Friday, January 27, 2017

Odyssey of the Amazons #1

I don't know why I'm reading this. I don't care about the Amazons.

I picked this book up because I figure why not try all of the mini-series DC puts out. But it's not like I've long been a fan of Wonder Woman or the Amazons. To clarify, I've never been a big fan of the major DC heroes. I often tried to get into Batman because I wanted to be cool but it never really stuck. And not being into Superman or Wonder Woman, I was really never interested in stories about where they came from. If you really wanted to bore the fuck out of me, you could probably just open your mouth. I mean, you could give me a story about the world of Krypton! I also always thought that reading a story about Amazons would be super boring and uninteresting. But after opening this book to the first page, I might have changed my mind!

Male gaze ahoy!

The scrolls in the panel above seem to imply that all of the Amazons were beautiful. Where is the representation for ugly girls? Not cool, Amazons. Or DC. It's almost as if the Amazons of the DC Universe weren't meant for an audience of young girls at all but for an audience of teenage males who have just landed on the shores of masturbation.

For some reason, the Amazons are engaged in a world tour. The scrolls explain that even when they approached another nation in peace, they "left a devastating wake of honor, respect and blood." These Amazons sound like huge assholes.

The Amazons are currently performing for the O'Kunga people who are less than thrilled that the Amazons chose their country as a premier venue. I guess I'm supposed to be on the side of the invading Amazons so these O'Kungans must be right evil bastards. Why else would the Amazons be going around the world performing surprise slaughterings? I'd better read the first page again!

Let's see...okay, right! They are challenging the "stronghold of the Patriarch's world." No wait! Later it says they're on a mission of peace. Although that really seems at odds with the description of their leaving a "devastating wake of honor, respect and blood." "Devastating" seems like the wrong adjective to use for a mission of peace. Another reason they're out and about is to find like-minded women who aren't Amazons. I guess this is about establishing a more multicultural group of Amazons. I'm not sure I'm any clearer as to their reasons for hitting the road for the last five years.

The slaughter of the O'Kunga people is just a way to introduce all of these Amazons to the reader. So while they kill, they make sure to always use the name of the person standing next to them. So Hessia is the leader (probably because, you know, it's Hessia! Even I recognize Hessia!) and the samurai is Wakumi and Thekla is the blonde and Demetria is the chaotic fun-lover and Rayja is the brunette and Chriselda is the berserker and Imani is the responsible one and Aminata is the Zhu'kharan. And what about the O'Kunga people? Why are they being invaded? I guess because they're men! The dumb bastards!

Aha! So their mission is to help downtrodden and subjugated people around the world! Totally on the right page now!

These Amazons are going around the world doing what Superman would love to do but refrains from doing because Batman keeps telling him he doesn't have the right. But these Amazons make their own right because they have the might! Basically they're on a world tour to stop Bullying. "Bullying" with a capital B because I probably really should have said Despots and Genociders and Evil Empires and Men! They're out there risking their lives to make the world a better place. Take that, Superman! You coward! Why don't you stand up to Batman sometime and just go end some genocide somewhere?!

One of the Amazons, Ophelia, is a sculptor. Whenever the Amazons help out a nation in need, she creates a statue of the Amazons and forces the nation to put it in a prominent courtyard so they'll always remember who helped them and who will come back and crush them into powder if they start acting like dicks. That's way better than some stupid Statue of Liberty.

The women, like Aminata the Zhu'kharan, whom the Amazons are recruiting are actually descendants of Amazons who have gone out into the world. They are being offered the chance to return to Themyscira and become immortal once again.

Oh no! Grumblings about too much violence! Time for a coup!

It's always more exciting when the true enemy comes from the inside! Like When A Stranger Calls! Or most of the Disney cartoons!

Hessia also has doubts about her mission. Like is she wearing enough scanty uniforms or fucking enough well-muscled men. Oh, plus she'd like to be the Amazonian diplomat to the world proving that they are about peace and not just slaughtering evil bastards.

Meanwhile the young, newly acquired Amazons are attacked on a beach by Giant Were-hawks. They're defeated and taken captive. Even Demetria, the Amazon with fire for blood and freckles to die for! The giants turn out to be Jotuns and they've stolen the Amazons away to Odin's realm. And even though the Fates warn that Amazon interference in Odin's land could bring Ragnarök down upon all of their heads, Hessia cannot turn her back on her sisters. Also, Narkissa points out that even the Amazons aren't sure about why they've been sent on this five year mission. So I was right to be confused! That's good because I hated sounding so much like the assholes "innocently" asking the point of the Women's March!

This Narrator is the insane one!

The Amazon ships crash against some glaciers and they all sink. A bunch of Amazons sink beneath the waves and die. I hope none of the ones whose names I learned died. What a waste of time that would have been. Not that I remember even half them at this point. So maybe I should hope that those Amazons drowned.

As the Amazons try to recover in the snow and stormy weather, they're attacked by new enemies!

"They've changed, those trolls from the Frozen Mountains."

The Ranking!
I hate ranking books I'm not particularly interested in that do the job they set out to do competently. I used an Elfquest quote for that final picture because it reminded me of that moment near the end of the quest when they arrive in the Frozen Mountains. It was on my mind because this journey felt like being dropped into the middle of the Elfquest quest with no idea why they were questing and then ended with the confrontation with the trolls. While Elfquest took fifteen or so issues to get to that point, making you care about every fucking character in the group, this story tries to jam all of that into one issue. So while I've been introduced to a bunch of characters, I haven't been given time to become emotionally invested in any of them. Except maybe Demetria. I suppose she was meant to appeal to young impatient upstarts. The way fandom works nowadays, you don't have time to get to know a character and fall in love with them over time. You have to love them and identify with them immediately and draw a ton of fan-art and begin writing fan-fiction to prove your worth as the greatest fan of a character nobody knows shit about. This might be the problem with people getting so upset at writers who seemingly ruin people's favorite characters since the "favorite character" is really just a cipher full of the reader's projections thrust onto him or her.

That being said, Demetria is now my favorite character and I love her and Kevin Grevioux had better not kill her off.

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