Wonder Woman : Dead Earth #1
After a long night's sleep, Wonder Woman awakens to find herself stranded in a dying world.
I knew, going in, that this story was going to be a dark ‘What if?’ and so it would be difficult for it to, at the least, fail to be interesting. I did not expect it to surpass my expectations by such a wide margin. This story is elemental — in the best possible sense. This story strips the character of Diana down to her absolute basics and allows the bare bones of who she is as a myth to glow with a disturbing radiance.
So. What do we have? The basic premise is that scavengers from the last human city discover Wonder Woman sleeping in a cryogenic tube rusting in the ruins of the abandoned Bat Cave. Diana wakes just in time to save one of the explorers from a mutated monster. Unfortunately, she discovers that she’s been terribly weakened by… something…she can no longer fly, her memory is patchy, and all of her friends are dead.
Things get even worse from there. Her sojourn in the Last City is marked by brutality, misogyny, and violence.
The princess of Themyscira handles all of this exactly as you’d expect her to. And that’s the secret strength of the issue.
Love is powerful, even when the body is weak. Courage is, ever and always, stronger than fear. And compassion is the greatest human virtue. Even in a dying world.
The writing is absolutely brilliant. Scenes when Diana is faced with her own (humble) nature build a strong foundation for the values she later embodies. She is strong enough to weep for the loss of the earth, for her fallen friends, before standing again to fight what battles are certain to come.
The art will definitely not be to everyone’s taste. Diana is depicted as either childlike or a paragon of physical strength. All for eyes and bulging muscles. There’s nothing ‘sexy’ about this work, and that is a wonderful thing. The art reflects what she says she values most about humanity — the way that we meet fear with curiosity; our capacity for love.
If future issues live up to the promise of the first, this will be a series which will do for Diana what Red Son did for Superman. I cannot wait to see what happens next.
Reviewed by Bethany W Pope
This is a brutal, beautiful story which strips Wonder Woman down to the bones of the myth — then polishes those ruins until they absolutely glow.
Wonder Woman : Dead Earth #1: Though Much Was Taken, Much Abides
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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