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I like big books.

Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Blood (The New 52)

Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: Blood - Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, Tony Akins A breath of fresh air after reading a bunch of poorly written, groveling female characters from the 1970s. Azzarello does something really fantastic here: he manages to write urban fantasy that is not lame. The Greek gods are alive and well, plotting and scheming (and sleeping with) mortals for their entertainment and career advancement. You see, Zeus has gone missing, and the Throne of Heaven is vacant. Diana, Princess of the Amazons chances upon an assassination plot and becomes embroiled in the contest for the throne. Along the way, we're reintroduced to the gods and goddesses, the new geography of the mythic world and the rebooted origin story of one of DC's most beloved characters.

I've enjoyed this New 52 reboot more than any single other title so far. Azzarello tells a tight story and no outside information is needed. Events in Wonder Woman don't crossover with other titles, so it's easy to follow the narrative without feeling like you're missing something. I appreciate that. When reviewing graphic novels, I usually don't even bother mentioning art and instead stick to story, but I feel like the artwork, in particular the character design, deserves mention here. It's phenomenal. I don't like contemporary re-inventions of classic mythology almost as a general rule. I find most of it hokey wishful thinking on the parts of adults who are trying way too desperately to convince themselves that their childhood fairytales are still real and right around the corner. But this... this feels like something special. Cliff Chiang and Troy Akins deliver stunning updates to the beloved pantheon of Greek gods, re-imagining them in extraordinary ways that remain true to the core of their mythological personalities. I feel like that alone did wonders for my ability to swallow this modern mythology tale without gagging.