When I found out Shannon and Dean Hale wrote this graphic novel, it took me back to the days when I would read their graphic novel Rapunzel’s Revenge over and over and over again. I was really excited to see their take on Diana, and It. Was. Fantastic.
Title: Diana—Princess of the Amazons
Author: Shannon and Dean Hale
Publisher: DC Zoom
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Genres: MG Fantasy
I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Eleven-year-old Diana leads an idyllic life on the island of Themyscira. Cut off from the rest of the world, she’s beginning to feel a little alone. Though she has a loving mother and many “aunties,” she is an only child. In fact, the only child on the entire island!
After an escapade goes wrong, Diana gets in trouble for not living up to the Amazonian standard. She just can’t seem to measure up no matter what she does. Every other person on the island is an adult proficient in their trade and mighty in body, while she is gangly, sometimes clumsy, and not particularly good at anything. She’s not Wonder Woman… yet anyway. What Diana needs is a friend; someone her own age whom she can talk to. But when she decides to take matters into her own hands, she encounters the unexpected!
- The art is beautiful and kid-friendly. Bright colors, lots of scenery and background characters, but the focus never strays from Diana. I’m always interested to see how different artists depict Themyscira, and this version was beautiful and bright.
- I loved this depiction of Hippolyta. She’s usually middle-aged or older, but in this rendition she’s a younger woman, looks to be in her mid-twenties. This choice was interesting to me—it made her look like a softer mother, more distracted than stern.
- There are some great action scenes!
Diana’s struggle to fit in and be a good Amazon is so incredibly relatable. She’s trying to be like her mother, but she’s stuck in that place where she’s too young to mess around much, but not old enough to train or take part in things grown Amazons do. Her desire to please her mom that conflicted with her desire to have a friend really made my heart go out to her. Diana’s growth in realizing the kind of person she really wants to be was really wonderful to. When she makes mistakes, she learns that she can make up for them and still be the daughter—and the Amazon—her mother wants her to be.
The themes of friendship and peer pressure are woven throughout this tale as well. When Diana meets her new friend, she just wants to have fun, even if that fun isn’t the kind she thinks is good. But eventually she learns to stand up for herself and for those around her.
I also want to note that this is probably the best pacing I’ve experience in the DC Zoom and DC Ink line yet. I’ve often found like the plots are slightly too rushed, or they end too quickly. But I didn’t find this to be the case at all. The way the Hales handled Diana’s growth along with the pacing of a short graphic novel was brilliant.
This is definitely one of my favorite graphic novels that DC Zoom and DC Ink has put out so far. It has wonderful themes, excellent pacing, and the art is beautiful. Reading this book was a fun experience, and I’m sure kids will really appreciate it as well.