The best artwork in a graphic novel you will find this year is at your comic book store this week. Seven-time Eisner Award winner Jill Thompson has created the definitive Wonder Woman origin story with Wonder Woman: The True Amazon, written and painted in the spectacularly vibrant manner only America’s most acclaimed writer-artist could create.
You may be familiar with Diana, Amazon Princess, and her ancient origin story, but this new version is a keeper–a storybook you’d read to your kids with lush colors and mythology steeped in classic folklore. The action and storytelling are similar in execution to the best work of Alan Moore and his bold layouts, as well as the action and story development in Frank Miller’s 300–an easy comparison because of the setting and theme–yet Thompson’s story and art is far richer. Thompson’s watercolor-painted comic pages and layout work is up there with the 1980s-1990s work of Mike Grell, and Wonder Woman: The True Amazon may very well be not only looked back on as the benchmark for all Wonder Woman: Year One attempts to come, it’s very possibly the best looking graphic novel from DC Comics since Grell’s Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters.
Best of all, Thompson’s story is surprising. For much of the tale Diana is anything but heroic. An early subtitle was The Very Selfish Princess–should that give you a hint. Thompson looked deep into the mythos of Wonder Woman–celebrating her 75th year this year–and asked “what did Diana go through to become this iconic figure?”
Her Wonder Woman costume is Thompson’s own design, and Thompson explains how Diana acquired her famous tools here–her lasso, her tiara, her gauntlets, her “golden girdle.” This Wonder Woman is bound to be the next popular cosplay costume, especially with Wonder Woman finally getting her own film next year. And don’t be surprised if this superheroine looks a bit like the artist–like other characters Thompson has worked into past books (Thompson has also served as a model for other artists, including the great P. Craig Russell), Diana resembles Thompson here, too.
Thompson is known for many past successes, everything from her work on Sandman to Swamp Thing and Dead Boy Detectives to Scary Godmother. Our favorite is the award-winning Beasts of Burden series from Dark Horse Comics raved about here at borg.com on multiple occasions.
This lavish edition has end papers, thick pages, incredible color work, and Thompson shares her process with readers in a ten-page appendix. It will fit nicely on your bookshelf alongside comic book classics like David Wenzel’s The Hobbit and David Petersen’s Mouse Guard, and, of course, the previously mentioned Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters.
So don’t miss out on the best Wonder Woman book in years, and one of DC Comics’ finest publications in several years. Wonder Woman: The True Amazon is available at your local comic book store now or here at Amazon.com.