Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed by Laurie Halse Anderson, illustrated by Leila del Duca
DC Comic, pb, £12.99
Reviewed by Sarah Deeming
On the sixteenth anniversary of her birth, Diana expects her life to change, and it does, just not in the way she expects. A boat of refugees breaks through a weak part in the shield that protects Themyscira from the outside world. Diana can hear the cries of those who were thrown overboard and, ignoring her mother’s orders, she jumps into the ocean to rescue them, becoming separated from her home, another refugee. Diana finds the world is full of greed and darkness, but also light, especially in the form of children who do not exist in Themyscira. When an evil organisation threatens the safety of those children, Diana steps up as a warrior to protect them.
My favourite part comes right at the beginning where Diana is depicted aged sixteen. She is clumsy, suffers with acne and is unsure what to do as her body grows hair in strange places and curves. She feels out of place among the graceful amazons who didn’t have to go through puberty as she is. Diana learns to embrace who she is by finding another tribe who are struggling with the same bodily changes, teenagers.
The artwork is clear and uncomplicated which adds to the overall reading experience. The style is reader friendly with clear panel separation, so it is easy to follow the action. I prefer comics where the panels focus on the central story rather than on background detail which, while it might be gorgeous, can be quite distracting. If you are trying to attract a younger audience who may be reading graphic novels and comics for the first time, this is the right approach.
There is also a lot of action, the energy is barely contained within the panels, and this meant, for me at least, it was a little disjointed. It doesn’t ruin the story, but it did stop my flow as I backtracked to make sure I hadn’t missed a panel. Out of my whole reading experience, that would be my only issue.
There are a lot of DC origin stories at the moment, a little while ago I reviewed Wonder Woman; Warbringer which also covers Diana’s first experience of the world outside of Themyscira. Tempest Tossed stands out for me as it picks one central theme, the invisibleness of female immigrants, and works through it. The clarity of story, the use of Diana as an immigrant herself, packs a powerful punch.
Tempest Tossed is a strong feminist story, highlighting the sexism and hypocrisy women suffer daily. It is a powerful lesson in standing up for what is right, regardless of who you are. Recommended.