Story by Leigh Bardugo
Adapted by Louise Simonson
Illustrated by Kit Seaton
Colours by Sara Woolley
Letters by Deron Bennett
In the same vein as ‘Batman Nightwalker’, ‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ is the latest addition to DC’s young adult series, based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Leigh Bardugo. In her first adventure in the world of man, Diana, Princess of the Amazons, finds herself on a quest to save mortal Alia, and inadvertently the fate of both of their Worlds from the doom of impending war.
After rescuing the American from a shipwreck on the shores of Themyscira, Diana unintentionally triggers the beginning of the end of her magical world, as the Oracle reveals Alia’s true fate – she is a haptandra, the hand of war. In a critical race against time, the princess must travel to the spring at Therapne before the sun sets on the first day of Hekatombaion in order to purify Alia and save their Worlds.
‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ is a fantastic first adventure for a young Diana, which cleverly dives into the fascinating deities and lore from ancient Greek mythology, whilst being set in modern day America. I thought the fact that Alia is descended from the infamous Helen of Troy, who was birthed by the goddess Nemesis, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery, was so compelling – questioning the themes of cycles of violence and nature vs nurture.
Ancient greek myths often featured Olympian family feuds representing human morality and behaviour, which author Leigh Bardugo impressively managed to bring into the 21st century with characters Alia and Jason. As you can tell I’m a bit of a fan of Greek myths, so I really did enjoy all of the elements and lore that was explored, particularly the Oracle and the many goddesses Diana, Alia and co faced on their journey.
The story was also very gripping, becoming a real page turner as the group assembled for the race against time, and also featured a couple of twists and turns along the way. There really was a great dynamic between Diana, Alia, Jason, Nim and Theo – their relationships felt very believable and genuine and really humanized the princess of Themyscira. It was also fantastic to see such strong female characters with Diana, Alia and Nim who all believed in their own strength and independence, together battling against both mortal and devine forces. Loved the feminist angle! It was also great to see a deeper dive into the perspective of a younger Diana before she became the iconic Wonder Woman we all know her as, with a touching arc throughout the tale.
The art and colours from Kit Seaton and Sara Woolley were very much in the same vein as ‘Teen Titans: Raven’s’ Gabriel Picolo, equating to a very stylistic form, with expressive and emotive characters. The cool colour palette consisting primarily of blues, greys and purple, with a sprinkling of warm tones, really worked, perfectly highlighting elements like Alia’s manifestation and flashbacks to war.
‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ is an action-packed adventure that perfectly brings to life a young Diana. The graphic novel is very accessible for the YA audience and is a great introduction to the flagship female member of the DC Trinity, proving a fantastic adaptation of the source material’s key themes. The satisfying ending also sets things up nicely for a series of quests that explore Diana’s teenage years.