Heroes, Mythology & Stars REVIEWING Wonder Woman: Warbringer The Graphic Novel

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The DC YA graphic novels just keep on coming, so let's jump into one that's a bit different from the others. It also happens to star one of my top favorite DC heroes. 

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (The Graphic Novel)

Creative Team: Leigh Bardugo, Louise Simonson, Kit Seaton, Sara Woolley & Deron Bennett
Year: 2020
Genre: YA Graphic Novel


Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law, risking exile, to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl, and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world. 

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn't know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer - a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. 

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies - mortal and divine - determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war. 


Let me be extra clear. This is a review for the graphic novel adaptation of Leigh Bardugo's novel Wonder Woman: Warbringer. I have NOT read that novel just yet - it's on my list of to-read books. So this review is purely from a first time experience with the story based on only the graphic novel. I've seen numerous critiques about this book based on perspectives of readers who had read the novel beforehand. I won't be discussing this in terms of if it's a faithful adaptation or not. I don't know. This is purely just a "I read this graphic novel, how was it?"

It seems like most of Wonder Woman's early stories and origins revolve around the breaking of Themyscira's boundaries with a random intruder. Like so many others, this is also how Wonder Woman: Warbringer begins. A young girl winds up in Themyscira, but her presence causes the island to begin being destroyed. Yet the Amazon homeland doesn't go down without a fight. Diana must take this young girl, Alia, away from Themyscira and out into the world. After seeking the guidance of the Oracle, Diana knows she must lead Alia to a spring in Greece to get rid of the Warbringer curse. 

This graphic novel is rather straight forward. Diana leaves home, makes friends, and does her best to stop war within the world. I didn't fully see the twist coming, so that was pretty refreshing. Often I've been able to predict twists and I liked not having a full handle on it. While I had suspicions, I wasn't 100% convinced the story would go that way - or why. So I do like that this graphic novel had some turns to throw at me and keep my interest up. I also liked the art. It was straightforward with a lot of blue and purple tones, which I'm rather partial to. It isn't on my top list of graphic novel art, but I do really like the watercolor style backgrounds in many of the panels.

The thing I liked best about this story was the layers of mythology that combine to form the story of Warbringers. It's nice to see a different outlook on the Helen of Troy story, which is very much in line with the way that Wonder Woman stories tend to use mythology. It provides women with new depth that often isn't provided in older legends. As a result, it feels very on par with other Wonder Woman comics I have read. It keeps the importance of perspective and women very much in mind, while allowing the heroine to be at her best. She stills learns about the world of man, the threats of war, and has to figure out her place within it. 

While some scenes feel slightly clunky in terms of the teens' interactions, I didn't feel it enough to make it an actual problem with my reading experience. I feel like I was able to experience a full story with a clear arc. I didn't feel the story dragged or rushed too terribly, based solely on just the graphic novel itself. The end kind of quickened compared to the rest, but it didn't feel like it ended abruptly either. Reading this adaptation of the story definitely makes me want to read the novel it's based on. It feels like a very good Wonder Woman story that would fit right in with the rest of her catalog. I give Wonder Woman: Warbringer (The Graphic Novel) a Lone Star rating of ✯✯✯ stars. I liked this one a good deal and I'm excited to try to find a copy of its inspiration relatively soon. 

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!