Saturday, 11 January 2014

Wonder Woman Odyssey: Makes Me Wonder Why More People Don’t Like Wonder Woman!

A Review By: Amelia
Wonder Woman doesn’t get a lot of love from a large segment of the comic community. Most of it comes from the fact that she’s such a hard character to write for and a lot of authors shy away from the challenge in the face of more uniform characters like Batman and Superman. Most Wonder Woman comics are either so homogeneous or non-evolved from what we know of Wonder Woman they pass us by. Or they are so ridiculous and off character that they’re panned by critics and/or hailed as genius and/or send the die-hard Wonder Woman fans into a tizzy that could end all life on Earth as we know it! Wonder Woman Odyssey, thankfully, falls in-between the two extremes to create something new with a splash of the old mixed in for good measure!

Simply put, Wonder Woman Odyssey is a romp of violence and revenge with a pissed off, mostly extinct race of female warriors lead by a magical demi-goddess whose out for blood! Why are they pissed off and looking for blood? Due to mysterious (and violent) circumstances, Princess Diana of the Amazons must track down the truth behind what’s happened to her timeline, her people, and her home.

The main author of Odyssey is J. Michael Straczynski. He’s known for his writer and producing in every media type available and is perhaps most well known as the creator/showrunner of Babylon 5 and it’s spin-off Crusade. His comic work includes The Amazing Spider-Man and Thor for Marvel, and Superman and Wonder Woman for DC.

The main character of the piece is Diana, but not Diana as Wonder Woman. She’s not Wonder Woman in the piece because she’s not a hero–not in the way of Superman or Batman anyways. She’s out for revenge against those who wronged the Amazons while also fighting to stay alive as the people who destroyed the Amazon’s home island are out to kill the small groups of Amazons that are still alive. Unfortunately, even with such an easy plot line to write for, none of the characters ever really feel that fleshed out: they’re all very singular in their purposes and that’s fine, just give them a little more personality, drive, raw emotions–anything really.

The art style of Odyssey is a very detailed, realistic style. There are bright colours, stunning detail in the various locations, and excellent fight scenes that are well paced and really pretty to look at. Diana also has a fresh new costume and, personally, I think it’s great. It’s a costume that’s feminine but tough and it’s modern and versatile. It’s an upgrade that’s been a long time coming if you ask me!

Now, after all this, Odyssey is a difficult comic to critique. It’s Wonder Woman, so I think it’s awesome, and it’s got an awesome storyline. I mean she’s craving her own future with the bone of her enemies while trying to reclaim the past they took from her. That’s wicked. Unfortunately, it’s an epic storyline that isn’t executed as well as it could have been. That being said, this isn’t the worst comic I’ve ever read–not by far–but it also doesn’t really stand out as something that’s going to define a new Wonder Woman. It’s a nice try to get a fresh-eyed set of people interested in a new and improved (depending on who you ask) Wonder Woman–and her costume and storyline are pretty bad-ass–but all in all, it falls just a little short.

Diana in all her ass-kicking glory!
My final thoughts on Wonder Woman Odyssey are that it’s pretty good. Not great, but better than some. The characters–including Wonder Woman herself–all seem a little flat, but Wonder Woman’s a hard character to write for and I get that. Of course that doesn’t mean that we should publish ‘just okay’ pieces about her because authors (who are good with other superheroes) aren’t great with her. We should find new authors with more depth to offer to this iconic ass-kicking lady and show the world that fighting like a girl is a good thing!

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