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JLA: Wonder Woman - Mythos

JLA: Wonder Woman - Mythos

Writer: Carol Lay
Cover: Alex Ross
Series cover design: Georg Brewer

Published by: Pocket Books (January 2003)

Reviewed by: Aaron Thall

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While on a honeymoon in the waters near Themyscira, Ana Lindstadt's husband, Henry, mysteriously vanishes. Alerted to the situation by Batman, Wonder Woman rushes to her homeland, fearing that Henry may have stumbled onto her home and been killed.

Instead, she recieves an ominous warning from her mother and the oracle... And she learns of a legend pertaining to a spiritual opposite to the Amazons. After departing, Diana meets with Ana, who leads Diana to where her husband vanished. Once there, Wonder Woman is assaulted by mysterious water funnels, and is transported to another mystical island... An island populated entirely by dronelike men... including Henry!

Seeking out the mirror equivilant of the oracle, Diana discovers cave carvings indicating that Henry is destined to salvage a mysterious orb, enslave her, and force her to betray the Amazons to the men. Determined to prevent this, Diana kidnaps Henry in the night and attempts to take him home. Instead, he discovers the orb, and, despite Diana's best efforts, the first two drawings come to be, and she is enslaved by her own lasso.

The League, on the alert now, arrive just as Henry, now possessed by Ares, God of War, brings the island to reality. And as Diana falls further and further under the sway of the evil eminating from the orb, it begins to corrupt the rest of the League as well.

But one hope remains... Ana and her love for her husband. But even if Ana can save Wonder Woman, what chance will either of them have when the Ares controlled Superman and Green Lantern come after them? And is Ares the true villain... or is it the orb itself?

1Story - 1: Dear God, one of the worst super hero novels I've ever read.

While the story does move along rapidly, I take issue with several key points. First, there is a dream sequence in the novel pertaining to the defiling of the Amazons. It's disturbing to think that a kid might read that. Death happens all the time in comics, but rape is a far touchier subject, because the victim's pain and humiliation don't end when the crime is complete. It's the same darkness permeating the entire DCU since Identity Crisis and its spinoffs. It's entirely unnecessary to add rape to pillaging and killing. It's even more disturbing when it's being written by a woman.

I also fail to understand why Lay insists on completely breaking Wonder Woman, and having her get rescued IN HER OWN NOVEL. The entire book is about the empowerment of women until that point, and all of a sudden, Diana gets one single setback and it completely throws her off her game. This is the kind of garbage one would expect from the most tawdry of fanfics. Not in a prose novel being aimed at mainstream audiences. Thankfully, she doesn't insist on having Diana suffer what she imagines in the dream sequence, although it's heavily implied that she WILL be at several points. It's crass, and almost Claremontian of her. Toss in the many nasty names Diana is called, and this should have had a mature readers label on the cover.

Superman has a key role in this novel. Early on, he's the regular, relatable guy. When the emergency strikes up, he takes charge and rushes to the rescue. When he sees Diana in trouble, he pauses and carefully examines the situation instead of rushing in... and then he rushes in. Oy. Of COURSE, since the orb is magic, Superman is struck down. Entranced by the magic, he lives an entire life on Krypton, including an interesting teacher named Lo-Ess. Cute. Real cute. I like the complete lack of creativity.

Naturally, the illusion leads to Krypton blowing up, and the possessed husband sending Superman after Diana, claiming she did it. Which is also frustrating, because he'd just DEALT with mental illusions in The Stone King novel, and doing this trick two novels in a row is excessive. Poor Flash is left to run while LYING DOWN, which is just patently ridiculous and robs the character of any coolness. At least Green Lantern has a fun time being a mysogynistic villain while facing Ana and Batman (who's so cool he never gets possessed... Right. The NORMAL guy gets off scot free. I believe ya.).

Once Superman is back in the game, he fails to stop the orb AGAIN, showing a remarkable lack of inner character and inner strength. Pathetic.

Then there's the logistics of having the Orb preordain the events on a cave wall that can be REWRITTEN. Green Lantern, at Diana's behest, rewrites several events to be, but the wall doesn't respond, and yet, it works when she and Superman later erase events that had already occured. It makes no sense. At all. It's a deux Ex Volcana. God from the volcano... Literally, later on.

This entire story is a slap in the face to Wonder Woman and Superman fans. It's also grossly inoffensive to younger and/or sensitive readers. I'd rate this lower, but we don't HAVEa zero ranking. The weakest of all the JLA novels. Avoid.

2Cover Art - 2: It's a closeup of Diana's chest with her arms crossed at the bracelets. It reveals NOTHING about the story and doesn't even show her face. It's also recycled art. Lame. The only saving grace is, given the bizarre anti-feminism message (written by a woman, no less)in the novel, they didn't choose an image that would allow a closeup of her bust.

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