Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wonder Woman: Blood by Brian Azzarello, art by Clif Chiang and Tony Akins

Zeus has disappeared.  The Greek gods are fighting amongst themselves for control of Olympus.  Hera is after a woman who is supposedly pregnant with Zeus' child, and Wonder Woman has learned the shocking truth about her own birth, that throws her right in the middle of the warring gods.

It's time for a new origin story!  Again!  As far as I can tell, this is a completely new origin story, correct me if I'm wrong.  Originally, Diana had been created by her mother, Hippolyta, out of clay, and then is given life.  During a revamp, she was given even more power by being blessed by various gods.  Now her origin is completely different, and it's is the basis of the story.  That was kind of cool.  They didn't just change it and leave it at that, the entire story is about Diana's "true" origin.

Wonder Woman is throw in the middle of a battle when Hermes transports a young women right into her home.  The woman is Zola, who is pregnant with Zeus' child, and, if you've ever read any Greek mythology, Hera, Zeus' queen, does not take kindly to the mortal women that Zeus gets with.  They have a tendency to wind up as cows or rocks and so forth.

Wonder Woman takes Zola to Paradise Island, home of the Amazons.  In this version, Diana is not welcome by many on Paradise Island.  Some see her as an outsider, since she was created, not born, an Amazon.  They are also angry for Diana bringing down the wrath of the gods on them.  Then Chaos shows up and drops the hammer - Diana is, in fact, a daughter of Zeus as well.  Hippolyta made up the whole made-out-of-clay story to protect her from Hera.

I enjoyed this version.  I like the increase in Greek mythology.  I've always loved reading Greek myths, and aside from Diana's mother being Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, there wasn't a whole lot of Greek mythology originally.  Now all the various gods are involved, and we see how careless they can be with mortals' lives.

So I liked the new origin story, and the increase in Greek mythology, but there is a downside to this new twist.  Before, Diana was the ultimate Amazon.  No men were involved in her birth.  She was the greatest Amazon of them all, chosen as the protector of the man's world.  That's been tainted now, because she's actually just another illegitimate child of Zeus.  Also, before, Diana didn't actually have superpowers.  She was strong and fast and brave because of her Amazon upbringing, and there was the idea that any girl could be like that, if she worked hard and tried.  Not any more.  Now Diana is half god.  Hmm, that's actually kind of what makes Wonder Woman Wonder Woman, isn't it?

I at first thought I wasn't going to like the art, because I didn't like the cover at all.  It was very sharp and angular and completely unappealing to me.  Luckily, the art inside was much better.  And I did not feel like the women were being over sexualized.  Yes, Zola is in a tank top and underwear for the beginning of the book, but it was done in such a way that it didn't feel explicit.  It was done because yeah, some people sleep in a tank top and underwear.  She wasn't in awkward tits and ass poses.

For the first time in I don't know how long, we don't get a lot of cleavage with Wonder Women's costume.  The way that it's cut actually covers where her cleavage would be.  The top actually looks pretty supportive.  Wonder Women is draw as tall and muscular.  You can tell she's athletic and strong.  She has her thick, dark, curly hair.  She is beautiful and powerful.  I really loved how Wonder Women is represented.

I was confused at the end, though.  I'm not totally sure what happened.  Wonder Woman set up a big trick with Hera and Poseidon and Hades, and then...something happened?  With a candle?  And Hermes staff?  And then...something happened to Hera.  I'm not clear what.  So if anyone can explain that, that would be awesome.

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