Review: Wonder Woman: Earth One Vol. 2

For years, Diana of Paradise Island yearned to leave the only home she knew behind for adventures that laid beyond its shores. Now, after a fateful meeting with Air Force pilot Steve Trevor, the Amazon Warrior finds herself in Man’s World. And she is ready for anything that it may throw at her.

But is the world ready for Wonder Woman? An American government, fraught with dissension and conflicts foreign to Diana, has deemed her a danger to society. How will Wonder Woman carry out her mission of peace and love in a world that can’t get out of its own way? That is, unless there are more insidious forces at play…

It’s been quite a while since I read the first volume of Grant Morrison‘s Wonder Woman: Earth One but it sticks out as interesting but nothing special. This second volume though absolutely stands out from the pack in the best way possible.

Morrison, who is generally a hit or miss writer for me, delivers a graphic novel that’s relevant for today. Wonder Woman is out front on the world stage but the question stands as to how the world would react. Morrison gives us what feels like what would be close to reality in that there’s those that fear her, those that want to follow her, and those that want her to rise up and smash the patriarchy. Instead of the Goddess of War as we’ve seen elsewhere, this Wonder Woman, and the Amazonians, are warriors who battle through heart and peace. They’re are less likely to punch you than hug you. It’s an interesting dynamic and one that has her outlook on the world clashing with reality creating much of the tension in this volume.

Wonder Woman’s nemesis is one for the time being a pick up artist who uses techniques to try to control Wonder Woman and have her do his bidding. Between that and lots of talk about feminism and the patriarchy this is a graphic novel that uses today’s socio-political setting as a basis of the story. It reflects our reality in many ways and shows us a hero dealing with the real problems we face. Also present is a Nazi villain that mixes in a bit of white supremacy into the mix. While the plot has some elements that feel like too much of a stretch and not explained well enough, overall it uses our reality as an excellent driver.

Morrison also gives nods to the history of Wonder Woman with references to her bondage and BDSM roots and never crossing over the line into titillation. There’s winks and nods throughout as to what has come before and that includes the art by Yanick Paquette.

Paquette is joined by Nathan Fairborn on colors and Todd Klein on lettering. The art is vibrant with pages that weave together Wonder Woman’s lasso and iconic stars into the page layout an panels. The art is beautiful to look at and has an energy about it that’s reflected in the story and character. There’s an excitement about it all and as far as page design, this is some of the best of the year. It feels innovative and something I hope to see more of.

The overall package is great and small story issues are easily overlooked. Morrison and the team have put together a graphic novel that’s relevant to today. It uses what’s going on the real world to drive the story but never lets it get overwhelmed by it. Instead, the graphic novel delivers a lot of what we want and it being an Earth One story, we get to see new directions we never expected. This is a the Wonder Woman of love and heart that has no problem punching someone. In today’s world, that feels like something fresh and new.

Story: Grant Morrison Art: Yanick Paquette Color: Nathan Fairborn Lettering: Todd Klein
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review