I had never been a great fan of DC comics or the movies. I found them to be on the darker side while I preferred the cheekiness and pun-filled humor of Marvel. But then, Wonder Woman happened and I fell in love with the character as well as the woman who played her. Like, have you seen her smile? It lights up the world! And to see that a director as wonderful as Patty Jenkins directed her in a movie that turned the DC Universe around! Jenkins did what no one else had been able to do thus far and brought a DC movie to a level of classic that was probably unheard of in those circles.
Of course, this didn’t mean they learned their lesson. They went and made Justice League, didn’t they? It wasn’t as bad as the earlier movies, but it still wasn’t what it could have been. It was just a wannabe Marvel movie.
Back to Wonder Woman, though. When I, through the wonderful BookTube community, came to know about the existence of Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer, my eyes popped out of my head and I immediately knew I HAD to read it. And though I bought this book a few months ago, it was only recently (this, too, was a couple of months ago :P) that I picked it up and became ready to walk among the Amazons, learning more about the life of the wonderful woman called Wonder Woman. [I did that on purpose and not because I don’t know any adjectives. :P]
Wonder Woman: Warbringer is the first in the DC Icons series. It is followed by Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu, Catwoman by Sarah J. Maas, and Superman by Matt de la Peña. And despite the promises it holds about Themyscira, this book still has the characters say: I am going to save the world. And by world, I mean America.
Wonder Woman: Warbringer is not the story as seen in the movie. Yes, it has all the characters, but there is no Steve Trevor. There is no World War going on. But there is Alia, the Warbringer, who has the blood of Helen of Troy, the first Warbringer ever. And wherever Alia goes, she brings war to those around her. Obviously. And when Diana saves Alia from a shipwreck on the shores of Themyscira, she must decide how she wants to save the world.
Wonder Woman: Warbringer might be different from the movie. Yet, I could envision Gal Gadot as Diana as I read through the events in the book. The tall, athletic Diana diving in to save Alia the same way she did in the movie to save Steve Trevor. And then I realize that the movie invaded my imagination to an extent that I couldn’t wriggle out of it. But for a change, I don’t mind it one bit.
The descriptions are so vivid that I could see the outline of Themyscira, the mists surrounding it, the rocky outcrops, and the tumultuous waters outside the boundaries – everything as if it was playing in front of me. It is so easy-to-read in all its descriptiveness, yet, I found myself reading along at an almost leisurely pace. It wasn’t that I didn’t want it to end. This book isn’t that. It’s something that I couldn’t understand myself. All I could think of was: Why the hell didn’t I read this before?
Wonder Woman: Warbringer, in addition to reviving the superhero called Wonder Woman and bringing a new story of hers to life, also talks about a lot of important points. The first being that a friendship between two women, so widely and unfairly generalized as shallow, is anything but that. It shows female companionship in all its glory, stomping on years of generalization and bringing forth a new brand of female empowerment. The next important point it talks about is that it’s not the strongest that need to be talked about at all times. This, she tells in the way she writes all her characters, importance being given to every single one of them in the course of the story.
The third point is that the characters are not just white. Alia and Jason have Greek-African lineage. Nim or Poornima Chaudhury is a kickass Indian girl (makes me so proud) who is proud of who she is. It is refreshing to see that Alia is insecure for a change, and not her best friend Nim. Theo is Brazilian. Nothing could have made me love this book more, I thought in the heat of the moment. Like I said earlier, the story starts in Themyscira, travels to New York, and then on to Greece, without any mention of the rest of the world. But that can be forgiven because they are trying to stop the strife across the world.
One of the biggest reasons why I love Wonder Woman is because she has such a pure viewpoint of what is right and what is wrong, of what is acceptable and what is not. She is not of our society, but I wish there were people like her in this world – not just in a hidden island of Amazons. And Wonder Woman: Warbringer stays true to the most famous Amazon of modern world and does a wonderful job of showing Diana’s thoughts as how they would actually be.
I loved how Leigh Bardugo has woven such a beautiful story, not only of a superhero saving the world, but that of friendship and humanity, and of doing the right thing. There is innocence in how Diana views the world of man. There is courage and confidence in how Nim wants to live her life. There is ambition in Jason’s eyes and actions. There is strength within Theo’s carelessness. There is so much raw emotion hidden yet understood that it’s difficult to hold back. There were a number of times when these emotions took over me and I just sat there, hugging the book and staring off into space. And then there were times when I berated myself for not having read this book earlier.
So all I want to say as a parting thought is that if you’re a fan of Wonder Woman, then definitely go and read Wonder Woman: Warbringer. And if you aren’t a fan of Wonder Woman, then read it and you’ll definitely become a fan of this wonderful superwoman!
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Picture Courtesy: Goodreads.
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Here’s the link: Wonder Woman: Warbringer