I still have not picked up my stack for the week, I had a never-ending school event on new comic book day, and for the first time since July, I've missed picking up my fresh stack on time. However, I have been reading the new graphic novel for kids Diana: Princess of the Amazons.
My son (4 year old) is getting into comic books and superheroes because daddy is, and my daughter (2 and a half) is getting into superheroes because her older brother is.
So, a couple of weeks ago, my son came with me to Chops to pick up my weekly haul, and he wanted something, so naturally we looked for a book for my daughter. Sitting on the new releases table was Diana: Princess of the Amazons which is written by Shannon and Dean Hale with illustration by Victoria Ying.
The premise of the plot is simple and enjoyable. Diana is sad that she is the only child on the island of Themyscira and is yearning for a friend or playmate. All of the adults are busy getting tied into their specific jobs, training for battle, or being Queen of the Amazons. After being stood up by her mother, Diana ends up working in a pottery mill with her Aunt Lysa, where we hear the origin story of Diana:
"Once upon a time the Queen of the Amazons wanted a daughter more than anything in the world. She molded a baby, a perfect baby, from clay. She named her Diana. And with hope in her heart, she breathed life into her. the gods and goddesses heard her plea, and the clay girl came to life."
After Lysa fails in her attempt to create a new baby from clay, Diana gets an idea and takes some imperfect clay in an attempt to create a chid of her own to play with and explore the islands. Diana is successful, and we meet her new playmate and peer Mona. These two young women discuss the ups and downs of island life, their favorite animals, and even their favorite goddess. During their discussions, Mona begins planting seeds that Diana may not be a real Amazon or seen as lesser in the eyes of her mother's subjects. Eventually they get the idea of exploring the doorway to Tartarus, the prison for monsters, because it can be opened by only a true Amazon. Once they get to the doorway, we learn more than is expected about Mona.
I thought this was a great read for not just our younger comic book/graphic novel fans, but it offers a great origin story for Diana, or what Wonder Woman had to deal with in the days of her youth. I also think it offers a strong message. You are strong. You are enough. Regardless of what others expectations or perceptions may be of you, your opinion of or esteem in yourself matters most.
The art is also very engaging, the youth of the characters make it more engaging for a younger audience, especially the duality of Diana and Mona, it allows you to view Mona not only as Diana's playmate, but also her potential inner demons to be wrestled with.
I would definitely suggest this for anyone to pick up regardless of if you have small children or not. If you love Wonder Woman and the tales of the Amazons, add it to your stack!
The journey of a 30-something father of three who's trying to break into the world of reviewing comics after a loooooong hiatus...