“I have run out of superlatives for this book.”
Those were my words when I reviewed the latest print issue of The Legend of Wonder Woman, DCs digital first retelling of Wonder Woman’s origin. Writer and artist Renae De Liz, along with inker and colorist Ray Dillon, have crafted a masterpiece.
If you want a sample of the book or if you’re eagerly awaiting the next digital chapter, skip to the bottom for an exclusive preview of the June 2nd issue. Then come back and read Renae De Liz’s interview about why Wonder Woman is so important (“sired by no man”), why Hippolyta’s joy at her daughter birth is De Liz’s favorite panel, and what she has planned for volume 2.
Q: What does Wonder Woman mean to you? What do you think she means to feminism?
A: Wonder Woman’s mere existence is a strong example of equality and strength of women. She’s born of an all-female race, sired by no man, and her early years are based solely on the training of women. From her earliest stories, she’s defied the idea that women can’t fight, or are only damsels in distress, or are only supporting characters. She’s been out there for 75 years as the shining example of feminism, through her strength and her compassion. To me, that’s a legacy no other female character can even come close to.
I’ve been a fan of Wonder Woman for a long time, but in regards to her comics, I never really found a story that spoke to me. LoWW is my attempt to bring in aesthetics and story elements that I would have liked to have seen as a comics collector, and things I feel would appeal to a readers of all types.
Q: What stories were influences on this book, Wonder Woman or otherwise?
A: I read a lot of Golden Age Wonder Woman before embarking on LoWW, and researched her history and key elements to the character. There wasn’t any one story that influenced LoWW, there were great aspects lent to her in every comics age. Instead there was a feeling I was going for. I felt a lot of the original stories captured something special, a sense of fun and adventure that has much been replaced with a dark, serious overtone. I wanted LoWW to be light and fun, but still grounded in a story that had real problems with repercussions for Diana to deal with. I also wanted to focus on the feminist message Wonder Woman brings in a powerful way that I feel when reading many of the original stories.
Q. The art is so lush and gorgeous. What’s your favorite panel?
A: Oh goodness, that is a tough one! One of my favorites is the panel in Issue #1 when Hippolyta holds baby Diana for the first time. I tried to capture a deep seated feeling I don’t think too many people can understand unless they themselves had experienced infertility and longing for a child they cannot have.
Hippolyta would have gone through thousands of years of that feeling of something being missing. She’s dreamt of a daughter with dark hair and blue eyes she could never have for millennia. And this is the moment we can see her deepest hope has become a reality. I think it’s a beautiful moment that I hadn’t seen explored often, because I think, people equate deep longing, or a want for a child as somehow weak or un-feminist (according to a few comments I had seen). When in reality, it takes the strongest type of person to deal with something like this, and Hippolyta is made even stronger through this struggle.
Q: How excited were you to here that Volume #2 has been announced?
A: Extremely! I really thought it wasn’t going to happen there for awhile, and I’m relieved and excited to know it’s going to! I took a chance and left a lot of things open in the first Volume of LoWW, because I knew they would make for spectacular stories down the road for Wonder Woman. Volume 2 means I can further explore a few key points for Diana, her friends, and her enemies, and expand upon the DC Universe in which she resides.
I’m incredibly thankful for the fantastic support from our readers. Every comment, every book and chapter purchased is a vote for the things they want, and I’ve been humbled by the positivity. Thank you to everyone who has helped this series flourish.
Q: How did this book come about? Did you pitch to DC or did they come to you?
A: In 2013, DC asked me if I had any ideas for Digital Firsts, and one of them was to explore the younger years of Diana and to expand upon her rise as Wonder Woman. From there it became what it is today. I was given 100% freedom from DC, which was critical for this story. I wanted to explore Diana’s story in a way i’ve never read before in terms of focus, pacing, art style, etc, and I wanted to write Wonder Woman in a way that would appeal to everyone, but especially to young and female readers. I’m ecstatic by all the positive fan reception LoWW has received and I hope that means I was able to accomplish this goal.
Exclusive preview of Legend of Wonder Woman, chapter 27: