Title: Wonder Woman.
Story-Arc: Earth One.
Writer(s): Grant Morrison.
Illustrator(s): Yanick Paquette, Nathan Fairbairn & Todd Klein.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: October 9th 2018.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.
Previously on the Earth One series:
Superman: Earth One (Vol. 1) by J. Michael Straczynski
Batman: Earth One (Vol. 1) by Geoff Johns
Green Lantern: Earth One (Vol. 1) by Gabriel Hardman
Wonder Woman: Earth One (Vol. 1) by Grant Morrison
After what was certainly the most disappointing story by Grant Morrison yet, we finally return to the provocative retelling of Wonder Woman’s origin story in this second volume of DC Comics’ Earth One graphic novel line-up. It’s safe to say that the return of the same creative team to work on this second book of the trilogy is a reassuring thought as the sudden shift in artwork style wouldn’t have played a positive role on what is already a controversial story arc for Diana Prince. With the foundation of this story set in a discourse on feminism, patriarchy and everything that shines bright in the news nowadays, there’s definitely a mystery behind Morrison’s direction and where he wishes to bring this series in terms of story-telling. It’s safe to say that Grant Morrison’s take on the character is one that won’t please the mass unanimously, but it does have the potential to trigger some much-needed reflection on issues we blatantly discuss in our everyday lives today.
Following the events in the first volume, this graphic novel shows us Wonder Woman trying to change the world outside Paradise Island with her own vision of society melded through love and peace. While slowly becoming an icon for women, she also encounters several different oppositions in various forms, and notably, the American government and it’s men-filled structure. With threats that flourishes in their old ways in Man’s World, nothing Diana Prince wishes to accomplish is easy and everything comes at a price. Putting behind his nonlinear story-telling ways, Grant Morrison looks to further develop his clash of ideals through multiple perspectives while still keeping this retelling as shocking as possible. Will voicing your ideas be enough to convince the world for change or will Wonder Woman need to reinforce her words with action to get things done?
While this Earth One series hasn’t been too successful in my books, it is quite courageous of Grant Morrison to stay loyal to Wonder Woman’s character roots and deliver such a story for fans of the hero to indulge. The second volume of this series continues to stay loyal to its predecessor, but actually builds up an intrigue that relentlessly tries to keep you hooked, even if it doesn’t always connect with the reader. The story still shoehorns a lot of social issues into play, with transsexualism and terrorism being some examples of ideas being integrated and questioned on a philosophical level. While interesting, they always felt like side dishes forced onto the reader to gulp up quickly without ever having the time to savour them. It was still fun, to some extent, to see how Wonder Woman deals with these issues that she has never seen on Paradise Island and how she strongly believes that they are inevitably the cause of men.
The artwork is still pretty solid and continues to highlight Diana Prince’s confidence and charisma through her posture and smile. What Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn achieve is definitely gorgeous to the naked eye and makes it easy to breeze through their combined craft without second-guessing their designs. It sometimes even brought me to gaze at some of their designs for their mere creativity, such as the Wonder Niqab. While some might call it culture appropriation, the context made it slightly more appropriate and worth wondering how much Wonder Woman needs to do to adapt to international conflicts if she wants to get her beliefs through. The vibrant colours and the large panels—which in fact aren’t traditional square panels—also make it a lot easier to follow what’s going on without being lost in the narrative.
It’s not easy to indulge a Wonder Woman that believes that men should kneel to feminism if they want to see world peace, but when you’ve grown on an isolated island with only women and have not known any form of war, it’s definitely easy to understand why Diana Prince is confident in her ways. But what is to come in the next story arc will surely shed more light on her understanding on Man’s World and its focus on cultural diversity and differences.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!