“Wonder Woman: Paradise Lost” (2023 Edition)
Writer and Artist: Phil Jimenez
Co-Scripters: J.M DeMatteis, Joe Kelly
Co-Potters: George Pérez, Devin K. Grayson
Inkers: Andy Lanning, Cam Smith, George Pérez
Color Artists: Pam Rambo, Patricia Mulvihill, with Jamison and Heroic Age
Letterers: Comicraft, Ken Lopez
Reviewed by Steve J. Ray
Published by DC Comics – ISBN Published by DC Comics – ISBN 9781779524393
Available from Penguin Random House
This brand new edition of Wonder Woman: Paradise Lost is required reading for fans excited about the upcoming Warner Bros./DC Entertainment television series, also named Paradise Lost, as announced by James Gunn as part of the first “Gods and Monsters” chapter of the new DC Universe media slate!
This great new edition collects Wonder Woman #164-#170, “Who is Troia” from Wonder Woman: Secret Files #2 and all the original series covers, by Adam Hughes.
Featuring one of the greatest Wonder Woman/Batman team ups ever, we see the Amazon Warrior and the Dark Knight come together to face The Joker, Scarecrow and Poison Ivy. However, these aren’t the supervillains that we know and love to hate, as their bodies have been possessed by the evil Greek gods Deimos, Phobos, and Eris… the children of Ares!
Where do I even begin? A Wonder Woman/Batman team-up written and drawn by the incomparable Phil Jimenez, and co-plotted with the legendary George Pérez, alone is enough to get any comics fan excited! In fact, this book delivers vintage, classic superhero action of the highest quality. Oh, and of course it looks fantastic!
Add in appearances by Troia, Nightwing, Artemis, Cassie Sandsmark, Tim Drake, Huntress, and Harley Quinn, and what you get is a comic book blockbuster for the ages. Then getting to see Queen Hippolyta as Wonder Woman fighting alongside the Justice Society, in a second brilliant story featuring Amazons at war with each other, is a massive bonus. Seeing Jay Garrick’s Golden Age Flash and Black Canary always make this old fan very, very happy.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Phil Jimenez is one of the finest writer/artists working in comics. Just take a glance at the pages attached to this review as evidence. The fact that this huge talent is also a fan shines out of every panel. Clearly this is a writer/artist that knows and loves these characters as, just like his mentor George Pérez, Jimenez is one of the few artists who draws all of them perfectly. The best part is that he’s also someone whose style stands out and is instantly recognizable.
What I love about this book is the level of storytelling and artistry on show. Yeas, it’s action packed, but we also get a wonderful range of expression and emotion from every character, as well as fantastic levels of detail, realistic (if heightened) human anatomy, and backgrounds that are rich, and full of depth.
Some modern comics seem to only focus on the characters, this is not the case with this book. From the alleys of Gotham City, the fields of Themyscira, the heights of Olympus, to the depths of Hades, what we get in Wonder Woman: Paradise Lost is a fully realized and lived in universe.
I would really, really struggle to find anything to complain about with this book. No, it’s not Shakespeare or Dickens, but it’s an incredible piece of entertainment. The one thing I will say is that it’s only half of the story. Don’t panic, though, Wonder Woman: Paradise Lost can be enjoyed as a standalone graphic novel. However, seeds are sown and the the final page alludes to the great action yet to come, in Wonder Woman: Paradise Found, another collection which has had a lovely refresh!
This book is well written, and fast paced, yet still full of heart and character. This is the story to give a Batman fan who wants to read about other DC characters, or the perfect gift for someone who wants to catch up on Wonder Woman’s greatest hits. If you love superheroic thrills, incredible action, larger-than-life characters and a real sense of threat, then this book is definitely for you.
The fact that the final story in this volume also appears in 2021’s wonderful Wonder Woman: 80 Years of the Amazon Warrior as one of the greatest Wonder Woman stories of all time is also an indicator of the quality of this collection.
Pick up a copy now, wherever books and comics are sold.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment. Review copy courtesy of Penguin Random House.