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Wonder Woman: Second Genesis [Paperback]

John Byrne
2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1997 Wonder Woman
From the artist and wirter of SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL and BATMAN/CAPTAIN AMERICA! DC's foremost super heroine comes up against the dread Darkseid, lord of the hellish planet Apokolips. This action packed collection showcases a truly epic battle between Darkseid's warriors and Wonder Woman's Amazon sisters. A companion volume to WONDER WOMAN: THE CHALLENGE OF ARTEMIS. Graphic novel format.

Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: D C Comics (a division of Warner Brothers - A Time Warner Entertainment Co.); Gph edition (April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563893185
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563893186
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 16.9 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,329,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

2.2 out of 5 stars
2.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A big deception 9 Jan 2001
Having been a big John Byrne fan, I had high hopes for his work with Wonder Woman, but it turned up to be a big deception. The art is bad, the writing so simplistic, and the worst of all is that you don't have the feeling to be reading a Wonder Woman comic. There is nothing that makes you think this is the Wonder Woman we know. It's the worst Byrne story I've ever read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
As a regular book, it's pretty cool. As a Wonder Woman book, it's OK. Fans of John Byrne and his take on the Amazon Princess will not be dissapointed but fans of Wonder Woman might. Most of the action takes place in the last four pages and what is meant to be suspense in the pages before it ends up being quite boring. You find yourself waiting for a page that involves WW herself as the supporting characters aren't all that appealing. All in all, a slightly dissapointing book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Well, nice try 29 Mar 1999
By A Customer
I'm going to be brief, I had high hopes for this book but it failed to entertain me. The art was by far Bryne's worst work ever nor was his writing particularly good. He fails to follow threw on any plots, the characters have no motivation and Diana is so hideously out of character it makes me cringe to think about it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Action, Adventure and Amazons 10 Mar 1998
By A Customer
Anyone familiar with Byrne's work (mostly super-hero comic books and horror novels) knows what to expect: lots of action illustrating deeper philosopical questions. Here, Byrne tackles whether or not there is a God -- all in a super-hero context. Unconventional? Sure, well that's Byrne. Boring? Nope. And the ending will surprise you...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.1 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Notable rendition of th Amazing Amazon 18 Oct 2002
By Scott Chamberlain - Published on
John Byrne's Wonder Woman tends to inspire great passions, either pro or con. So did the creative team before Byrne. And those that tended to love the early series of stories tended to hate beyond reason almost everything Byrne did with the character once he took over. For me (and contrary to earlier reviewers here), the earlier run was weak, inconsistent, too slick, and featured too much skin. This present compilation of Byrne's first story arc shows why I greatly prefered his tenure on the comic book. His Wonder Woman was strong, decisive, and had human sized breasts. He showed a willingness to really shake things up... which again I liked but some people felt uncomfortable with. My feeling is that for general, or casual readers who just want to read a good Wonder Woman story, that this should fit the bill. Characters are well developed and there is an epic feeling to the story. Partisans aside, most should enjoy this.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'll Huff And Puff And Blow Your House Down! 12 July 2004
By Edmund Lau Kok Ming - Published on
I was hesitant to get this volume for a long time. Firstly, I've heard a lot of complains about John Byrne's work on "Wonder Woman". Secondly, I've just read the bulk of George Perez's and Phil Jimenez's work on the Amazing Amazon and therefore, I consider myself a new fan - I can't bear the disillusionment should I come to hate her portrayal by Byrne. However being the completist that I am, I finally did. Here's what I think...
"Second Genesis" collects the first five issues of Byrne's tenure as plotter, scripter, penciller, inker and letterer of Wonder Woman. Yes, you read that right. This guy does it all himself. Only the coloring is done by someone else (in this case, the ultra-talented Patricia Mulvihill). And herein lies the problem. Byrne is no Eisner or Kirby but he sure tries hard! The end result is a little mixed. The work here is neither very bad but neither are they very good. I think many would agree with me that Byrne's best work were those in the past - X-Men, Superman and even She-Hulk.
The story: Diana moves to Gateway City and becomes a superhero there - much like all the other superheroic-guardians-of-fictional-cities that populate the DC Universe. This is clearly a move away from the more mythological-heavy tone of George Perez's recreation in 1987. While I love Perez's work, I wouldn't say that a change is necessarily bad. In fact, I'd say that the second half of Perez's run on the book was a little too slow-moving and often concentrated more on the book's supporting characters (Inspector Indelicato, Julia Kapatelis, Vanessa Kapatelis, Eileen, Lucy, and the countless Amazons like Menalippe, Phytia, Iphtime, etc. etc.) than on the title-character herself. And that's one thing that has been corrected by Byrne here. Diana takes centerstage in this story in a glorious fashion. And that's all I have to praise about Byrne's approach - it's good to see Diana on nearly every page and panel. The rest are all complains:
1) Darkseid's attack on Themyscira seems forced and his exit seems to abrupt. The whole thing felt a little pointless. I don't know whether this particular plotline is followed up upon much in the preceding issues (having never read them), but in this book alone, the reader is left feeling like there's no point to the whole thing. I mean, Darkseid murders 1,200+ Amazons and he just leaves? Where's the resolution to that?
2) I don't really like Diana's costume redesign. Byrne switched the star-spangled panties (?!?) with another pair that has only two stars in the front. Then he gave her a belt that is so big that it needed to be tucked into her golden WW bra! Yes, it really is like that - see for yourself!
3) Byrne's art almost always suffer when he inks them himself. DC should have hired another inker like Terry Austin or Brett Breeding and this work would've turned out better. In many panels, Diana looks too skinny and haggard. There is a difference between battle-worn and downright shoddy.
4) The new supporting characters introduced here are too similar to Perez's that you feel like Byrne is "redoing" Perez. Cassie and her professor mother is very much like Vanessa and Julia Kapatelis. Detective Mike Schorr is just another version of Officer Indelicato!
5) The foreword by Byrne himself is quite painful to read. And I'm saying that as a Byrne-fan myself for many years! You see, I buy this book primarily for a Wonder Woman story. And the foreword is really about "Let-Me-Tell-You-The-Epic-Story-Of-How-DC-Finally-Got-ME-To-Work-On-Wonder-Woman!" I find that quite laughable. Byrne is a comicbook writer/artist. What else would he be doing if not comicbooks? Wonder Woman is just another job - not an epic undertaking by any great stretch! But the way he described his taking the job was like it had to do with the fates being aligned and that it's got some cosmic significance. Seriously, I don't think even Leo Tolstoy would be saying this if he's been picked to do the book!
This book is recommended only for Wonder Woman completists and DC historians. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to someone that I'd like to introduce to the character.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good, quick, read. 5 Jun 2000
By Ryan Olaes - Published on
As a fan of Wonder Woman, i support any work that includes her. Bryne's novel is to the point. It isn't much different from his writing in comics but still is a good story. I thought that the book was good in having a more realistic view towards the large issues that are brought up. The only problem that i have with the book is the fact that it is written omnisciently. It would have been better if it were all told through wonder woman's eyes. Like a previous reviewer, i too would like more detailed action scenes.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An overlooked gem! 9 Jan 2000
By Mark A Shepherd - Published on
I only found this book by accident. After reading Wonder Woman: Gods and Goddesses I was shocked. This book is wonderful! I was not a great Wonder Woman fan, but this book changed that. Mr. Byrne's story is very engaging. We learn a lot about the heroine, and about the world as it may be if such a heroine were to exist. The story elements dealing with society's fears and insecurities translate very well to our world. I was always a fan of Mr. Byrne's comics work, but I have learned to love his novel as well. This book ranks with the best books of this genre.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to write home about 10 Dec 2010
By G. Swift - Published on
Wonder Woman: Gods and Goddesses really does not need the "Wonder Woman" to precede the subtitle. She hardly plays a part in the story, which seems to me to be more about Father Donald Morris and his quest for the truth of religion: is his Christian faith false and the Greek gods and goddesses real because the latter can be interacted with directly while Jesus is unseen and beyond reach? His quest takes him across the country to meet Wonder Woman, having heard her interviews where she mentions meeting and conversing or fighting with various gods of the Greek pantheon. He hopes to discuss religion with her given her particular nature and unique insights. He is surprised when she takes him to Paradise Island and then on to Olympus to meet Athena and partake of her wisdom to answer his questions.

Meanwhile back on earth, a religious zealot has fallen under the spell of a well-known enemy of Wonder Woman's from that same pantheon and has gained remarkable political power by accusing Wonder Woman of blaspheming against Christianity with her tales of meeting supposedly false gods and goddesses. She rallies incredible numbers to her cause and severely damages Wonder Woman's reputation, since a zealot cannot be reasoned with despite Wonder Woman's attempts to do so at various points. Riots break out repeatedly in protest of Wonder Woman, leading to crackdowns and the zealot's security forces becoming much like the SS and gestapo of the nazi regime (in a pretty weak parallel, though it would certainly have been likely to be seen in comics, which is Byrne's background of course).

The climax really occurs when Father Morris receives an insight while in Olympus, but his attempt to shed the same light on everyone else runs counter to the plotting god's designs. Whether he will survive and Wonder Woman's tarnished reputation can be cleansed of the stain remains to be seen.

The characters get better as the story goes on, but even those from radically differet walks of life often think in the same mode, with the same grammar violations and run-on sentences. While this seems to be reduced later, the early stages where a teenager and an old man could have their names transposed in their various inner thought paragraphs without affecting the story points to poor characterization in the early going. Still, the characters do get fleshed out pretty well, though the story skips between more than a half-dozen personalities pretty frequently to cover a lot of different bases. The end result is a story that seems a lot longer than it really is because the constant skipping, instead of moving things along faster, makes the story drag on. It's an OK read, but no more than that. We don't even get to see Wonder Woman in costume for more than a few pages, which is more than a bit disappointing.
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