The Legend of Wonder Woman vol. 1: Origins

This weekend is Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC and two weekends ago the Wonder Woman movie was released. It seems appropriate that this week’s review center around the legendary superhero.

Diana is daughter of Queen Hippolyta of Themyscira. Molded by clay and brought to life by a mysterious power attuned to Hippolyta’s secret wish for a child, Diana leads a fairly sheltered life as a princess amongst strong Amazons. Raised to be the next immortal queen of the Amazons, the mortal Diana is more concerned with the disturbing, uneasy feeling she feels approaching her peaceful home. No one else seems concerned except for the general Alcippe, who at first dismisses Diana as a naive princess. Soon, Alcippe begins to see that Diana is no ordinary princess and trains her in secret.

Years later, Diana encounters Steve Trevor, an American pilot who crash lands on Themyscira. By the island law, all men are to be taken prisoner. Antiope, priestess of Ares, has her own plans for Steve which is part of a larger plot to take over the queendom of Themyscira. By declaration of Zeus himself, only the champion of the Amazons can decide the fate of Steve and the champion is to be determined by a competition of Amazons – a competition Diana is forbidden to enter. But enter she does and wins the competition. Diana’s mission is to simply escort Steve to the borders of the island and return, but tragedy happens and both are cast across the border. Themyscira has only one rule: those who leave can never return.

In an attempt to return home, Diana encounters Etta Candy and enlist as a nurse in the war. Over a series of events, Diana tells Etta of her past and together they create Wonder Woman, a superhero on the side of the Allies. But the gods have distinct plans of their own, one in which the mortal Diana confronts the secrets of her origins and come into her powers.

The Legend of Wonder Woman written by Renae de Liz is a wonderful introduction to the legend of DC’s iconic super heroine. It has parallels to the movie starring Gal Gadot but is not identical. The artwork by Ray Dillon is stunning – and I love stunning artwork. For those new to Wonder Woman, this is a great volume to become acquainted with Diana and her history. I really love the dynamic between Diana and Etta; I also enjoy Diana’s coming-of-age type story as she discovers who she is.

I really recommend this volume if you are attempting to start reading about Wonder Woman. De Liz’s story telling is fabulous and pairs wonderfully with Dillon’s illustrations (which makes sense since they are husband and wife).

My rating: 5/5


Too Big To Know

Too Big To Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t Facts, Experts are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room is the Room by David Weinberger was the first book I had to read in the spring semester for one of my library science classes. In its brief, just over 100 pages, Weinberger makes the argument that we live in a society in where there is so much knowledge available that it is difficult to distinguish what is relevant and what isn’t.

When you have the internet readily available to anyone who has access to it, this allows for both the sharing of information that otherwise wouldn’t occur but also the availability of mis-information to make its way into the world. What, then, is a consumer of knowledge supposed to do to weed out what is relevant and what isn’t? How do you tell what is fact and what is falsehood? The truth is that you can’t always separate the two, which makes it difficult to be relevant in today’s world. While the availability of information lends itself to more profitable collaboration in fields such as science, it also becomes problematic when too much information is made available to individuals who might not be knowledgeable in a particular field.

To be perfectly frank, I found Weinberger’s text to be dry and extremely repetitive. He voices the same ideas over and over but in various ways – which are essentially the two paragraphs before this one. We had a lengthy discussion in class on what Weinberger’s text means when it comes to librarianship. And while I found the text insightful, it was just too long for me; I easily think the book could be half as long and still get the point across.

Overall, Too Big To Know isn’t a book I would recommend to most people. It most definitely isn’t casual reading. All in all, I’d only recommend readers to give this book a try if you must read it for a class or assignment. Otherwise, you can leave it on the shelf.

My rating: 3/5