JUSTICE LEAGUE - PARADISE LOST

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Justice League - Paradise Lost Cover It has been said that you can never truly understand what it's like to lose paradise, unless you have actually lived in paradise in the first place. Sounds logical I suppose. Especially if you are a certain wonderful woman who is a member of a certain justice bound league. Here, check out this 40-minute cartoon made in 2004 to see what I mean.


Justice League - Paradise Lost


THE STORY:
Now it's not every day that Wonder Woman returns to her native land of Themyscira, only to find her home town blown to pieces, plus her mother and her 'sisters' turned to stone. Moreover, it isn't every day that she is persuaded by the magician who committed these evil deeds, Felix Faust, to retrieve three banished artifacts from the world of man either. 

Well, that's what the Justice League thinks, anyway. And it's also the main reason why they help Wonder Woman carry out her mission too.

Granted, this task is not an easy thing for any of the heroes to accomplish in hindsight. As the Flash and the Martian Manhunter have a run in with a flaming big snake in Egypt. Whereas Wonder Woman and Superman are tricked into beating each other up in a shopping Mall in America. Still, by in large, they all manage to carry out the assignments set for them -- retrieve the three banished artifacts -- just in time for Batman to tell them some facts about Felix Faust.

You see, old Felix was once a shoddy university professor who was besotted with all things magic. In fact, he loved this arcane practice so much, that he was able to discover that Wonder Woman's Mum, Hippolyta, fell in love with a demon called Hades, and was in charge of keeping him locked up in hell, with the use of a key made up of three banished artefacts. 

No! Your not thinking what I'm thinking, are you? So what do you think happens when Wonder Woman gives Felix what he wants, and he is able to bring back Hades?

Ooops! I suppose that's why what next transpires erupts when an army of dead attack the League on Paradise Island. As fights come to a head - Felix should have stayed in bed - all hell breaks loose - and resolutions can sometimes be obtuse. 



 
THE REVIEW:
From my own personal knowledge, Wonder Woman is a super heroine who has had a rather chequered history in retrospect. Well, one of the main reason's she was created in the first place, was because DC Comics (then called National Periodicals) did not want rival publishers, Timely (now called Marvel), to expand upon a 'Wonder family' of heroes, in the same ilk as the 'Shazam family' published by Fawcett (now defunct). Moreover, in her first appearance in the Justice Society of America (All Star Comics #8, 1941), she was just a lowly secretary taking minutes for this team of 'mystery men'.


Sexties Wonder Woman George Perez Wonder Woman DCNew


A strange way for any hero to start off their illustrious career, don't you agree? Here, check out some more of these strange Wonder Woman facts as well: (1) The creator of Wonder Woman, William Moulton Marston, also created the lie-detector, and was in a polyamorous relationship with two women at the same time. His wife, Elisabeth, and a lady called Olive Byrne. He based Wonder Woman on his wife. (2) The original concept behind Wonder Woman was that she would be a "distinct feminist role model whose mission was to bring the Amazon ideals of love, peace, and sexual equality, to a world torn apart by the hatred of man". (3) The word 'Amazon' is actually an ancient Greek word [possibly Persian] that means 'without a breast'. This is because some of the female archers who protected ancient Greece at the time [now Turkey], accidentally sliced off their own breasts when they fired their bows. (4) Originally Wonder Woman was not a 'super powered' individual at all, she was just a very cleaver and strong lady who came from an isolated island run by women. (5) In the early sixties 'Diana's' Grecian origins and powers were heightened more so, just to give her a much more dynamic and bold status within the DC Universe. (6) There was a time in which Wonder Woman could not remove her bracelets without going 'power crazy' and 'insane'. (8) For a brief period in the late sixties, Wonder Woman was de-powered by artist, Mike Sekowsky, and turned into a 'Mod' like detective figure who was accompanied by a Chinese mentor called I Ching. (8) Following DC's mega-crossover event, 'Crisis on Infinite Earth', in 1985, artist, George Perez, attempted to re-establish Wonder Woman's heritage in a much more realistic and earthy manner -- by making her into a Themysciran ambassador. (9) Within the current DCnU, Wonder Woman origin has been changed once again. She is no longer a clay figure which was brought to life by the magic of the Gods; she is now a demigod who's the natural-born daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus.


Justice League - Paradise Lost Screenshot


OK, I best stop my trivia splurge for the moment, huh? Or else I will run out of time to write my opinions on 'Justice League - Paradise Lost'. And we would not want that now, would we?

Well, as a story goes, it's quite a simple one really. The premise is set up within the first five minutes or so. Tonally the 'larger story' is one easily divisible by two. The way the tale envelops is very nice and pithy. Plus I have to admit, it was a fairly nice yarn to follow all in all.

Granted, not everything was my own particular cup of tea. I thought that the Superman / Wonder Woman battle was too 'fan orientated' for my personal tastes. And I wasn't too keen on how easily Felix was able to out manoeuvre the League within the penultimate battle, or how the final battle resolved itself in a rather pat way.



Wonder Woman Cartoon


However, on the flip side of this negativity, the overall tale was a real nice slice of silver-age spender, and was enriched with the Flash's silly remarks, the simple structure, and a story that was one-half action and one-half plot. Honestly, the encompassing vibrancy of this cartoon goes to show that you don't really need expansive effects and 'flavors of the month' to tell a tale. If anything, this piece reinforces the concept that 'cartoons' are not only for kids, but also for those people who like a tale.

Now in many ways I like to think that 'Justice League - Paradise Lost' is very much like Wonder Woman herself. A thing of beauty in its entirety, but tinged with a strange past mixed in with a dubious future. Wouldn't you agree guys?




Could not have put it better myself. What a wonderful woman! Plus the story wasn't bad either.

THE RATING: B+