The Legend of Wonder Woman #5. Renae de Liz- Story and Pencils, Ray Dillon- Inks and Colors.
The digital first comics published by DC over the past few years have provided DC Comics and creators with a freedom that is not afforded in the standard monthly publications. The Legend of Wonder Woman is no exception. While the monthly Wonder Woman book has done well in the past 5 years under the “New 52” banner, The Legend of Wonder Woman gives us a more classic take on the character, more of an expanded version of her origin.
Diana has been staying with Etta and her friends at Holliday College, and as this issue opens, Diana experiences the trauma of her firs automobile ride on the way to a shopping trip in town. It doesn’t take long before Diana starts asking questions about the things she sees around her and the differences she notices between Themiscyra and Man’s World. As ½ the Holliday Girls go shopping, Diana and Etta look for the news agency that published the story about the “The Duke of Deception” who had brought Nazis back to life. Diana is concerned that there may be a connection to her world.
The reporter who did the story was Perry White. They find white and get the full story from him. Diana immediately wants to get to France and find this “Duke of Deception.” Etta has to fill her in on the difficulty of doing this during a time of war. War, what war? World War II silly! This leads them to the movie theater and they catch a newsreel before the feature. Diana is stunned by the reports of Nazi aggression and the Allies trying to stop them. Quickly, Diana tries to get overseas by enlisting in the Army, but she learns a hard lesson as women didn’t fight in the 1940’s.
As they leave the Recruiting Office, they bump into Steve Trevor, literally. Steve feels like he recognizers her, even though he shouldn’t. Etta gushes over the “war hero.” Steve is humble and likable. He’d rather get back in the air and fight instead of being Mr. Publicity for the War Department. Steve ends up telling Etta and Diana about the Volunteer Nurses program. Diana has found a way overseas to track the Duke of Deception.
What’s not to like about this book? It’s not often that there are all ages books that appeal to all ages. De Liz captures Diana’s innocence in Man’s World but also the feel and spirit of the 1940’s. World War II while it presented many difficult decisions for individuals at war was a black and white situation. Nazis=Evil, stopping them=good. Setting this series during World War II is a great move on the part of De Liz as well. Wonder Woman’s origin ties in so tightly with the war that it makes complete sense to set the series in the ‘40’s. I’m a sucker for the 1940’s aesthetic, so the overall character design is a big plus as well. A subtle aspect that really made sense to me was the coloring of Diana. She is a Greek woman who’s spent the majority of her time outdoors on a tropical island. Dillon has colored her as such. There is a striking difference between Etta’s flesh tone and Diana’s. It is a subtle aspect, but much appreciated. I may have gone more with greenish/brownish undertones as opposed to reds, though. Lastly, Diana’s difficulty in adjusting to Man’s World is quite done well, with equal amounts levity and logicalness.
This is a fun book that appeals to all ages. I find it extremely difficult to find a Negative. It has a positivity that may not reflect everyone’s sense of the world, however.
It’s no secret that Diana just appeared in a feature film for the first time in March. It’s no secret that she going to appear in her own film next year. This series perfectly piggy-backs on that without telling the same story. It’s clear that there’s a synergy going on here. Certainly, this won’t spoil anything for the movie, but at the same time I think it sets the reader in the right frame of mind. Additionally, this doesn’t seem like an editorial directive, but rather creators that have drilled down to the essence of the character in all her incarnations.