Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals

The beginning of George Pérez’s classic run on DC’s best-known female hero is here reprinted. Pérez’s insanely detailed art was a beautiful choice for establishing a new take on the icon, her family of Amazons, her gods, and her homeland of Paradise Island (renamed Themyscira). Scripting was provided first by Greg Potter, then by Len Wein.

In 1987, the character was revamped and her series relaunched. Wonder Woman was a relatively young woman encountering Man’s World for the first time, sent by her sisters to stop Ares, the God of War. Well-remembered elements — a contest among Amazons, bullets and bracelets, the golden lasso — were still part of the story, but they were given new explanations that made more sense to modern readers.

Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals cover
Wonder Woman:
Gods and Mortals
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Her supporting cast was also re-envisioned, with an older Steve Trevor loving her as a sister instead of a girlfriend, and new characters introduced. Professor Julia Kapatelis was a wonderful Earthly mentor, able to appreciate Diana’s heritage while helping her learn about modern-day Boston. Etta Candy, now a military officer, and publicist Myndi Mayer help round out the cast.

Julia was a supportive aid in Wonder Woman’s quest to stop both mythological monsters and corrupt Army officials from destroying the world. Ares’ schemes gave him control of a missile base, ready to launch warheads at Russia. His plot to bring about a new, destructive world war was a particularly timely threat during the mid-1980s. It still works today, but without reflecting real-world events so directly.

This is essential reading for anyone interested in great superhero stories. It’s the re-emergence of Wonder Woman as a preeminent DC hero.

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