Wonder Woman: Earth One graphic novel review

Find out what we thought of Wonder Woman’s brave new era

Wonder Woman Earth One

Grant Morrison’s long-awaited take on the origin of one of our most iconic superheroes takes Diana back to her roots, which is quite possibly why it is going to shock a lot of people!

Over the years, Wonder Woman has been re-styled and re-tooled for each generation – a constant dilution of her original core values in favour of keeping up with her male counterparts as they hit their grim strides.

But her creators, William Moulton Marston and Elizabeth Holloway Marston, were proponents of ‘loving submission’; Marston’s belief that the world would be a better place if men would just submit to strong and alluring women. This was immortalised in the pages of Wonder Woman, with physical submission and bondage appearing in almost every comic.

Morrison deliberately runs with that theme, exploring what an all-female society such as Themyscira – Wonder Woman’s home – would really be like after 3,000 years away from the men who had wrought such tyranny upon them. Marston’s wrestling and bondage play has a starring role, alongside a whole civilisation built upon the female image – there is no phallic imagery here.

Moving swiftly from the history of the island to the present day, the book leaps forward to the trial of Diana Prince to answer the charges laid against her. Her crime? Consorting with man’s world!

Paquette’s art is supremely smooth with a vintage styling that recalls the earlier Wonder Woman adventures, while the layout is playful and challenging. Making the most of those familiar motifs – meandros, ropes, stars, chains – they encroach upon the panels, subtly underlining power placement and perspective.

Review copies have already offended some, but this is ideal for vintage Wonder Woman fans old and new.