The Legend of Wonder Woman is a mini-series exploring the origin and backstory of the Amazonian princess, Diana, and how her evolvement as a daughter, a fighter, and a leader brings her to become the fan-favourite character of Wonder Woman. The first issue begins by the telling the origin of the Amazonian people, and their queen, Hippolyta. It tells how the world fell in and out chaos for centuries, before the Gods gave Hippolyta and her people shelter on a small island, and allowed them to live in peace.
It is quite fascinating learning about Hippolyta’s struggles with immortality, and her desire to be a parent. Contrasting her duties as a queen with her own desire is a good angle for the story, even if it falters a bit on the execution. As the Gods grant Hippolyta a child in Diana, the story shifts more towards focusing on her place in the Amazonian world. Diana is presented as a torn character. Similar to her mother, she has a divide within her regarding her assigned place in the world, and where she feels she belongs. She fears the island is sick, and that the people of island are too blind to see it. As a result, she is not content to sit by and watch it crumble before her eyes.
The writing by Renae De Liz is good, though nothing unique. There’s some ‘matter of fact’-ness to the writing, which feels a bit out of place in certain instances. The dialogue especially struggles from a mixture of bluntness and an attempt to implement Shakespearean English, which feels odd as it is not implemented with any kind of consistency. The art, with pencils by Renae De Liz and inks/colours by Ray Dillon is good overall. The art does a good job at capturing the grand scale of certain scenes, while simultaneously handling the more personal scenes quite well. The scenes were Diana goes exploring the island of Themyscira are the highlight of the issue, as they contrast a sense of wonder with an element of horror quite brilliantly.
Overall, The Legend of Wonder Woman #1 introduces the reader to a story with a lot of potential. Learning about the origin of Princess Diana/Wonder Woman is interesting, and there are plenty of story threads that the remaining eight issues in the mini-series can focus on. The first issue by itself struggles to stand out as anything more than a jumping stone for later events. There is nothing within this issue that captures the reader’s attention beyond the potential it holds for later events. However, if the subsequent issues can find a slightly better balance between exposition and plot progression, this series can be a worthwhile journey into Wonder Woman’s early development as a character.
The Legend of Wonder Woman #1 earns a promising 7 out of 10.