Tina's Reviews > Wonder Woman: Paradise Lost

Wonder Woman by Phil Jimenez
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F_50x66
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Apr 03, 08


** spoiler alert ** I have the one with the gorgeous cover--not the one pictured here. (^_^) This is marvelous book, and I don't throw that word around too much. It opens with the 'Gods of Gotham' mini that has Gotham villain Maxi Zeus [a guy who thinks he's Zeus] making a deal with an old Titan war-god, creating a cult, and turning some key Gotham villains into Greek gods. Artemis and Wonder Woman arrive to help Bats, Huntress, Donna Troy, and Nightwing try and stop him...then Robin and Wonder Girl show up--it was cool to see Wonder Woman and Bats working together [though it was cooler seeing Huntress and Artemis working together!] 'Gods of Gotham' was too short for it's own trade, so I'm glad to see it collected here. Next is the Devin Grayson plot [scripted and fleshed out by Jimenez] called 'Who is Troia'. I was able to stomach the Donna Troi-lovefest because of the cool way Jimenez brought out the personalities of unknown and lesser known Themysciran and Bana Amazons. It was nice to see just how different they were [Themysciran Amazons being the Athenian types and Bana Amazons being the Spartan types]. It's a clever set-up to the main 'Paradise Island, Lost?' story, that enfolds later. Also established in this story is the lesbian relationship between Iphthime [a Themysciran Amazon] and Anaya [a Bana Amazon], which eventually serves as a angst-ridden subplot for the 'Paradise Lost' storyline.

In the main story of 'Paradise Island, Lost?' we see Hippolyte as Wonder Woman with the JSA [not the typical JLA, which is where Diana is Wonder Woman]. She's not on Themyscira, she's too busy fighting alongside the JSA, and liking it. Meanwhile, in her absence, Phillipus has ruled in her place--and has allowed the Bana Amazons to cultivate their culture and build a city state on the other side of the island. This isn't sitting well with the Themysciran Amazons...they don't like how Bana utilize the man's world technology and make it better--the Bana are not so reliant on divine-tech and religion--they're militaristic and practical, and growing more powerful each day. While building their capital city, they're constantly being sabotaged--equipment is being blown up--Bana are getting hurt. On the other side of the island, Themysciran temples and monuments are being defaced, and blown up--each side thinks the other is out to get them.

It comes to a head when Artemis [the Bana's chief political leader] and the 'Shimtar' [the Bana version of a top general or a 'Wonder Woman' but without the Godlike powers] organizes a meeting in the Bana city assembly [think, congressional hall]-- Wonder Woman and Donna attend, along with Ipthime - but Hippolyte shows up and starts throwing her weight around. Artemis reminds her that Bana business is not her business, because she's not 'their queen'. Hippolyte counters with - 'if you're on my island, I'm your queen.' and this sets off a seriously hostile precedent.

It allows the real villain here, a woman named Ariadne [the woman who killed Bana's queen Antiope--centuries ago] to manipulate Themysciran extremists and spark a civil war. What's sad is the anticlimactic ending--Fury violently killing Ariadne--it's an action that puts off all involved, especially Hippolyte; who in response abolishes the monarchy [removing her and Diana from royal status.]

The final story is a cool read, though I'm not a fan of nostalgic 'Diana is very human' style of stories. (=_=); It’s got Lois Lane following Diana around for a 'behind the scenes' look at a day in the life of Wonder Woman. She watches her appear before a government assembly; she attends a women and children's shelter with her; she watches her meet with President Lex Luthor; Diana attends her television interview on 'Coffee and Lipstick' [wow Jimenez and Joe Kelly should get props for inventing 'The View']; she sees her volunteering a diabetes research center [cornball moment!], and best of all, Lois watches Wonder Woman hit on a guy named Trevor Barnes, and get turned down. Overall, it's better than anything Heinberg came up with on his recent run of 'Who is'...
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