated the other origin story). It also offers her a personal mystery which motivates her into seeking answers.
If you're new to Wonder Woman or looking for a good series to read from the New 52, then I definitely recommend this book. It's just much more interesting than other stories about her, and overall, I think it's my favorite series from the New 52. If you're a big WW fan but feel reluctant about all the changes you've heard about, I recommend that you give it a chance.
I've also read Wonder Woman: Odyssey Vol. 1 which is okay, but this is way better.
on March 14, 2015
As a huge Wonder Woman fan, I was startled to find the reboot of her series to be so dark and bloody. However, the story itself is quite interesting, with many of the Olympians vying for power after Zeus's mysterious disappearance. Unfortunately, the Gods and supporting characters take up far more of the book than Wonder Woman herself, and in the span of 40-ish chapters, we don't get any classic Wonder Woman goodies like Steve Trevor, Etta Candy, Cheetah, or Giganta. There are two Amazons who play very similar roles to Artemis and Philippus but are given new names, which seems a bit insulting to longtime fans of the series. The art on this first book is amazing, and Chiang certainly delivers a strong Wonder Woman. I just wish the overall story of Brian Azzarello's run wasn't as long and drawn out as it was, and that we could've seen some of the classic elements that have kept us coming back to read the series for so long.