Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wonder Woman: The Contest

Superman was killed by DoomsdayBatman was broken by Bane.  It seemed only fair that Wonder Woman have her big event in the 90's, so began The Contest.

This tale runs from Wonder Woman #90-93 as well as a Wonder Woman #0 issue thrown in; there was such a fascination with "zero issues" back in the day!  The plot is simple yet effective, and summarized on DC's website as follows:

"After winning a contest of physical and mental challenges, Princess Diana was elected to go to Patriarch's World to teach them the Amazon ways as the super-heroine Wonder Woman.  But years later, Diana's mother is unsatisfied with her limited progress to bring an end to all acts of hate on Earth, so she institutes another contest to name a new champion.  Attempting to defend her position, Diana enters the games ..."

The contest's ultimate victor was Artemis, a skilled warrior from the Bana-Mighdall tribe with a short temper and penchant for violence.  By winning the contest, and claiming the title of Wonder Woman, Artemis brought honor back to her banished tribe.  However, this is only half of the story as Queen Hippolyta had other motivations for removing Diana as Wonder Woman.

The Contest is well-written by William Messner-Loebs, but the real star is Mike Deodato Jr. and his artwork.  This guy was born to draw Amazons and monsters, and his run on Wonder Woman definitely put him on the map!  As a side, Deodato Jr. has said that part of his inspiration for creating Artemis was the Coda warrior and Kherubim Zealot of Wildcats fame.

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