Review: Wonder Woman: The Adventures of Young Diana #1
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Jordie Bellaire
Art: Paulina Ganucheau
Colors: Kendall Goode
Letters: Becca Carey
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
Collecting the Second Feature from Wonder Woman #770-779, The Adventures of Young Diana #1 tells the story of Diana’s discovery of a secret the Amazon’s have been hiding.
I’d hoped that DC Comics would collect this story arc into one volume. The story that Bellaire, Ganucheau, Goode, and Carey tell isn’t necessarily a simple fun tale from Diana’s early years on Themiscyra. While it does seem to have a synergy with the stories of Diana as Wonder Girl (no Mer-Boy, sorry- maybe next time!) from the ’60s, it also presents a theme that is relatable to young and old in this day and age. Furthermore, it’s a comic that is “all ages” but not childish. In this respect, it’s a perfect starting point for anyone trying to introduce the character to a younger reader.
It could’ve been easy for Jordie Bellaire to simply retell Diana’s origin and how her youthful adventures led her to be Wonder Woman. Instead, The Adventures of Young Diana presents a critical coming-of-age story that is as much about Diana as it is about her relationship with her mother and the other Amazons. Not wishing to spoil anything, this story also functions as a coming of age for the Amazons. Without this moment, the Amazons would not be ready to eventually send Diana out in the world, nor would she be ready to compete in the contest and represent the Amazons.
Paulina Ganucheau’s artistic style excels at communicating the more whimsical elements of Jumpa, the Kanga, and Theo the Megalodon, while also effectively depicting the pertinent emotions. It’s a rollercoaster for Diana and Ganucheau makes us believe it! Additionally, Kendall Goode gets to move through her entire palette as she accentuates the tone of the scenes with her color choices. She’s put a lot of thought into the process to contribute to the storytelling.
Jordie Bellaire’s story, which sees Diana challenge the status quo of the Amazons and her mother, Queen Hippolyta, is a lesson in truth and self-awareness. While we see how it plays out for Diana and her relationships with the other various Amazons (and her relationship is unique with the different Amazon with whom she interacts), it’s a lesson that is applicable to our real world. Young or old, this story demonstrates how important the truth is in relationships and moving forward in life as an individual, but also as a community.
Don’t let the package surprise you, this is a story for all Wonder Woman fans! No negatives here.
The Adventures of Young Diana goes beyond simple storytelling and gives the reader a significant message through a lesson that Diana learns. Story and art come together wonderfully to communicate this. If you’re looking for more Young Diana there’s a tale to be found in the Wonder Woman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular AND, more importantly, the final page of this comic promises more to come in 2022!