Princess Diana has always been the heart and soul of DC Comics’ trinity as Wonder Woman, and now we get to see what shaped her into the hero she has become in The Legend of Wonder Woman. The first issue hits shelves today and collects the first three parts of the origin story that began life as a DC Digital First comic.
The story begins with the Amazons creating a perfect society away from the greed and war of man. The Gods are thoroughly impressed with the Amazons’ peaceful culture and offer Queen Hippolyta and some of her sisters immortality and an island paradise after war is brought from the world of Man tearing apart their society. Hippolyta has everything she could ever want yet deep down there is something missing. Her sorrow from not being able to bear a child becomes too much for her, so out of the island’s clay a daughter is given; Diana. Flash forward some years and Diana is a young, troubled girl fearing for her island’s safety. Something dark and dangerous is coming and she begs the immortal Alcippe to teach her the warrior’s way.
The story by Renee De Liz is full of magic and wonder, distilled to its essence in the eyes of its young would-be hero. She verbally paints a picture of a child’s wonder and apprehension toward a world she doesn’t yet understand. De Liz fills this world with all manner of mythological creature, masterfully using Wonder Woman’s fantasy background in a way it hasn’t been used in a long while. The pacing is rather quick but the art causes you to linger on the page, soaking in the awe and wonderment alongside our heroine. She writes Diana as a girl struggling with who she is told she is, all while striving to be who she knows she is. Her Diana is full of confidence and a sense of adventure, with an underlying edge of childlike naivete and arrogance.
The husband and wife duo is the perfect pairing to tell this story. De Liz’s art is fantastic, and she writes to her strengths. Her page layouts and panel designs are great; unique yet with a flow that leads your eyes across the page like a Hippogryph to water. Her panels really pop, full of detailed backgrounds that draw you into the story, giving you a world that feels lived-in and alive. Husband and creative partner Ray Dillon adds another level to the art with his inking and coloring, using natural subdued hues and an air-brushed look that delivers a softness to the page belying the fact that these are warriors. His inks make De Liz’s pencils pop off the page, giving the characters weight and substance. Dillon’s lettering stands out yet is never intrusive, which is the point of good lettering.
I have been watching this team ever since the digitalwebbing.com forum days, and they have come so far since then. The Legend of Wonder Woman is not without its flaws, but they are so minor as not to warrant mention. This is going to be a Wonder Woman for a whole new generation, and I for one can’t wait to see how her story unfolds in the very secure hands of De Liz and Dillon.