Wonder Woman Film Review – Spoiler Free

I have a 9-year-old niece named Gabriella, who came to see Wonder Woman with us on Thursday for our private screening at Hollywood Blvd. And when the movie ended, she was practically shaking with excitement. I imagined what it must have been like for her, a young girl, to see this incredibly powerful, larger than life woman on screen in all her magnificence. I got chills when I realized that this will be the moment Gabriella looks back on as the moment she became a lifelong fan.

Patty Jenkins’ film is a masterpiece, standing head and shoulder above every other movie in the DC Cinematic Universe and really above most super-hero movies. This was the other-worldliness of Thor meets the period-piece intrigue of Captain America, all with the veneer and class of the Christopher Reeve Superman films. Here’s my quick, spoiler-free analysis:

The Tone Was Just Right

Notably, all of the DC movies so far have suffered from a serious lack of fun. That, and sunshine. Wonder Woman delivers both, and plenty of it. On Paradise Island, the movie practically glows. The Amazons shine quite literally like a beacon of hope and light and love, all while remaining some of the fiercest warriors you’ll ever see.

Things take a dark turn, though, when Wonder Women heads off to the front of the Great War (aka World War I), but unlike in Man of Steel or Batman v Superman, this tonal shift services the story. This whole film revolves around Diana’s culture clash, as she comes face to face with the darkness in the world, and ultimately becomes a source of light. Her naivety provides some light-heartedness without being silly. Best of all, the movie never falls completely into despair, while still delivering some moments so emotional I’m getting goosebumps reflecting on them.

The Action Was Incredible

Diana Prince kicks ass. Period. The dramatic use of strategic slow-motion to highlight her athleticism, the fast-paced battles, and the World War I backdrop make this a very memorable action film. She’s unleashed in all her glory, as powerful as she ever was and more powerful every second the movie goes on. Several times I literally exclaimed “WOW!” out loud. They don’t waste time showing her kick a man between the legs – something I find patronizing. No, instead she’s deflecting missiles and lifting tanks. Like she’s supposed to.

The Story – Comic Accurate, And Character True

Wonder Woman seamlessly tied in years of her continuity and multiple origins into a fast-paced origin story the doesn’t feel hamstrung by pointless exposition. Her adolescence and training comes quick, and it isn’t long before we see her in the present day.

But more importantly than reconciling her various origins and throwing in little nods to the George Perez-era comics, the movie remembers what she’s all about. Yes, she’s a warrior, but she’s a warrior for the sake of love and peace, not violence in and of itself.

Final Verdict

This is one of the most important films because for too long superheroes and comics books have been a boys club. But there have never been more women creators, fans, and characters. This movie will go a long way to better representing our diverse fans and helping them feel as included in this fandom as they always should have been in the first place!

Honestly, by now you should have stopped reading and gone to see the movie. Don’t wait, go now!

Help us celebrate all the women who make comics wonderful during our Wonder Women Weekend!

Chimera’s Champion Comics – I am Groot #1

Chimera’s Comics presents a series of recent, or upcoming titles that showcase the excellence of graphic storytelling and the comic book industry! The following article is written and presented by Dani of the LaGrange staff:

Marvel has taken an unusually large gamble with their recent onslaught of Guardians comics following the theatrical release of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (a whopping seven different series), and while most of them seem to be hit-or-miss additions, the latest release of ‘I am Groot’ is a welcome extension of charming adventure, if only for a specific audience.

 

Everyone’s favorite little Guardian Groot is deep into some mischief that sees him on an accidental solo trip through the cosmos, disappearing through inter-dimensional wormholes and becoming stranded on a foreign planet with some ‘familiar’ faces and some new ones.

The ‘cosmic’ subject matter of comics has long been a baffling trope, one that effectively explains-away the less ‘realistic’ portions of plot, but can serve as a confusing turn-off for new readers if not executed well. In the case of ‘I am Groot’, there isn’t much explanation necessary to the plot; the Guardians are somewhere in space, as they usually are, and they’re meeting other alien races through shenanigans, as they usually do. But there seems to be some hidden joke behind some of the aliens that turn up in the issue, and I find myself curious, and kind of ‘left hanging’ to know who they are. For older readers looking for a more gritty peek into the vast mysteries of celestials, gems of power or what-have-you, this may not be the book for you.

 

As a comic for kids or teens however, this book is a really nice simplifier to some of the complexities of the Marvel comic universe if not by visuals alone. Flaviano Armentaro (Power Man & Iron Fist, Harley Quinn and Grayson) gives energy to static of outer space with brilliant color schemes and painterly achievement. The vibrancy of these pages give new life to an otherwise dark abyss of stars and the space in between, catering to both the entertainment of spaceship action and the inquisitive exploration of strange, new worlds. Written with childlike ambition by Christopher Hastings (Adventure TimeDeadpool, and Howard the Duck), the story is one on-par with the film’s heart, where dysfunctional family silliness meets the dangers of being heroes-for-hire.

 

This is a surprising little book with a big soul and a lot of potential. If you have kids or young adults that are big fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this is an excellent comic series to subscribe to. Right now, there’s actually rather few titles from the big hitters like DC and Marvel for children, so my hope is that this book will be an inspiring chieftain to sprout new books for readers of all ages.

 

Check out this premiere issue and subscribe to the series ‘I am Groot’, available now at Chimera’s Comics Oak Lawn and LaGrange!