April 16, 2024

Review: Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons

Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons by Kelly Sue DeConnick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, after reading this, I wish Kelly Sue DeConnick could write all the comics.

I realize there are many other talented comics writers, such as Tom King and G. Willow Wilson. But I've rarely seen a better fit between a writer and a world than DeConnick and this Amazon origin story.

This supersized volume tells the story of the six goddesses who went behind Zeus' back and created the Amazons; the human queen of the seventh Amazon tribe, Hippolyta; and the war between the Amazons and the gods that ended with their banishment to Themyscira. Wonder Woman appears at the very end of the story, as a baby freshly created by Hera; the focus is on Hippolyta and the losing war she fought with the gods, and the terrible decision she made so her sisters could live.

Hippolyta is a different, and interesting, lens to view the Amazons' origin story through. She is haunted by the choice she made at the beginning, as a working midwife, to take an unwanted newborn baby girl and expose her to the elements, setting her adrift on a basket in a stream to die. She changes her mind and goes back for the child, but cannot find her; and thereafter runs and runs until she is captured by some marauding men and freed by the Amazons. From there she follows the Amazons relentlessly, meeting up with the goddess Artemis along the way (Artemis is one of the best characters in the book, by the way--a prickly, stubborn goddess-child), repeatedly asking to join them, until she and a group of similarly rescued women are finally taken in to become the Amazons' seventh tribe, and Hippolyta is chosen to be its Queen.

This interweaving storyline of humans and gods is fascinating in and of itself, but it's the art that really elevates this book. It's an oversized book to begin with, coffee-table size, and it needs and uses every bit of the extra room for the glorious page spreads. There are three issues contained therein, with three separate artists, and as much as I gripe about comics artists changing as a series goes along, these three (Phil Jimenez, Gene Ha and Nicola Scott) mesh better than most. If I had to pick one, Phil Jimenez, who drew the first issue, has simply gorgeous art (if a bit busy--you really have to pause and look over his pages to pick out the many details he offers to expand the story, but the art and colors are so beautiful I didn't mind taking the extra time).

This is an excellent addition to the Wonder Woman world and myth, and is worth seeking out.

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