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Wonder Woman By George Perez Vol. 1 Paperback – August 23, 2016
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In these tales, which comprise the first 14 issues of the Amazon Princess' Modern Age ongoing series from 1987-2011, co-writer Perez discards the notion of Wonder Woman as a female Superman and builds upon her classic origin of being birthed out of clay by Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons through incorporating deities and concepts from Greek mythology. He also redefines her as not just another costumed crimefighter, but as an emissary and ambassador from Themyscira charged with bringing peace to man's world-or, as Perez renames it, Patriarch's World-and who believes in the fundamental goodness of both women and men.
His stories feature Olympian gods meddling in mortals' affairs, ornate speeches about virtue and fate-and thoughts on domestic violence, discrimination and ageism. It's by design that Perez begins his story with a cavewoman being murdered by her mate because he was humiliated by losing a fight with a sabertooth tiger. The caveman then sees energy shoot out of his mate's corpse and into the heavens. Female Superman, this ain't.
That energy was the woman's soul, which was held in storage in the underworld, along with the souls of other women who met similar horrible fates, until female Greek deities restore them to life as the Amazons, who are to inspire humanity to be better. Of course, Ares, the god of war, doesn't like this plan much, and believes he can improve humanity through terror and battle.
Also of course, we see Steve Trevor-now middle-aged, in order to prevent a cheap love story with its attendant romance-novel swooning-crash on Themyscira, giving the Amazons a look at their first man since the misogynistic Heracles. The god Hermes guides Diana and Trevor to Massachusetts in order to fulfill Diana's destiny as an ambassador to man's world. There, she meets Julia Kapatelis, a middle-aged academic and single mother, which allows Perez to consider the challenges older women face. Etta Candy, formerly a comic relief character, now struggles realistically with body-image issues. And when Diana debuts on the world stage, she's openly religious, which earns her scorn from both atheists and fundamentalist Christians.
And it all looks great. Artist Perez gives his stories, through both page layouts and the attention to detail in both the foreground and the background of his panels, the same epic qualities that characterize his prior work in "New Teen Titans," "Justice League of America" and "Crisis on Infinite Earths." Olympus, in particular, comes across as a gravity-defying, perspective-skewing wonderland that M.C. Escher would envy.
By the end of this collection, Diana of Themyscira is someone entirely different than either the brooding Batman or the grinning Superman, but still compatible with both of them. To her, their brand of crimefighting implies socially-accepted violence for the sake of maintaining order. She believes her mission is not to jail evildoers, but to teach the Amazon way of mutual respect and love.
The only flaw in the volume, and it's a minor one, is that Perez's layouts become less audacious and his artwork less detailed over its course. After only 10 more issues, he would stop drawing interiors entirely, providing only covers, and focus entirely on his writing because he felt he wasn't fast enough to maintain a monthly illustrating schedule.
If you want to get into Wonder Woman's adventures either before or after seeing her standalone film, this is the volume to begin with.
If you enjoy Greek mythology, then this book is for you. The gods of Olympus are featured heavily in this book. George Perez did an incredible job bringing the myths to life. I cannot wait to read book 2.
Top international reviews
La colorisation et même le dessin n’apparaîtront pas aux lecteurs d’aujourd’hui comme des modèles du genre. Quand on coloriait un visage, à l’epoque, on prenait la couleur peau, et on l’étendait de partout. Un fond ? On dessinait un petit arbre vert, et on peignait le reste en bleu. Ça picote un peu.
Et ça picote encore plus sur le chapitre « Time passages ». Je ne sais pas pourquoi : le papier n’est pas mauvais, les noirs sont assez intenses... Peut-être est-ce la matrice originale, ou l’encrage, en tout cas, les dessins et même parfois l’écriture manquent de netteté.
Bref, c’est du vintage, du comics qui vient d’une époque où...
D’une autre époque !