The Good: Great artwork, Good character study
The Bad: Virtually plotless, Repetitive
The Basics: It surprises me that it took so long to get around to reviewing Wonder Woman: Spirit Of Truth, which is a simple story that features the amazing artwork of Alex Ross.
Every now and then, I wake up to realize that something I have experienced remains unreviewed! It’s an increasingly rarer phenomenon for me, but it happens. In the realm of Wonder Woman graphic novels, one of the ones I read quite a while ago, but never got around to reviewing was Wonder Woman: Spirit Of Truth. This became especially clear to me when I picked up the book and began reading it and I continued to say to myself, “This seems awfully familiar.” I knew it was not only familiar from JLA: Secret Origins (reviewed here!).
Wonder Woman: Spirit Of Truth is not bad, but it is exceptionally simplistic. Unlike other works for which Alex Ross did the artwork, like Justice (reviewed here!) and Kingdom Come (reviewed her!), Wonder Woman: Spirit Of Truth is focused and fairly monotonal. It is, essentially, a character study of Diana, Princess Of Themyscira, after she is made Themysciran Ambassador To The United Nations.
Opening with a hostage situation wherein terrorists take civilian hostages, Wonder Woman easily rounds up the terrorists and saves human lives. She breaks up sweatshops, stops street crime and takes on super villains. But soon, her actions are misinterpreted as her imposing her will upon Man’s World. Retreating to Themyscira, Diana reports to her mother about her actions and tries to describe the motivations of those she encounters in the world outside Themyscira. Not fitting in there and feeling a mandate to return to Man’s World, Diana continues to stand up for people everywhere. Despite being misinterpreted, she stops a military tank from plowing over an innocent woman standing in its way in defiance. Wonder Woman’s crisis of faith continues when the woman she saves is terrified of her and she goes to Clark Kent for some advice. Continuing to do good works, Diana eventually makes a profound change in the way she tries to interact with the world, without losing her values.
There is no grand conspiracy in Wonder Woman: Spirit Of Truth, there is no exceptional narrative. Instead, Wonder Woman: Spirit Of Truth is a character study. The “episodes” in it are mostly one-panel vignettes that describe Diana’s exploits, as opposed to having complex stories with adversaries that are developed and motivated.
What is good about Wonder Woman: Spirit Of Truth, outside the predictably stellar artwork of Alex Ross, is the level of contemplation Diana experiences. Diana truly considers her role in the world and her exploring her self-doubt is an interesting take for the character. Paul Dini has a decent voice for the character. But the inability to combine such insights into a story that utilizes Wonder Woman’s abilities in a strong narrative is somewhat disappointing.
The result is a very average one-shot that has great artwork, but not enough substance to back up the buy.
For other Wonder Woman books, please check out my reviews of:
War By Brian Azarello
Odyssey By J. Michael Straczynski
Mission’s End By Greg Rucka
For other book reviews, please check out my Book Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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