Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Gods

Writer / Artist
Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Gods
Wonder Woman Challenge of the Gods review sample image
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: DC - 978-1401203245
  • Volume No.: 2
  • Release date: 2004
  • UPC: 9781401203245
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

This second volume of George Pérez’s five years guiding Wonder Woman covers 1987 to 1988, and maintains the quality of Gods and Mortals, as Pérez continues the strong mythological slant he established with his relaunch. The first part features a revamp of the long-standing Wonder Woman villain the Cheetah, making her more than her previous iteration as a Catwoman clone. That’s  followed by the title story, Pérez’s major mythological plotline, which pits Diana against a range of monsters from Greek mythology, all because she wouldn’t let Zeus have his wicked way with her. Along the way, Wonder Woman encounters the ghost of Steve Trevor’s mother, who turns out to be an ingenious combination of the 1940s Wonder Woman and Marvel’s Carol Danvers, though there is a sense that she has only been created to explain why the Amazon’s costume is based on the United States flag.

By the end of this sequence, many plot threads from the previous year have been resolved. This is in general good, though the redemption of one character leaves a slightly uncomfortable taste in the mouth. This is also the time when DC began prioritising crossovers across their superhero titles, which impacted upon Wonder Woman. Pérez addresses Diana’s participation in Legends in an epistolary chapter, told through various characters’ diaries and letters. Her involvement in the Millennium event happens between chapters.

One thing this collection emphasises is how good Pérez is at interludes, chapters where nothing much is happening in terms of pure superheroics, but plotlines tick over, and sometimes important emotional events take place. This collection both begins and ends with such stories, and they are each delightful,and allowing the reader a greater intimacy with the characters.

The artwork remains gorgeous, the combination of Pérez’s detailed pencils and Bruce Patterson’s inks delivering highly pleasing pages, and some dramatic splashes (see sample image). Pérez’s first year continues to be excellent reading for any comics fan. All this is behind a gorgeous new cover by Pérez, and the collection also includes additional material from Who’s Who in the DC Universe and other Pérez Wonder Woman images.

These comics can also be found in Wonder Woman by George Pérez, volume one, and Wonder Woman by George Pérez Omnibus, volume one. The series continues in Beauty and the Beasts.