Adolescence, Community, & Refugees REVIEWING Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed

Welcome to The Real World According To Sam for another DC YA graphic novel review!

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed

Creative Team: Laurie Halse Anderson, Leila del Duca, Kelly Fitzpatrick & Saida Temofonte
Year: 2020
Genre: YA Graphic Novel


Princess Diana of Themyscira believes that her 16th birthday will be one of new beginnings - namely, acceptance into the warrior tribe of the Amazons. But her birthday celebrations are cut short when rafts carrying refugees break through the barrier that separates her island home from the outside world. When Diana defies the Amazons to try to bring the outsiders to safety, she finds herself swept away by the stormy sea. Cut off from everything she's ever known, Diana herself becomes a refugee in an unfamiliar land.

Now Diana must survive in the world beyond Themyscira for the first time - a world that is filled with danger and injustice unlike anything she's ever experienced. With new battles to be fought and new friends to be made, she must redefine what it means to belong, to be an Amazon, and to make a difference. 


Wonder Woman has quickly become one of my favorite DC heroes over the past year. She's incredible. Growing up, I mainly had access to stories about Batman when it came to DC Comics, but my foray into Wonder Woman comics has been an absolute joy. Now I'm eager to read everything involving her, including this YA graphic novel. Like her usual origin stories, this graphic novel involves a breach of Themyscira's shores, but not in the typical way. Instead of finding a man in need of saving during World War II, Diana finds herself needing to save refugees who have drifted too close to her home. This graphic novel also makes her a "Changeling", meaning she is different from her Amazon sisters and initially doesn't appear to share their abilities. This is a major change from her usual beginnings. 

While trying to save the refugees from drowning and leading them away from Themyscira, the story takes a familiar turn. Diana succeeds in saving everyone she can, but quickly finds out that being outside the open barrier isn't a good thing - because it has shut. The young heroine cannot return home and therefore becomes a refugee herself, sharing in their plight. She is amongst them when she's locked up by soldiers in Greece and soon becomes a force for change as she tries to understand why the people around her aren't being treated kindly. 

The graphic novel emphasizes Diana's struggle to fit in within a new world as she becomes part of a community of immigrants in America. She learns how different her new life is from Themyscira and realizes just how many troubles people have. From homelessness to feeding children in need of food, there are lots of things Diana must learn. There are also ways that she can help. 

This graphic novel excels at presenting YA audiences with big problems, while showing the groundwork that can help with them. It also makes them addressable without them being overwhelming. Additionally, this book did not come across as being preachy, because of the kind of hero that Wonder Woman is. She has always valued truth and compassion, which translate wonderfully to modern stories that tackle these everyday struggles. Themyscira is free from a lot of the problems the rest of the world faces, so it would make sense that she would need to learn about them and would see them for the injustices they are. 

I really enjoyed the art style that Leila Del Duca presents here. It's a bit earthy in tones and isn't overly bright. However, it also isn't dark or gritty (like many Batman stories). I also really liked the variety of Diana's expressions and thought the style used was very effective in this regard. This is definitely a graphic novel that I could see myself reading again, because the color tones feel very natural. They aren't tiring on my eyes and they lend themselves very well to the story. Overall, I really liked this one and I feel like it's a pretty good introduction to Wonder Woman and her values. I give Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed a Lone Star rating of ✯✯✯✯ stars. I'd definitely recommend it and I might revisit it sometime if I want a quick, solid Wonder Woman adventure. 

Thanks for joining me for today's review here at The Real World According to Sam, where I bring the books to your computer screen and even put in my two cents about them! See you at the next review!