March 03, 2009 at 09:00 PM EST

Wonder Woman has always been considered the third most-important DC Comics superhero, behind Superman and Batman, but when it comes to an original DVD film, she beats them both. Today’s release of Wonder Woman, a PG-13-rated, “DC Universe Animated Original Movie,” is smart, fun, and a beauty to look at. It’s a satisfying version of the Wonder Woman origin-story that ought to please both hardcore fans and newbies, hitting all the right notes: Wonder Woman’s first years on the island of Themyscira, home base for Amazon warrior women; her entry into America and her flirtation with pilot Steve Trevor.

The voice-work by Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion as Wonder Woman and Steve is crisply expressive. You can get Wonder Woman as a single disc, but I’d spring for the two-disc edition with four hours of material including two fine documentaries, “Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream” (about her cultural impact) and “Wonder Woman: The Daughters of Myth,” which untangles the complex backstory of the character.

On a geek-scale, I’d rate Wonder Woman a bit higher than this series’ previous releases such asSuperman Doomsday and Justice League: The New Frontier. While thecomic books those cartoons were based on were fantastic, their DVD incarnations were a bit cluttered,whereas Wonder Woman is sleek, streamlined, and contains a lot ofexcellent action and fight sequences.

Even as a kid, I never really connected to Wonder Woman as a Barbie-doll fanboy-fantasy; what I like about this DVD is that it makes the Amazonian princess a shrewd warrior. Anyone of any age can watch this tale and get caught up in the adventure and the myth of this enduring character.

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