Wonder Woman Odyssey Vol. 1:
J. Michael Straczynski and Don Kramer
Reviewed by: Munawar Mobin
Last year, Straczynski opened the comic book world to old familiar worlds with new elements, as he rethought and rewrote Superman and Batman's origin stories to fit his perspective of the modern world. These Earth One stories were a huge hit, and thus, I picked up Wonder Woman Odyssey in hopes of similar brilliance, and it feels safe to say that I was left pretty satisfied.
This being the first Wonder Woman story I had read, it was a perfect start, as Kramer's artwork doesn't falter too much, and the plot deems itself interesting and worthy of appreciation. Straczynski's reinvention of Wonder Woman doesn't just include the same lofty story with a few modernized elements; rather, it's a completely different story with just the necessary amount of familiar backgrounds and new villains, allies, and even costumes.
The story pits Wonder Woman as a young woman on Earth, fresh off the boat, with her last sight of her home island being that of it destroyed, ruined and burned by men. As Diana rises from the ashes and attempts to grab a hold of the hero she is meant to be, she faces the intricate and arduous challenge of finding her mother's killer and seeking to avenge her people.
Straczynski manages to capture Diana's character in a different light, as it's made obvious that Diana wasn't just the usual “flying super-powered 21-year-old” but a girl who had stepped in and had big shoes to fill as a queen. Don Kramer(who's art was a first for me) does a splendid job as the colours come at the reader brightly and the details are instantly recognized by the naked eye, whether it's the reflection of Diana on the gleaming sword as a charging centaur attacks, or the individual beads of perspiration on her forehead as she faces attackers amidst a fire.
The fact that Straczynski does well in holding attention as his story trails off right on the edge, is cemented by this earnest feeling of anticipation about the second volume that builds up in me whenever I catch a drift of the name Wonder Woman. All in all, it's a great novel to learn about the origins of a great superhero.
PS- The reviewer hopes you men (and women, if that's cool) enjoyed the pictures as much as our editors did picking them out. Happy Valentine's day!