Wonder Woman: The True Amazon
by Jill Thompson (DC Comics, 2016)

The title of this book could almost be Marvel's Wonder Woman: The True Amazon. While it's yet another re-telling of Wonder Woman's origin story, this time there's a twist on the familiar tale that is very reminiscent of The House of Ideas. At some point, I expected Hippolyta or another Amazon to start quoting Uncle Ben ("With great power comes great responsibility, yadda yadda yadda...").

All it takes is one character to completely change the most familiar tale. In this case, the character is a stable girl named Alethea. It's not a love story, per se, but it's a story of choices, rash actions and ramifications. To tell more would waste the emotional impact that Jill Thompson works so hard to establish.

There's an inherent beauty to this story that transcends Thompson's watercolors. Of course, her paintings are gorgeous, but there's more to it. Thompson is an absolute master of storytelling. Despite working with renowned creators like Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison, she rarely gets the same accolades. This reviewer will gladly go on record as saying that she is one of the most talented storytellers working in any visual medium. Wonder Woman: The True Amazon is another stunning example that should help cement that claim.

The thing is, this new take on Wonder Woman's origin could be a worthwhile addition/alteration to the mythos. It certainly explains the reason for her presence in Man's World and gives her mission some direction. Since DC Comics opted to drop the New 52/Azzarello/Chiang version of Wonder Woman (an utterly fantastic, fresh and novel rendition), it's too bad they didn't adopt this version as the "official" Wonder Woman with their most recent Rebirth reboot.

The situation of Wonder Woman: The True Amazon is borderline ironic. Despite Thompson creating a virtually timeless story that could work for almost every version of Wonder Woman that's ever been published, the timing of the publication (in-between the New 52 and Rebirth) means that it will be ignored by the current batch of creators. Hopefully this reviewer will be proven wrong and Thompson's talents will be remembered and recognized.

review by
C. Nathan Coyle

28 January 2017

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