Friday, December 25, 2015

The Legend of Wonder Woman #5 Review

The Times They Are A Changin'

Written by: Renae De Liz
Art by: Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: December 10, 2015

We started our site with the intention of reading and reviewing every DC Comics title each and every week.  Though we have a pretty good overall track record in fulfilling that mission statement, sometimes it becomes more of a chore than anything else.  Unlike other sites that cherry pick what they want to review, we sometimes get stuck with books we don't enjoy.  Couple that with weeks that throw double digit work at us and you might begin to understand why we sometimes yearn for a break in the action.  With that in mind...why the hell would I ever add to the load by deciding to also review some Digital First titles?  There are a couple of reasons...not many sites review them, they need exposure since DC doesn't seem to want to push them, but mainly it's because these are the books I get to cherry pick like those other fancy review sites.  Luckily for me, there always seems to be at least one title that I fall in love with...The Adventures of Superman, Smallville, Injustice, Batman Beyond 2.0...and now The Legends of Wonder Woman.  Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon have been giving Wonder Woman fans an origin story that is full of myth and mystery all wrapped up in a classic Disney movie look that anyone and everyone can enjoy.  Yes, I know these weekly into paragraphs may come off as a fanboy broken record, but I really want people to find out about this book.  However, I must push that all aside and get to the job at review for Chapter 5.  Cute, little Diana is gone as we move into Diana: The Teenage Years.  Does that mean the series will suffer as I did in my teen years?  Let's find out…

The issue opens with a conversation between Diana and Alcippe  after a training session where the teacher obviously got the best of her student.  It’s nice to see that the initial resentment that Alcippe held for Diana seems to have left her and that De Liz keeps mixing in Diana’s infatuation with using a rope as a weapon.  The conversation quickly turns to the greatest warrior Alcippe has ever seen and to Diana’s surprise, it’s her mother, Hippolyta.  

While that might be new news to Diana, the reader knows all about it so De Liz moves into new territory...the outside world.  Alcippe tells Diana all she knows about the outside world and while it’s not much, it’s obvious that it’s something that Diana yearns to see more of.  

I have really enjoyed how De Liz has slowly incorporated the things that will eventually define Wonder Woman without overdoing it or shoving it in the reader’s face.  This issue has a bunch of things falling into place on that front and each of them made me smile.

The story then shifts to Diana enjoying the Amazonian celebration of “Choes”.  It’s a festival of merrymaking and when I said “enjoying”, I actually should have wrote “moping around” because while everyone else is having a grand old time, she is only thinking of the darkness that is coming.  Things don’t get any merrier when she gets a message that the Council wishes to depose her mother as Queen.

If Diana was expecting Hippolyta to be angry, she is sadly mistaken.  Her Mother takes the news as a “whatever the fates decide” type of thing and instead tells her daughter the story of Alcippe.  The reader learns why Hippolyta fully trusts Alcippe and in the best part of the issue, that she is well aware of Diana’s training.  After the fact, it is funny to think that Diana thought her mother had no idea.  Mothers always know!

De Liz then takes us back to the trouble at hand and Hippolyta begs Diana to take her rightful place as Queen of the Amazons.  Of course, that would mean Diana becoming immortal and as she says to her mother, “You would condemn me to a life you betrayed all to escape?”  That’s pretty powerful stuff there and as Diana runs off, it looks like that in fact has been Hippolyta’s plan all along.

Reading this series, it has been clear that Diana wishes nothing more than to do what’s right to help her fellow Amazons, but being Queen never seemed to be part of her plan.  The problem is, she really doesn’t have a plan.  She’s a young girl still trying to figure herself and the world out and it’s obvious (not just because she’s going to be Wonder Woman), that her destiny is bigger and greater than living her life forever on Themyscira.  The issue ends with another step towards her greater purpose and if it’s what I (and I’m sure, everyone) thinks it is, her world is about to get a whole lot bigger.

I worry that I’m starting to sound like a broken record (I hope people still know what that is...I’m getting so old!), but this book is good enough to keep getting my accolades.  This chapter is heavy on the set up, but De Liz makes it so good by throwing in hints of what we already know while adding in little twists and turns to show that this is not the same old story we’ve gotten before.  The cliffhanger looks like it’s leading to one of Diana’s biggest moments and I can’t wait to see how she handles it.  In other words, I still love this series and can’t wait to read the next chapter.

I can’t say enough about De Liz and Ray Dillon’s art.  It’s fantastic and I’m already running out of adjectives to describe it.  Superb, awesome, magical...they all fit.

Bits and Pieces:

This chapter continues the retelling of Diana’s journey to becoming Wonder Woman and it continues being a delight.  The darkness that is consuming Themyscira continues plaguing Diana’s thoughts, but there are greater dangers right in front of her.  SHe is going to have to make some big decisions and if the cliffhanger is what it appears to be, her world is about to get turned upside down.  If you are a fan of Wonder Woman or have anyone you want to have fall in love with the character, give them this series and consider it a done deal.

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