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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Comic Book Corner: Wonder Woman

Titles: Bitter Rivals,
Eyes of the Gorgon,
Land of the Dead,
Mission's End

Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Rags Morales

Wonder Woman is an icon that is often taken for granted. When she first appeared in the 1950's, comic books were dominated by male characters who rescued damsels in distress is relatively simple action tales. The Amazons, however, were nothing like the women who were drawn before. They were strong, intelligent and didn't need men to solve their problems for them. Their champion was Wonder Woman, the daughter of the queen and an ambassador to the world. Though peace was her mission, she was more than able to resort to fisticuffs when provoked.

Now, 50 years later, Princess Diana is one of many heroic women, either in comics or in real life, so it is easy to overlook the character as boring or unoriginal. In reality, she continues to serve as an inspirational figure who is more than capable of doing anything (and many times more than) a man can.

Wonder Woman looks at Diana in her role as an ambassador and an global icon. She is a best-selling author who is respected around the world. She is surrounded by a supporting group of assistants at the Themysciran Embassy and things seem to be moving smoothly. However, a jealous rival is out to discredit her using any means necessary. At the same time, villains of various origins are always up to no good. It is us to Wonder Woman to save the day while continuing her message of peace.

Of course, half the fun of Wonder Woman is the fact that she is a superhero. Based in Greek Mythology, there is no shortage of colorful characters for her to battle, not the least of which is Medusa, the snake-headed, stone-making gorgon. Through the course of his run, Rucka forces Diana to battle monsters, lose her eyesight, travel through the Underworld, and watch as her home is swarmed over by killer robots. Ultimately, she will make a decision that goes against her peaceful message and sacrifice everything she knows for her people and the world.

Spanning 26 issues of the Wonder Woman comic book (plus one crossover issue of The Flash), some of DC Comics' biggest heroes make appearances (Batman, Superman, The Flash), as well as her arch enemies Giganta and Cheetah. Wonder Woman is a great action ride that is worth discovering.

Wonder Woman is located in YA Non-Fiction: 741.5973 Rucka

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