Thursday, June 8, 2017

Book Review: Wonder Woman Vol. 2 Year One by G. Rucka et al.

Wonder Woman Volume 2: Year One written by Greg Rucka, art by Nicola Scott, and colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr.

The DC comic book universe recently underwent a "rebirth" and relaunched a bunch of titles, including Wonder Woman. So naturally they had to retell her origin story with a contemporary setting. The overall arc follows the standard Wonder Woman mythology--Steve Trevor crash-lands on Themyscira, home of the Amazons. The Amazons have a contest to determine who will take him back to the outside world. Diana, daughter of the queen, wins the contest and enters the larger world and becomes Wonder Woman.

The updates are many. Steve is part of an elite military force that is hunting down a terrorist group called "Sear." His small squad is flying to a secret Sear base when they crash on the island. Everyone dies except for Steve. He is nursed back to health but has no understanding of their language, so he doesn't quite know what's going on. The islanders somehow repair his plane and put special plating on it to make it invisible. On returning to America, they report to a military base where the army gathers some experts to try and figure out who and what Diana is and how to communicate with her. One expert is Barbara Ann Minerva, an archeologist who coincidentally has been looking for the home of the Amazons and thus has some knowledge of their language. Diana's powers slowly manifest themselves (and yes, she does have the magic lasso with her) as they all discover the true leader behind the Sear terrorists--the Greek god Ares! Because "Sear" is an anagram of "Ares," right?

The story is interesting if not as compelling as the other origin story I read a while back. Some of the modernizing is fine--the terrorists feel like a real threat (though they have no character depth) and the language and cultural barriers are dealt with well. The three or four references to lesbianism read more like kowtowing to political correctness rather than part of the storyline and felt out of place. Nothing graphic ever happens on that front.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. It's worth a read.

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