Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Blood (The New 52)
Confession: I used to avoid Wonder Woman comics because I was afraid it would be filled with sexist-against-guys femi-nazi hatefulness. If that’s the way it used to be, (I don’t know), then it sure isn’t now! I would not be ashamed for a man to read this comic at all! The story of Wonder Woman’s plight, the vicious, back stabbing nature of the gods, and the strength and loyalty of the Amazons makes a story worth getting lost in whether you’ve been a previous comic book fan or not! It is one of the greatest examples of the DC Comics New 52 reboot at it’s finest! I have been impressed with the fresh perspective and beginning feel of so many DC titles so far, but Wonder Woman really takes the cake! (Make your own Wonder Woman cake here.)
It really feels like a lot of research and thought went into creating the gods for this story. They are deliciously selfish and make very hateful, unique, and powerful villains. (Not to mention there seems to be some god for every type of fan to relate to! Take your pick for your favorite!) I am excited to turn the page just to find out what god may be introduced next and what awesome way they’ve chosen to portray them! The way they interact with one another seems natural and very psychologically deep. As a writer with interests in mythology, ethics, and morals it is very intriguing to study this particular spin on the world of the gods and their role in man’s world. They’ve taken the already existent mythological stories and blended them into a very nice ongoing soap opera for us to enjoy!
Now to speak of villains! Though Hades, Strife, Poseidon, War, etc…are very thrilling, wicked bad guys to contend with, the one that makes me shudder the most is Hera! When she is against someone she is everything dangerous to fear from a woman scorned, and the Wonder Woman comics are the perfect place to have such a strong, beautiful enemy. I find myself empathizing with the jaded queen of the gods, desperate to find a way to make Zeus love her the way his man-slut-self seems to spread his love out to everyone else. With Zeus’ disappearance she has the weight of the world, (and more), on her shoulders. I can really appreciate and respect her as a villain even though I can understand that Wonder Woman is in the right with her duty to her own conscious and her own self respect.
Hermes is my favorite so far! He is super cool with his talon feet!! I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll say that one of my favorite lines is after he asks a girl what shape Zeus disguised himself as to get her to want to have sex with him. (That’s a thing Zeus does. He’s always shape shifting to woo chicks.) The girl lists off several different men because she gets around and isn’t quite sure which one Zeus might have been. The look on Hermes’ face is priceless!!! The girl then says, “I like men, Hermes, and I’m not gonna apologize for that.” Hermes says, “As you shouldn’t.” Such a great guy! No judgement from him!
Wonder Woman is drawn much more feminine that I expected, though she is in no way dainty or meek like a Victorian lady. I love how being a woman, being a girl, is not frowned upon here! Wonder Woman and the Amazons are women with purpose and are very much people to admire. They are not jaded and living their lives the way they do out of fear or anger toward men, but rather that they are embracing what it is to be a woman. I have seen Amazon-type stories completely ruined by making the women all victims acting out of vengeance or fear, but Wonder Woman is no wallowing victim! She is a woman to be respected and she shows this by the way she values herself and treats others with respect as well. (When it is due them, of course. If they don’t deserve respect she lays the painful smack down on them! Yes!)
The artwork is very pleasantly colorful, shifting from light settings to creepy dark settings as needed to very efficiently set the mood. It seems like all the characters are very, very flawless and beautiful for the most part, which is understandable sense they are all gods, mix breed gods, or people the gods are coveting/consorting with. I very much appreciate how the sad/crying/anger faces in this are also decent to look at and beautiful in their own pitiful way, unlike some comics which make their heroine a snotty pinch-faced ugly mess when they’re upset. *Cough* Catwoman New 52 Vol 1: The Game. *Cough*
The drawings are not super detailed on every page, meaning that the light and shadow are sometimes simply outlines rather than catering to every muscular curve and crevice of a body, but I like the affect it has, so it’s a good thing! The background in places also looks like it was hurriedly added in at the last minute as filler, but it wasn’t distracting. What WAS distracting was the way Strife was drawn. Maybe she’s supposed to look unnatural and like she just doesn’t belong, because she’s strife, after all, but that’s just what it looks like. Her character seems to float on the pages as if she was drawn by a completely different artist and just penciled in on top of the story. The way she stands sometimes, it’s clear in real life she should just tip over. There’re several panels of her walking through the forest at one point, and her arms and legs do NOT remind me of something walking, but rather she seems to be a manikin posed to pretend she’s moving. It’s a consistent thing throughout the comic that the way Strife is drawn is a tic distracting.
Something I really don’t like, though, is the way I see feet drawn in here from time to time. They do it nicely all the time, so I know the artist(s) know how to do it! Then out of nowhere they revert back to High School concept are and have these triangular cartoon feet that give the limbs a swollen allergy appearance. It’s just a pet peeve of mine, and I bet most people don’t even notice. I, on the other hand, am looking at this powerful image of Hera standing over a shamed worshiper, looking down at her disapprovingly in all her naked, confident queen-of-the-gods glory, and I scan down her lovely frame and cringe when I see those doofy feet they added at the end! *Miff* It doesn’t match the detail of the rest of the body art.
This New 52 comic has really wet my appetite to read much more Wonder Woman! I’ll be getting the next volumes as they come out, and at some point I may even start back tracking to the older comics to compare. I highly recommend it! I give Wonder Woman Vol 1: Blood five hearts! You can click on the picture of Vol 1 up there and it will take you to the amazon link where you can buy your own copy! (Or you can just click here.)