Wonder Woman: Gods and Goddesses

John Byrne, Author Prima Lifestyles $20 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7615-0483-2
It's a comic! It's a novel! No, it's a strange mix of both, starring Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman, the famed Amazon princess created by the power of the Greek Gods and now working as an ambassador of peace and a protectress of the downtrodden. The plot of this first novel by comic-book superstar writer and artist Byrne has a nifty premise. Unknowingly, a puppet of the war god Ares, televangelist Rebecca Chandler, based in a loosely disguised San Francisco and hellbent on stamping out paganism), crusades against the superheroes Superman, Wonder Woman and company, who are themselves battling evil, especially war, on humanity's behalf. Surging through the verbal special effects are a gaggle of predictable secondary characters--teenybopper and would-be superhero Cassandra Sandsmark, who overestimates her capacities; Diana's Jewish boyfriend, Mike Schorr, and his prototypical mother; the villainous Stephen Ramsey, Ares's Sean Connery lookalike incarnation; and the aged, self-sacrificing Father Donald Morris, who regains his Christian faith amid a conclave of regenerated Olympian deities. Stripped to the proportions of the comic books from whence Wonder Woman sprang in the early 1940s, this might have worked. But Byrne requires inflated pages of pop-psych prose to bring his story to life, once again demonstrating that, at least where superheroes are concerned, a primary-colored illustration is worth thousands of muddy words. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-7615-1713-9
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