The entire story of the Amazons can finally be told: Millennia ago, Queen Hera and the goddesses of the Olympian pantheon grew greatly dissatisfied with their male counterparts…and far from their sight, they put a plan into action. A new society was born, one never before seen on Earth, capable of wondrous and terrible things…but their existence could not stay secret for long. When a despairing woman named Hippolyta crossed the Amazons’ path, a series of events was set in motion that would lead to an outright war in heaven—and the creation of the Earth’s greatest guardian!
Legendary talents Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Jimenez unleash a reading experience the likes of which you’ve never seen, with subsequent issues featuring art by Gene Ha and Nicola Scott! One of the most unforgettable DC tales of all time begins here.
If you’ve read it (or plan to) and wish to discuss, drop your thoughts below when you’re ready!
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Honestly, this issue was kinda losing me in the first half. Yes, Jimenez’s art was extraordinary, but it was very overwhelming at times, to the point where I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on from one panel to another, if there was even another panel or not. Jimenez has always had really intricate panel layouts with small details like George Perez, but Perez was always able to do that without sacrificing storytelling for it, and I think for the creation of the Amazons it was sacrificed a lot.
Speaking of Perez and the creation of the Amazons, another thing that was grating at me was just me thinking, “This is literally what we got in the first issue of Perez’s Wonder Woman, but with crazy art design.” There was absolutely nothing new or novel in any of the actual plot and written word of what was going on. I was reminded a bit of criticism of Ultimate Spider-Man when it came out about how Bendis took a 10 page story and bloated it out into six full issues, and I was worried that was going to happen here.
Then we got to the second half, with Hippolyta as a midwife being forced to make a horrific decision and how she meets the Amazons. Now THAT was interesting. That was new, seeing Hippolyta not as the badass warrior queen as she’s typically depicted. I can see this being Hippolyta’s origin story and her rise from a trembling midwife to a confident queen. Even the panel layouts worked so much better there, like the spread of Hippolyta running away.
Were you reading a physical copy or digital, @Jay_Kay? I didn’t find myself confused, but I was reading digital in guided view so maybe that helped?
Well…while I agree it’s the same mythology as Perez, I wouldn’t say it’s exactly the same in the way it’s being told. They’re telling it through the voice of the women involved - which they mentioned being the intention in that Beyond the Panels video. These goddesses are speaking as women first, Olympians second. That’s how I read it, anyway.
From another perspective, I think it’s necessary setup for what we’re probably going to see from the Amazon tribes created by each goddess.
I agree though, a lot of this was setting up what is to come. I found it fascinating as an Amazon fangirl, but I can see it maybe being hard to get into generally. And of course I am most interested to see what happens with Hippolyta and Diana. I’m sure we’ll see more focus on them in coming issues.
This was the first Black Label book I’ve ever read, and I honestly found both the story and art very compelling. It certainly doesn’t read like a Justice League romp, but it calls itself “Historia” for a reason. It’s a history lesson. I feel like (if you had a cool enough professor) this could absolutely be required reading in a Women’s Studies class.
Looking forward to the rest, but…Spring 2022. It’ll be a minute.
I was reading digitally – I figured if I’m going to get it in physical form I’d rather have whatever fancy hardcover that they do with it (the oversized hardcovers for these Black Label originals have ALL been gorgeous). Guided view does help, but I think what kind of did it for me was the coloring more than anything.
I wonder if digitally/on a back-lit screen, the colors pop so bright that it kind of obscures things. I know Yanick Paquette talked about that before when the first volume of Wonder Woman: Earth One came out, suggesting that print was the best way to read it because it was colored for print in mind.
It kind of is – I know Wonder Woman #1 had an extensive sequence of the different gods creating the Amazons, the only difference being that Hermes was involved in Perez’s version and this one took him out entirely. I’m pretty sure there was also an extended conversation between the pantheon as well that results in the creation of the Amazons.
It’s not a word for word translation of course, but it felt just a bit formulaic. Like if DC decided to make a new Batman origin story that started with James Gordon coming to Gotham and dealing with corruption in the police ranks, and Bruce Wayne trying to fight crime and nearly getting killed before realizing he needs to become a bat, the scenes itself could be different enough and well written, but it would feel a little too close to Batman: Year One for my comfort.
That’s cool! Hope this gets you interested to try some others because DC has largely been killing it with what’s in their Black Label line.
If you don’t mind a recommendation, there’s another Wonder Woman focused project in the Black Label called Wonder Woman: Dead Earth, written and drawn by Daniel Warren Johnson, about Wonder Woman finding herself in a post-apocalyptic world and trying to figure out what happened, how to best protect the last vestiges of humanity, and how her people may have played a role in the destruction of the planet. It’s really interesting seeing Diana’s sense of compassion set against this bleak world, and it’s just gorgeously drawn.
That’s interesting! Thanks for sharing this, I didn’t know about those differences between print and digital. I’m not sure if this is why my experience was different, but I have blue light turned off on my phone at all times because I get migraines (and usually have the screen brightness turned down pretty far). I don’t notice the difference anymore, but I know it does make colors appear differently. Your observation gives me a new perspective on consuming comics this way…I’m probably getting a different experience than intended a lot of the time.
I think what I said still is true. What you are referring to is what I meant by “mythology” - the who, what and when is the same as Perez, so to speak. But that actual conversation among the Pantheon looks quite different.
In Perez, it’s a great deal of flowery language (as probably would be expected of classical characters at the time, I suppose) - Artemis and the rest asking politely to create a new race. (Quite a bit of it is Ares raging against the idea, which obviously is to set up the story to come). And yes, Hermes was part of it. But Zeus throws up his hands and leaves, so it kind of ends in “whatever ladies, do what you want.”
In Historia, the tone of the conversation is altered completely. The goddesses are very much “we’re doing this and this is why” - and they are met with nothing but condescension and indifference by the male gods. Zeus doesn’t officially give his blessing in either case, and both times Hera does not choose to openly act against him - but the way it plays out is focused on why the Amazons’ creation needs to happen as it relates to the rights of women.
The original story in Wonder Woman #1 is now over 35 years old. I think it absolutely makes sense to retell it for today’s audience with a more modern take on the whole idea of why the Amazons are brought to be. In a way, I think it’s probably a lot like what The Other History of the DC Universe did - give voice to marginalized groups through a contemporary lens. (I have only read Renee Montoya’s issue - that was my 2nd ever Black Label book which I read last week - but I plan to check out the whole series.)
Anyyyyway…sorry, @Jay_Kay, I probably get a little too into analyzing Wonder Woman lore. (@Razzzcat has seen my reading list that I undertook in the past year. Let’s just say…I got into it. ) This is a great conversation that has given me a lot to think about, so thanks for talking to me about this.
I welcome any and all comic recs, WW or otherwise! I do know of Dead Earth, although I was waiting for it to drop on DCUI to check it out. I dunno if that’s happening anytime soon though…man, I should have picked it up during October when Comixology had all Diana’s stuff on sale. It looks amazing! Thanks for sharing those pictures. It’s definitely on my list.
I was going to read this as it came out, but being that Wonder Girl is where its at for me as far as Wonder Woman-related books that I’m buying/reading as they hit retail go, this will likely be a DCUI or trade read. On the trade front, I imagine it will make for a swell hardcover.
However, I am absolutely going to read any and all spoilers about the series, so feel free to spoil away, those who are reading the title as it comes out!
Dead Earth came out from December 2019 (#1) to August 2020 (#4), so unless DC has a DCUI embargo on it, it should be in our library (which is down at the time of this writing, otherwise I’d search for it and, providing it is in our library, link to the series).
No way - I’m really glad you’re here to talk w/ us, @Angel212! And YES I can vouch for your reading list!! Dead Earth is on it - Maybe someday it’ll land here (I asked for it several times myself), but I thought it was pretty great and worth picking up:
I have only read his “Paradise Lost” arc so far. So yes, please no spoilers! I definitely want to read all his WW stuff! Like I said…there’s a list. And I’ve been trying to find some balance across the 80 years of content.
Hope you guys don’t mind me bumping this thread for something cool. On the Word Balloon podcast/video series this week, there was an episode dedicated to Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Jimenez doing their “director’s commentary” on the first half of the first issue, with a lot of cool insight into how the book was made. They talked about coming back sometime in the near future to do the second half.
I read this last night. I have barely read a comic in December and November then most of January I wanted to read but felt drained from work. Anywho, yeah, this is such a great read! There are some books that I read once and then think that is cool but will I read it again or will I want the TPB or hardcover of that? Then there is Historia. This is beyond impressive. The artwork is meant to be studied and appreciated. The prose is great but the first half is purely about the artwork. I couldn’t help but think that many of these pages would fit perfectly on a college dorm room wall next to a Dali and Bob Marley poster.
The one thing that I love about comic books is that build and borrow from previous stories. Seeing the first half and noticing the tribute to Perez was a nice touch. Once things felt familiar and safe, everything was thrown on its head. Diving deep into the world of the unknown. I am excited about the second book of this series. I can’t wait to see the familiar world of Wonder Woman flipped upside down as we learn more about Amazonian history.