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Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Review

Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Just when you thought the whole superhero thing was becoming too saturated, Grisha Trilogy and CROOKED KINGDOM author Leigh Bardugo shows up with WONDER WOMAN: Warbringer to prove that there is still plenty of room for excellent superhero stories. The first installment in a new DC Icons series, WARBRINGER puts a new and welcome spin on the Wonder Woman origin tale.

Diana, daughter of the Queen of the island Themyscira, desperately wishes to prove herself to her warrior sisters. However, when she gets the chance to shine, she risks it all by breaking Amazonian law to save a mortal girl. Faced with the possibility of exile from the island or the opportunity to save a life, Diana chooses to rescue Alia Keralis and may have just brought destruction to all of Themyscira. When Diana learns that Alia is a Warbringer, a descendent of Helen of Troy destined to bring about an age of bloodshed, the two team up to save both of their worlds, facing devastating enemies along the way. Can Alia, Diana and her newfound friends come together in time to stop fate? You won’t be able to put WARBRINGER down until you find out.

"WARBRINGER stands on its own, is completely original and subverts any expectations you might have while also staying true to all those characteristics that make Wonder Woman so iconic."

To put it simply, WONDER WOMAN: Warbringer is one of the best superhero books I have read --- and believe me, I have read a lot. Not only does Bardugo craft an enticing story that kept me turning page after page, but she also put together an incredible cast of characters who make this novel one that cannot be missed. Blessedly, nearly every character is of color, and Barudgo creates some truly touching moments as Alia and her older brother --- both of whom  identify as black -- discuss racial oppression. Alia’s best friend Nim, who is Indian, gay and awesome, is one of the strongest characters in the story. This is one of the few superhero stories where the secondary characters are equally as important as the hero --- Alia, Nim and their friend Theo each become a hero in their own right.

If you’re looking for Steve Trevor, then you will have to look somewhere else. What makes Bardugo’s Wonder Woman shine is that she puts female friendship above all else, though I wish she had taken that a step further and given Diana a relationship with a female character. Diana’s straight romance felt forced, though I am sure there are plenty of readers who will appreciate it.

Don’t worry if you have no knowledge of Wonder Woman going in. WARBRINGER stands on its own, is completely original and subverts any expectations you might have while also staying true to all those characteristics that make Wonder Woman so iconic. Those familiar with any of Bardugo’s series will find plenty to love in WARBRINGER: incredible characters, thrilling plot twists  and a killer writing style. Whether you are a fan of superheroes or not, this is one that cannot be missed. I can’t wait to see where Marie Lu takes the series with BATMAN: Nightwalker.

Reviewed by Katherine Szabo on August 29, 2017

Wonder Woman: Warbringer
by Leigh Bardugo