Thursday, March 26, 2020

Book Review: Wonder Woman: Warbringer The Graphic Novel by L. Simonson et al.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer The Graphic Novel adapted by Louise Simonson from the novel by Leigh Bardugo and illustrated by Kit Seaton

Diana struggles to prove her worthiness to be on the Island of Themyscira. All the other Amazons there have fallen bravely in battle and called on the warrior goddess in their last moments. The warriors' post-mortem reward was to come back to life on Themyscira. Diana was made from clay on the island and has never been in a battle. The most she can hope for is to win competitions against the other Themysciraians. She joins a foot race and uses a secret route to guarantee victory. Along the way, she sees a ship just off the island that explodes. Rather than finish the race, Diana jumps into the sea and saves one of the passengers, Alia. Mortals are forbidden on the island, so Diana has not only lost the race but also will probably be exiled. Going to the local oracle for help, she discovers that Alia is haptandra or a Warbringer. Warbringers are descendants of Helen of Troy and their presence in the world is the cause of wars. Alia is about to cause the ultimate war. The only way to stop her is to take her to Helen's spring in Greece where the haptandra curse can be ended forever. Along the way Diana and Alia face a lot of enemies, both mortal and immortal, who want the Warbringer for their own purposes or just for the fun of another big war.

The story has a promising start even if the premise is awfully similar to Hellboy (another person fated to bring cataclysmic disaster but who resists that fate). The two heroines pick up some allies on their travels who provide some comic relief. The story has a lot of YA girl-power tropes--too many to make it feel original or special. The ending has some out-of-left-field twists that force the story to the expected happy ending. I had a hard time enjoying the plot as I read along.

The art has a lot of neutral blues/greys/greens in it, giving the book an almost black and white feel. Occasional bits have red and orange (action scenes or supernatural visions). The book is more visually distinctive than narratively distinctive.

Not recommended.

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