Thursday, September 27, 2012

Looking back: the 'new' wonder woman

cover of Wonder Woman #5

it's been a year since dc comics debuted an all-new universe of heroes. at the forefront was the publisher's icon, wonder woman. after several issues of the new Wonder Woman series and appearances in Justice League, i wrote an in depth blog about my thoughts of the changes to the amazing amazon. after much development i've decided to follow up on this.

long-time fans of wonder woman remain divided over the new princess diana of paradise island. gone is the ambassador of peace, rather we have a younger, slightly more naive, warrior who is searching for her place in the world after growing up on an island where she never completely fit in. in the meantime she started and quickly ended a romance with the first man she ever met, steve trevor. diana has also found herself embroiled in family drama just as she discovered that her father was zeus, king of the gods of olympus. wonder woman immediately found herself embroiled in battles and schemes against her uncles poseidon and hades, half siblings, apollo and artemis, and zeus' wife, the goddess hera. overall it's been an exciting year for the princess.
page from Justice League  #12

a year ago i was frustrated that the wonder woman in Wonder Woman and in Justice League were two completely separate characters, but over time as continuity between the titles began to build, there seemed to be more cohesion. diana has been portrayed as a powerful heroine, strong enough to take on gods and the heroes of the justice league (due to manipulations of a powerful foe). more importantly, wonder woman is indeed an exceptionally loving individual. this is a trait that has been defined as the character's greatest strength in the past. writers brian azzarello and geoff johns have each highlighted this in their own way. whether it be wonder woman ending her relationship with the mortal trevor to protect him from further harm, standing as guardian to a stranger who apparently bears zeus' new heir, or diana promising to marry the god of the underworld because, in part, she pitied him. recently in an unexpected twist revealed in Wonder Woman #0, diana is not the arch enemy of ares, god of war. rather the war god served as her teacher in her youth until she refused to kill her enemies. this is the reason i love wonder woman so much. she may be the most powerful woman physically, but the amazing amazon is also the most kind, loving, and open minded soul. no longer directly teaching her beliefs as a foreign diplomate, wonder woman still educates those who get to know her, a mark of a true hero for the twenty-first century. that being said, unfortunately, not everything about the new wonder woman has me jumping for joy.

there's the major revelation that the amazons are siren like murderers every three hundred years. if this is true, it demeans their (once) cultured and peaceful nature. i preferred the amazons as warriors of peace. the reasons for diana leaving washington d.c. and living in london have not been disclosed and there's no explanation as to what the amazon does in her free time. why doesn't she have a secret identity? also, to date, none of the well-known wonder woman rogues, other than ares, have received the updated treatment. wonder woman's patron goddesses no longer seem directly involved in the young amazon's life. shameful! as is the lack of women in the supporting cast or circle of friends around the princess. and i'm still not a fan of the silver over gold with the uniform. minor complaints when my more major concerns have been addressed. judging by the way wonder woman's first year ended with an eminent war between pantheons about to erupt and a new romance with superman, the man of steel, i'm more than excited to continue the journey.

wonder woman appears monthly in Wonder Woman and Justice League and is guest-starring in Batwoman for the next few issues. visit to learn more. 

a dramatic moment in Justice League #10.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with so much of this, and appreciate reading your take - you who have a much longer history than I do! I very much enjoyed issue #0, and I adore the Azzarello-Chiang team. Can't wait for year 2.