Wonder Woman is up against Merlin’s arch nemesis Morgaine Le Fay in this easy reader story. Le Fay has taken tourists hostage at Stonehenge and will subject them to some very evil spells if Wonder Woman won’t help her retrieve the Star Sword of Merlin from Merlin’s Cave. She must get past booby traps, scary creatures, and a dragon or the tourists will suffer.
Dan Schoening’s artwork is fantastic in this otherwise under-whelming novel. Using thick black outlines, bright colors, and sharp corners, Schoening makes Wonder Woman vibrant and fascinating. Le Fay looks very menacing in rich colors and a creepy mask. I just wish that there were more illustrations, but they only appear every few pages at most. Schoening’s artwork helped develop the story, which was lacking depth.
The plotline had promise. Le Fay is an excellent choice of villain and Wonder Woman has to face really cool monsters. I particularly liked the idea of electro-shock sea serpent. Unfortunately, the writing undermines the villainy of these villains. Le Fay comes across as a little ridiculous and the encounter with each of the creatures is very brief and fails to excite. The story spells ideas out two or three times, making the book redundant. For example, when Wonder Woman is flying in the invisible jet and sees a message from Le Fay, the text says, “‘Attention Wonder Woman!’ she read out loud. It was a message for her!”. It is over-simplified and over-explained to the point of being boring for the audience. The characters seemed randomly thrown together as well. As much as I love the idea of the sea serpent, what is he doing guarding Merlin’s cave? Where did he come from?
It is a great idea for a story and the artwork is fantastic, but the book as a whole falls flat. The glossary and other back matter, such as discussion questions, are a nice touch and may be fun for the age group for whom this book was written. However, Wonder Woman and Morgaine Le Fay are just too dynamic of characters for the writing of this story.
DC Super Heroes: Wonder Woman: Sword of the Dragon
by Laurie Sutton
Art by Dan Schoening
Stone Arch Books, 2010
Publisher Age Rating: 8