Sit back and prepare because there will be SPOILERS ahead!
THE LAST AMAZON
This character and her current volume are a stand out. Why? Because we have a creative force that’s striving to send Wonder Woman into new and exciting directions. From dealing with family drama to tackling her role as the new Goddess of War, Zeus’ daughter has more than grown into her own.
With this team’s time coming to a close I want to revisit what’s happened while preparing for what’s next.
THE WOMAN (supposedly) MADE OF CLAY
Originally created by writer and psychologist William Moulton Marston, our icon made her debut in All Star Comics #8 way back in December 1941. From fighting enemies such as soldiers, otherworldly threats and mythological beasts, Diana has gone on to face the Gold, Silver, Bronze and Modern Age of comics. She’s survived reboots and alternate interpretations, as creators tweak her while attempting to maintain her core.
She fights for justice, peace and equality. She’s gained prominence as a superhero while the people around the world consider her to be a feminist icon.
THE NEW 52
Following the dramatic events of Flashpoint, the entire DC Universe got a re-worked continuity that, more or less, hit the reset button on their longstanding franchises. There’s no doubt that devoted fanboys and fangirls of all ages can spend hours arguing the merits of that decision. But in my book it was a bold choice that’s had some rocky moments but it’s paid off more than it’s not.
Why? It got me, and others, to subscribe.
THE GAME OF THRONE
The lord of Heaven is gone! So who will rule?
The Queen of the Gods went after, Zola, a young woman baring a child fathered by Zeus. Hermes was tasked with the infant’s protection and eventually brought Wonder Woman into the mix. Our heroes then journeyed to Paradise Island.
Soon after mayhem ensued and the true origins of Diana were revealed. Queen Hippolyta and the King of the Gods had an affair and she was the result. Overcome our heroine left, now ashamed of the conspiracy laid before her. By the time she decided to go home Hera turned her mother to stone and transformed the other Amazons into snakes.
She returned to London and while planning her next move met her half-brother, Lennox. What happened next was pure subterfuge, as our main characters played Hell (Hades) and Poseidon against each other with the real goal of blinding Heaven in mind. It worked but Zola was abducted and taken to the underworld in an act of retribution.
Deals were made and lives risked but the last Amazon rescued her with a shocking twist. Time passed differently and the baby was born in the land of the dead. Shortly thereafter Apollo and Moon took the infant and a titanic clash occurred. The end result: a new king ascended to the throne, Hera became mortal and Wonder Woman dropped her gauntlets to absolutely best a goddess. And when faced with a prophecy she made a deal to save an innocent.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is when our hero gained flight.
As the dust settled Hermes betrayed everyone and stole the baby. The quest that followed saw interactions with Orion and the New Gods, rekindled friendships, and the addition of more members to this dysfunctional family. But the single most important thing was the revelation of the real threat, which just arrived.
The abandoned child of Zeus and Hera. The one without a name was prophesied to one day rule Olympus alone. In response his father ordered the baby’s execution and his queen couldn’t allow it so she sent him away. First Born was raised by beasts, his rage grew and he became a monster. He gathered an army and sought open conflict with the gods. It didn’t end well and he was buried within the Earth. The titanic player has risen once again with a single goal in mind: conquest.
And when this unstoppable force killed one of her brothers, Wonder Woman unleashed her rage. But in the end, because of some truthful council by Ares she put aside her anger and did what was right.
She killed her mentor to save a throne, and in turn became the new Goddess of War.
The one year anniversary of the New 52 birthed a special issue. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang shared with their audience an early tale that featured Wonder Woman when she was tutored by War himself. Leading up to it I thought this was going to be a forced look at the past that just felt off. As a matter of fact it turned out to be a pivotal precursor for the comics second year, as we saw a young woman embrace the principles that would eventually define her.
If you’re a fan of the Man of Steel and you’re looking to collect any and all issues he happens to appear in, don’t bother with this comic. You just won’t find the big blue boy-scout here. Despite the kiss heard around the world, this series doesn’t tackle their relationship. If you want more on that than by all means go pick up Superman/Wonder Woman.
Prior to this book’s relaunch there was angst due to the fact that Wonder Woman had pants. Then when the first issue arrived, bare legged to boot, our Princess re-introduced herself to the world while naked in bed. Which brought us to (GASP) a side shot of her breast.
Both of these caused me to facepalm… repeatedly.
I honestly feel like Diana could wear a suit of armor or a leopard print bikini and if she’s written right I’d buy into it. As for option two both men and women are overly sexualized in this medium. Case and point: an alien with enough muscles to make Arnold Schwarzenegger cry or a girl that looks more model than warrior both ware outfits that barely fit while posing to show off their, ahem, assets.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER
So how’s it all going to shake out following the Battle for Olympus? I have no idea.
We know that the three year arc has been the plan and as Cliff Chiang and Brian Azzarello bring this odyssey to a summation everything feels like fair game. There’s a lot at play with lines being drawn with each release. Anyone could die or rise to the occasion but I’ll tell you this much: whoever takes over this title has some large shoes to fill.
Until that day I say: BRING IT ON!