Graphic Novel Review - Wonder Woman: Year One by Greg Rucka

Wonder Woman, Volume 2: Year OneTitle: Year One
Series: Wonder Woman, Volume #2 (DC Rebirth)
Author: Greg Rucka
Artists: Nicola Scott, Romulo Fajardo Jr, Jodi Wynn, Bilquis Everly
Genre: Graphic Novels, Superheroes
Publication: May 9th 2017, DC Comics
Pages: 168 Pages, Paperback
Source: Thank you to Netgalley and DC for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 4/5 cupcakes!
A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!
New York Times best-selling writer Greg Rucka continues his return to Wonder Woman! The team of Rucka and artist Nicola Scott weave the definitive and shocking tale of Diana's first year as Earth's protector.
Paradise has been breached, Ares stirs, and the Amazons must answer with a champion of their who is willing to sacrifice her home amongst her sisters to save a world she has never seen. Wonder Woman's journey begins in this epic origin story!

I'm quite new to the DC universe and all of what I know about it is due to the movies. I've only recently begun reading their graphic novels and comics which I LOVE. When I saw DC had put some titles on Netgalley for members to request, I immediately jumped at the chance! I'm so excited to learn more about all the wonderful characters I now realise I know so little about and I'm so excited to go on extraordinary adventures with these fantastic heroes. Here's my first graphic novel review ever – and it definitely won't be my last!

I LOVED this graphic novel. I've read several Batman graphic novels over the past few months and I've read several single issues featuring a variety of DC's most-loved superheroes, but I've read a minuscule amount of Wonder Woman graphic novels. Those that I have read haven't blown me away and made me wonder if the character I'd imagined her to be in my head all these years, wasn't the same as her character represented in the comics. However, Wonder Woman: Year One gifted me with the Wonder Woman I had always imagined her to be. Strong and powerful with a touch of vulnerability that made her that much more relatable – and lovable.

I absolutely loved how Diana was represented in this book. I've read several issues of various Wonder Woman storylines that haven't portrayed her character in the greatest light. This novel captured her strength, her wisdom, her abundant eagerness and most importantly her kindness, her pursuit for truth and justice and her compassion perfectly. Her thirst for knowledge, her empathetic nature and her gentleness features prominently and I think that's what I loved most about this installment – how marvelously they managed to illustrate that one can have immense strength and power whilst simultaneously maintaining a caring, empathetic, humble nature and how beautifully all these traits compliment one another.

I also loved Steve Trevor in this book. There have been several comics I've read that have portrayed him as a lustful man, embodied as man's promiscuous thoughts. I appreciated that in this origin story, he wasn't laden with thoughts and comments that only focused on Diana and the other Amazons' bodies. Instead, he showed gratitude – not only to the Amazons for their respect towards Steve and his comrades – but also for Diana's kindness and compassion. He viewed them as equals, admiring them for the right reasons and respecting them. THAT MADE ME HAPPY.

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Romance wasn't the central focus and I appreciated that as I read a Wonder Woman graphic novel that was inundated with romance and it got quite frustrating at times! I loved the fact that in Wonder Woman: Year One, Diana's main focus was on trying to familiarise herself with our world and protect Earth and its humans from doom and disaster and not on romance - she got her priorities right! I also loved Steve and Diana's relationship that was filled with loyalty, care and kindness - it was so sweet!

I also liked the other relationships that were explored in Year One. Diana's relationship with her mother was beautifully illustrated, their care and love for one another radiated off of the pages. I also loved the relationship between Diana, Barbara Minerva and Etta Candy. It was fuelled with enlightening one another and looking out for one another. It was great seeing females empowering each other!

The artwork is utterly magnificent and inspired me to work on my own art in hopes that one day I could create something half as beautiful as the illustrations in Year One. There were several pages that had me completely enraptured, drinking in every detail. It's seriously stunning.

The plot wasn't the most exciting, the stakes weren't that high and the villains were defeated fairly easily. However, that didn't detract from my enjoyment as I was too in awe of the beautifully written characters and the breathtaking art. The fight scenes – although not terribly exciting – were drawn so beautifully I didn't want to remove my eyes from the pages.

Wonder Woman: Year One is a gorgeous retelling of Wonder Woman's origin story that captured her strength, compassion and gentleness in the most wonderful way! With a variety of incredibly smart female characters that empower one another, a love interest that views women as equals and illustrations that are out-of-this-world beautiful – Wonder Woman: Year One is a must read!

I give it: 4/5 cupcakes!