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New, improved Wonder Woman could’ve been newer, more improved

Yesterday DC Comics released the first issue of its new Wonder Woman series, part of a reboot/relaunch of its entire superhero publishing line.

I like Wonder Woman. She’s one of the relatively few superheroes I genuinely root for. Not in a “I hope she defeats this villain” or “I hope she doesn’t get killed during the course of this dangerous adventure” sort of way, of course, because she is a superhero, and therefore always concludes her adventures safely and successfully.

Rather, I root for the character in the real world, in a “I hope this comic book of hers turns out good” or “I hope this is the take on Wonder Woman that catches on, and proves to folks that she’s just as good a character as Superman and Batman, her caretakers have just lost their way over the years.”

That’s why I get really excited when I see something like Ben Caldwell‘s too-crowded and laid-out but otherwise pitch-perfect Wednesday Comics strip, or proposals for YA and manga-influenced Wonder Woman comics from the likes of Caldwell and Tintin Pantojo or, hell, even just a really nice Wonder Woman drawing or character design in an unofficial venue (that is, one that’s not paid for and published by DC).

Personally, the release of Wonder Woman #1 was the comic of “The New 52″ I was therefore most excited about.

As an observer of DC, I don’t think it’s the most important offering, which would probably have been Justice League, as DC’s flagship title and declaration of intent written and drawn by two-thirds of the folks responsible for the relaunch/reboot. And/or perhaps Action Comics and Detective Comics, as DC’s two foundational books given historical renumberings as a sign of how serious the company is about starting over. And/or, from a fan perspective, even Batgirl, as a barometer of how the company would deal with continuity, which, in Barbara Gordon’s case, was an anyway-you-look-at-it positive, rather than baggage (And baggage is how continuity is usually perceived, although I’d argue that perception really reflects an accumulation of bad stories, not the longevity of a narrative in general).

But Wonder Woman is a comic and concept badly in need a ground-up reinvention of the sort several characters seem to be getting (like Green Arrow, for example), as evidenced by the fits and starts of the title over the last few years, and DC’s noticeable confusion of what to do with her.

Let’s take a moment for a quick recap: Her position in the DC Universe was re-set after the mid-’80s Crisis On Infinite Earths, so that she began her hero career years after her peers; this caused domino-effect problems in other books that needed tinkering in the intervening years, until DC re-re-set her after the  mid-aughts Infinite Crisis, and then kicked her out of continuity altogether for a while as part of the 2010-2011 J. Michael Straczynski-started, Phil Hester-finished last story arc of the previous volume.

In the last five years alone, here’s what the publisher tried with the book: It launched a new Wonder Woman #1 by TV writer Allan Heinberg and artists Terry and Rachel Dodson in 2006, which lasted only four very-delayed issues, and then brought in superstar prose writer Jodi Picoult  for five very-troubled issues (a big deal wasted by having Picoult work on a pre-ordained crossover event about the Amazons declaring war on the U.S.). Gail Simone then came on in 2008 for a 30-issue run with a variety of artists (Dodson, Aaron Lopresti, Bernard Chang, Nicola Scott), and then in 2010 DC renumbered the book with issue #600, redesigned Wonder Woman’s costume among a media blitz, and kicked off a new direction by Straczynski and artist Don Kramer … although the writer left after four issues to be replaced by Hester, and other pencilers and what look like dozens of inkers kept it going until last month’s Issue 614.

This month the book would be getting another new start, a chance to break with the herky-jerky confusion of creative direction and perhaps even reach out to a new audience, as DC’s executives have stated over and over is part of the goal of the reboot/relaunch. There was certainly reason to hope. The creative team for the new Wonder Woman was going to be Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, the team responsible for Dr. 13: Architecture and Mortality, one of the all-around best super-comics DC has published in the last decade.

And of The New 52, Wonder Woman was one of several that was visibly still being tinkered with after the June announcement, as images of her on the cover of this issue and the cover of Justice League and other promotional images featured her wearing both long, black tights akin to those of the last, barely year-old Jim Lee redesign, and more traditional star-spangled shorts, now black instead of blue.

As it turns out, how much leg Wonder Woman was showing seems to have been the major point under consideration by DC Comics regarding reinventing her for the 21st century and a (hopefully) new audience. The new Wonder Woman is a very good comic book, but aside from better writing and better art, it’s the same Wonder Woman we’ve been seeing since at least the ‘90s. This is Wonder Woman as a cool, removed, flinty warrior who is always ready, willing and able to slay monsters and resolve conflicts with Wolverine-like violence.

The antagonists remain characters and creatures of Greek myth, here given a redesigns to appear more adapted to the modern world, and/or to simply look more weird and fantastical (Chiang’s Hermes, for example), but even that is something Greg Rucka and his artists were doing in their pre-Infinite Crisis run, and Marvel’s various Hercules comics have been delivering this same basic idea on a monthly basis for years now.

I made it all of five pages before I felt disappointment setting in. On the fourth page, a mysterious woman appears in a stable, holds a scythe aloft before a terrified horse, and then this appears on the fifth page of the T-rated book:

And that's where centaurs come from

Wonder Woman herself appears five pages later; her first act is getting dressed in her new costume.

Nothing is made of why she’s wearing black instead of blue, or why she has more bling than usual, which is probably for the best. She just pulls the new costume out of her wardrobe and puts it on. People, even super-people, have a right to change clothes once in a while.

I don’t like the new costume at all, but I think we’re just going to have to get used to the fact that all of DC’s superheroes are going to have to wear ugly costumes for the next six months to a year or so. It doesn’t make any sense to dress the characters in brand-new costumes if the effort is to attract lapsed readers and new readers (people familiar with the classic costumes form their constant presence in pop culture), but it does make sense as a signal to old readers that everything is going to be new and different now.

Note the choker taking the place of the Jim Lee-mandated collars for everyone

It’s far too busy, and the too-busy-ness is illustrated by the absurdity of Wonder Woman seemingly getting it and all of her many accessories on in the space of a few seconds of dialogue. The ribbed, plasticy look of the red portions of her costume, the excess stars on the side and even the big, busy bracelets make it look more like what a Hollywood costume designer would come up for a live-action Wonder Woman costume, more so than something a comic book character would wear.

I am glad they kept the shorts, though. Giving her pants seemed like an insecure, too sensitive, too teasing overreaction, along the lines of Superman and Batman losing their shorts because of the schoolyard peer pressure to do so.

The exact moment I lost hope for the all-new Wonder Woman to actually be an all-new Wonder Woman came at the climax of the next scene. Wonder Woman and Zola, a young woman the Olympians are taking an interest in (at least one of them a very violent interest in), return to her home to face a couple of centaurs.

Azzarello and Chiang create a great action scene, including a melee in which Wonder Woman and an opponent exchange blows, and she dispatches him with a unique, visually interesting maneuver.

But on the next page, as another centaur grabs Zola and runs away, Wonder Woman picks up a sword and hurls it:

pleasedon'tkillitpleasedon'tkillitpleasedon'tkillitpleasedon'tkillit

This three-panel sequence occurs at the bottom of the page, and my heart sank when I saw it. I was practically pleading with the unturned, unseen next page not to show that sword embedding itself in the centaur’s back, or lopping off her head, or impaling her throat but to instead maybe hit her in the base of the skull with its blunt hilt and knock her out. You know, like Superman or Batman might do.

Instead:

What Would Geoff Johns Do?

So the “new” Wonder Woman is still the brutal warrior she has been, a loose cannon that doesn’t meet Superman and Batman’s loftier, softer rules of engagement. (Of course, given that this comic teaches us that centaurs spring up from the bodies of decapitated horses, maybe all that will happen to the dismembered centaur is that a pony’s head will grow out of her bloody stump next issue…?)

The scene is kind of galling because it’s so unnecessary, and the choice to include it therefore reads more like a declaration of tone than an integral part of the story. It’s followed in the very next panel with Wonder Woman employing her signature weapon, a long-range weapon that doesn’t cause anyone any harm and is ideal for stopping runaway four-legged creatures:

NEEDS MOAR GOAR

She had to chop that horse-lady’s arm off? She couldn’t have just lassoed her?

That disappointment registered, let me reiterate that this is still a pretty great comic. Chiang’s artwork is phenomenal. The pages are relatively packed with panels (this takes about five times as long to read as Justice League, for example), the borders of which are all drawn with artist-perfect rather than machine-perfect lines — you can see an ink-pen at work in the lines.

The figures are as smooth and expressive as one would expect from Chiang’s work. In motion or at rest they convey action and emotion, and the artist has mastered the basic stuff that still seems to elude far too many Marvel and DC artists, like the figures’ relationships to their backgrounds, or the passage of time and space between panels (Wondy’s above-mentioned quick-change aside).

Azzarello’s plot has familiar (overly familiar to this reader) elements, but the choice to treat Wonder Woman as just one more bizarre fantasy creature in a mysterious conflict in which gods and goddesses clash with modern, everyday settings instills her and her comic with a bit of mystery and fantasy that it’s been missing.

Wonder Woman’s biggest problem over the last few years, if you ask me, is that she tends to be somewhere between boring and insufferable as a character, so a break from her narration, from hearing her explain the world as she sees it, was refreshing—as was having action unfold before me, instead of it being relentlessly explained to me.

So while I’m saddened that DC Comics wasted yet another opportunity to “fix” Wonder Woman, to restore to her some of her unique personality and massive likability that began to diminish some 60 years ago with the death of her creator — perhaps the best chance they’ve had since Crisis On Infinite Earths, and the best one they’ll have for the foreseeable future — at least they got a good comic out of it.  I liked this issue, and will happily read the next, but that doesn’t mean I can’t wish for an even better one.

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Comments

137 Comments

New readers, especially teenage girls, love seeing horses with their heads cut off. LOVE. IT.

Well, this is your opinion, and it’s well thought out, but I absolutely loved everything about WW #1.
As for the horses, it screams the raw paganism and blood sacrifice the Greek gods often demanded. They’re a dark brood, and Diana is the bright light in their world that prevents humans from getting steamrolled in the game of gods.

As a lifetime Wonder Woman fan nearly 30 years now I completely disagree with you. This was the Wonder Woman I had wanted for years. A strong warrior who will stop at nothing to protect the innocent. Having suffered 14 months of Odyssey this was a fantastic return to glory for Diana. This costume is already altered from the Jim Lee atrocity that debuted back in June. I imagine it will be tweaked. For issue 2 we already have gold accents returning to the costume. Yours is the only negative review I have read so you are very much in the minority. I respect your opinion and see where you are coming from however I do not share it

I couldn’t agree with this review more. It’s a really fantastically done comic, but I was hoping for something I could comfortably read with my young daughter. This was definitely too gritty for her tastes, which is a disappointment, but I certainly enjoyed the read.

Interesting seeing praise for the Caldwell version — most reviewers dismissed it as one of the weakest entries in Wednesday Comics. On the whole I’d say I liked it for its ambition — it may not have come out exactly right, but I loved that Caldwell was going for something different.

Haven’t picked up the new WW#1 yet (sold out, of course) but it’s getting positive reviews. On the whole I’ve found I don’t much care for Azzarello’s work (though I loved Banner), but I’m liking the art even if you’re right about the violence feeling excessive.

Oh man! New readers, especially teenage girls, love the raw paganism and blood sacrifice the Greek gods often demanded. LOVE. IT. !!!!!
Just the other day my daughter came home from school and was all, “Dad, don’t you think it was awesome when the Greek gods demanded blood sacrifices?” And I was all, “Oh yeah honey. Man I loooooove blood sacrifices. High five!” And then we went and watched Caligula and ate brownies.
America!

I’m okay, very okay with this. I don’t need another origin story. I don’t need another reinvention. I just want to see a character plunge right into the story and make me feel like I felt when I was a kid and discovered the comic books a friend of my older brother had left at our place. The fact that I didn’t know about the entire concept of the hero or the heroine and her world made the read so much more intriguing for me and made me want to find out more.
I know, other readers would have preferred the new take on WW to be more “My little Pony”, but I also know teenage girls who now think that WW is awesome. And not because of the splatter and gore, but because of the way she’s portrayed here.

The costume was just one flub after another. The standard swimsuit costume just looked too out of place for too long next to Batman and Superman. The Odyssey costume didn’t work because the gold clashed with all the black of the pants. They switched to silver and dark red, which worked with the pants, and then they got rid of the pants. Now she has the worst costume yet. Most of it is forgettable, and the silver looks garish rather than super-heroic. Giver her the pants back and then it’ll work well.

Hey, go read your kid some Tiny Titans. Nowhere was this ever offered as a kid appropriate book.

This is the Wonder Woman book I wanted to read for years and years. An amazon warrior should be, y’know, violent and hardcore and all that fun stuff.

Batman and Superman have the rather tiresome “killing is bad” motif covered nicely and frankly I like the idea of Wonder Woman having the courage to do what those two can never get themselves to do.

All this reminds me of the time when people still wondered if Captain America, a World War II solider, should kill bad guys.

I can’t speak for women and don’t know if they’ll like this take on Wonder Woman, but I love it and I’d like to think the idea of a no-nonsense Wonder Woman is appealing and (dare I say?) empowering to them.

I couldn’t disagree with you more.

I never was a terribly big fan of Wonder Woman, but i freaking loved everything about this issue. The art was super superb, the mythology was fun as Hell, and the lack of an origin story made things that much smoother. You don’t need an origin for Diana, just like you really don’t for Batman or Superman, no matter how new a reader you are. She’s an Amazon princess with extensive knowledge of mythological creatures written by Brian Azzarello and drawn incredibly by Cliff Chiang. Batman was great, but as big of a Bat-nerd as i am, this is probably my favorite of the new 52 so far. Easily. I knew Azzarello wouldn’t let me down.

I love this take on WW. Doesn’t anyone else remember how nasty the Greek/Roman gods could be? Inhabit human bodies in order to rape and impregnate, orchestrating all kinds of crazy retribution–deserved or otherwise.

The “‘killing is bad’ motif” is “tiresome?” Really? Heroes trying to hold themselves to a higher moral standard than villains is tiresome? I thought it was one of the things that makes them heroic.
Go find ACTION COMICS #775 (I think that’s the number), with Superman fighting Manchester Black and the Elite, and see a nice take on that idea.

And on the actual subject of the review: I’m not a big fan of the new WW costume either, but at least I don’t find myself muttering “HateithateitHATEIT” like I do when I see the new Superman costume (the one in JL and SUPERMAN, not the one in ACTION–the latter almost makes sense for an early-days Superman).

Paul1963

To me a hero makes the difficult choices. I know Batman killing the Joker will not (and probably should not) happen, but I’m a child of the 80′s when John McClane and John Rambo solved problems by killing everything to death. That’s just how I like my heroes.

while i applaud the no-killing rule for bats and supes and so many others, it’s nice to see a hero able to use lethal force without becoming an antihero. soldiers and police officers use lethal force every day, are they not heroes?

that being said, i really think the rating is too low on most of the new 52. DC has defined TEEN as being appropriate for ages 12 and up. i wouldn’t want this book in the hands of anyone under 15. and compared to some of the other books, this one is mild.

Wonder Woman is a lady in a swimsuit with a lasso, bullet proof wrist bands, a tiara and an invisible jet plane. She’s about as Greek or Roman as my buttocks.

Best Wonder Woman comic in years, easily the best of the reboot, and possbily the best single issue of Wonder Woman ever and we still find time to complain.

Good freaking god.

Well, Wonder Woman is obviously about mythology. Mythology was always grisly. Only in the latest centuries it got cleaned up for Disney-ification purpose. You are part of the people who think Wonder Woman needs a fix when she really doesn’t. She needs, as every other character, a good creative team. She has that. Wonder Woman doesn’t play by Batman or Superman rules. She is not Batman or Superman. She doesn’t have a secret identity for starters. We already have Batwoman/girl, Supergirl (and maybe Power Girl) for Bat/Super-clones, why would you want one more.

And again you’re part of the people who take time to talk about the less important things of all the book, her costume. You do not talk about the writing, which was playful and full of wit (“sun of a king”). You do not talk about the “strong female character” (God, I hate this jumbled-up term) side character. You talk about how she is not like Superman and Batman. Really?

Shannon Smith is right. My friends daughters love Wonder Woman and stopped reading her when she killed Max Lord (because Wonder Woman doesn’t kill according to them). This arm chopping off version is great for the already existing comic fan who wants a sexier and more gory version of the comics they’re already reading. But if you’re trying to get the mainstream audience, the new reader? This isn’t going to work. It may hang on to the old ones for a bit longer but that’s just going to make the ship go down slower.
The creative team on this is great, but the take is wrong.

Geez. You know what? DCAU Wonder Woman is BETTER than ANY version of Wonder Woman written in the past seven decades. Why? She encompasses all the GOOD things about the character and completely does away with the BAD things she’s been saddled with.

In fact, the DCAU is a better continuity than ANY DC Universe. So there, wiseguys.

Just finished reading the issue, and as a long time Wonder Woman fan, I really enjoyed it.

I will say there’s nothing in this issue which hasn’t been seen in a Wonder Woman comic before, echoing aspects of Perez’s and Rucka’s acclaimed runs. Even Perez had her decapitating supernatural enemies.

The story is engaging and well told and the art gorgeous.

It seems to me you’re criticising the comic for what it is not, rather than looking at it for what it is.

Which is a damn fine comic.

I’ve seen the new horror/mythology bit compared to American Gods, but personally I see the story as more of a grown up version of Percy Jackson & the Olympians. The whole dark tinged mythology seems to be the thing to do in media right now, so it makes a certain level of sense.

I do have to agree that Wonder Woman could have been one of a couple E rated books they put in their line and still work.

Excellent piece Caleb. I enjoyed this more than you, primed by Azzarello’s comments about the book having a horror tone, but your points are fair, and well made. I’d love to see DC put out some all-ages titles, with more ‘grown-up’ artwork than in the glorious Brave and Bold, but similarly entertaining, intelligent and approachable stories. Bill Loebs – his recent WW Retro book with Lee Moder was a joy – would be my first choice to write it.

Not a big WW fan, but ever since last week’s episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold…I still have Wonder Woman’s theme stuck in my head.

As far as WW cutting that arm off, it strikes me as lazy. Supes or Bats wouldn’t have had to dismember anyone, but no, we have to establish that Wonder Woman is hardcore, yo.

I can’t understand why anyone would think that Azzarello would do a “light and breezy” Wonder Woman comic. This is what I expected from him. It would be different if Mark Waid or Kurt Busiek were writing this comic. Then the violence would shock me. It is what it is.

"O" the Humanatee!

September 23, 2011 at 8:28 am

As Caleb says, the _tone_ of this book is dark. But it’s not clear that WW herself is. We have seen only part of WW’s character as a person from this issue. We see she is strong, confident, and resourceful – as she should be – perhaps with a little too much bravado. We have not yet seen whether she is also kind and capable of tenderness. Yes, she cuts off the arm of a centaur – the arm that was carrying a young woman being kidnapped – but this may not constitute “lethal” force: The centaur is a magical being, and we see it riding off. She may well know what lethal force is to a centaur.

The tone of this book does not bother me. As others say, it is consistent with the bloody world of the Greek gods. As for its appeal to girls and the general public, until we hear commentary from, well, girls and the general public, I’m going to remain agnostic on the question. Certainly it doesn’t seem intended for the former. But speaking for myself, I’ve never been a WW fan, but this book intrigues me.

It was stated well in advance that this Wonder Woman would be closer to a Horror Comic than anything else. Since Wonder Woman comes from the Greek Gods myhthology (as opposed to, say, the Christian or Muslim mythologies later in history) and the fact she comes from an island of Warrior Amazons – this take on her feels the most authentic. This isn’t your Lynda Carter Wonder Woman. While that was great for its time, it would be too weak for today’s audience. This is in the same line as the classic “Jason and the Argonauts” type stuff and is infintely more interesting that the tiresome stories of the past many years.

All I can say is that Wonder Woman has never been a major favorite of mine because she was never really presented as compelling (as opposed to Barbara Gordon, who has almost always been compelling). THIS take on Wonder Woman is without a doubt the most compelling I’ve read in many, many years. A refreshing surprise.

Sam Robards, Comic Fan

September 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I was really interested in Wonder Woman coming in. After reading this issue, I’m in for the long haul. I LOVED this comic. And I couldn’t disagree with this article more.

An engaging, tight plot, fantastic art and an ending that piques one’s curiosity. In short, what an introductory issue should do.

The fact that this article spends about a quarter of its space complaining about the costume is ridiculous. Personally, I like the costume, but it works MUCH better with pants. And did you really complain about the amount of time it took her to get changed? Holy crap. If something like that bothers you, you shouldn’t read comics.

And there’s nothing wrong with designing a costume in a way that’d be easy to translate to film. Thor’s redesign worked pretty well when JMS came on board: in fact, I like it more than Thor’s original duds.

As for the part of the article that complains about Diana adhering to Batman/Superman’s combat philosophy: they’re DIFFERENT CHARACTERS. They operate under different rules. Superman was raised in Kansas as a farmer, Batman was influenced by a lotta different people (though he doesn’t kill because, you know, that’s the whole reason he got into superheroics) and Diana’s from an island that has a WARRIOR CULTURE. This means that yes, she’ll partake in a little more violence to ensure that the job gets done. And I have no problem with that.

This argument is like saying Wolverine shouldn’t slice people up because Spider-Man and Captain America don’t. Absurd.

One thing I did notice that was interesting, though very brief, was that Diana didn’t really seem to WANT to be called Wonder Woman. Seriously, look at the panel above (the first in-costume shot). Yeah, it’s just a brief (very brief, in fact) thing, but I’m curious to see if that means she thinks of herself more as a warrior and less as a superhero. Just something to keep an eye out for.

Now that I’m finished venting, I can’t wait to see where Diana goes from here. Count me in!

“New readers, especially teenage girls, love seeing horses with their heads cut off. LOVE. IT.”

I just have to say this made me LOL.

I’m looking forward to this series. It’s too early to tell exactly what this Diana is like, but I love that’s she’s a warrior. I can imagine she’s the member of the Justice League that thinks like a warrior and wants to just “kill them all”, but has to learn as the series progresses that you just can’t do that if you’re gonna be a good guy.

So many times in the past she’s portrayed as this peaceful diplomat (full disclosure – I love Rucka’s run on WW), but i’ve never quite squared that with her coming from a warrior culture. Doesn’t make sense. Turning her into a humanitarian should be the character’s journey.

I’m just glad they took the gold out of her costume color scheme. I’ve been saying for decades now that’s what has been holding her back. How am I supposed to relate to an immortal super woman with a tri-colored costume? Sheesh…

Well, it looks more like DC finally grafted Xena, Warrior Princess onto Wonder Woman, and promptly forgot that she was originally a different character. But hey, today’s ADD-addicted adolescent fanboys don’t know the difference anyway, so let’s not position the character for that non-existent ‘new reader’ that DC kept pretending it was seeking.

@KET
Do you mind??? I know someone very closely who has ADD.

Okay. I was totally wrong. You guys are totally right. I went back last night and re-read Edith Hamitlon’s Mythology book and there is a story in there where a lady in an American flag swimsuit fights the Kraken with a freaking jet plan. Wow the imaginations those Greeks had. To have a lady in a modern swimsuit and a jet plane, neither of which existed, is one thing but to have imagined the American flag!!!!! The star spangled stylings of a country on a continent they did not know existed???!!!??? Plato Power!!!!!

Who cares. Older commentators need to take a chill pill. You pov is so out of whack with the the youth of today…boy, the amount of rubbish I keep hearing about women are this and that and we don’t want to see so much violence. American pop culture is what it is…people have gotten quite desensitized. WW is just following the trend. Wake up and stop trying to tell youngsters that old people are right.

I had always felt George Perez’s version was the one that worked for me. It was heavy on the Greek mythology front but that’s how I had always perceived WW to be- a heroine of mythological proportions, a female Heracles for modern times. First signs from Azzarello seems to point to that same direction, with Hera, Hermes and Apollo reimagined for modern 21st century aesthetics by Chiang. The ‘female Heracles’ element is more to the fore now, as demonstrated so graphically in the very same scene the reviewer have reservations with. Personally I have no qualms about that. If anything, I feel that a positive development and a welcomed one as well. I am definitely jumping back on this Amazon wagon!

firstly nonono, the costume was a much needed upgrade, it is not going to go back to before. 2ndly i think this is the best ww have gotten,

The problem with Wonder Woman and most DC characters is that they have had so many incarnations, everyone has an idea of what she “should” be. Some want more focus on Greek mythology, some want less. Some want more violence, some want less. And everyone seems to have an opinion on the costume. It all depends on whether you grew up watching Superfriends, or the Lynda Carter show, or the Timmverse Justice League, or reading the Perez comics, or the Rucka comics.

The only objective conclusion is that none of these depictions is “right.” As it has been before, this new creative team and every one that follows it will present their “vision” of Wonder Woman, and readers will have to decide if it is to their tastes.

You know, had they gone with a Diana who was more protective, less likely to kill, more maternal form of Wonder Woman, someone else would have complained that DC copped out and went the “safe” route.

You can’t please everyone. I’m glad DC’s not trying to.

I agree with the article. I guess according to the comments above me, I must be an old timer. But heroes who maimed and kill are not heroes. Marvel continues to have success with the concept but DC flirts with the line. Wonder Woman is part of the big 3. Are Batman and Superman supposed to turn the other cheek while she’s maiming and killing folks in her book? Will Batman and Superman take the stance that as long as she’s not killing or maiming anyone when the Justice League gets together it’s okay? Or will they just not address that at all. Or in the DCnu, will Batman and Superman change their stance and okay maiming and killing? Either way it seems as if in the DCnu, Wonder Woman’s character hasn’t changed at all. They’ve kept the same attitude, the same killer instinct and restarted her book again. Another soft reboot as Azzarello calls it. Though the DCnu is breaking is having record sell outs, which I love because the industry gets a boost, the more I can’t help but feel like, with the exception of a few high profile changes, the DCnu can be summed up by the old adage, the more things change … the more things stay the same.

I didn’t like the costume in the early solicits, but Cliff Chiang makes it work. The story was the same-old, same-old I’ve come to expect from DC anymore, like they’re trying to do a summer action movie instead of tell a story, and I agree about the obviousness of the violence as being intended to send a “statement”.

If DC wants teen girls to read Wonder Woman, they need to have her fall in love with a vampire or something. Honestly, I’d like something a little more light-hearted, but this will do until the next time they decide to revamp her.

I never understood why people lose their cool over violence in comics especially violence by the big three. Especially when you have Green Lantern in Hal who basically just killed Krona or John Stewart who just killed Mogo. Green Lantern is probably the most violent DCU super hero book on the market but no one bats an eye. The new issue of Green Lantern Corp began with three people (two lanterns and one prisoner) getting cut to pieces and we saw all of it and ended with the death on an entire race.

Diana cuts off the centaurs right hand and that’s all worth getting worked up about?! Absurd.

This was a very good first issue and I’ll be back to digitally buy the second issue.

who’s the target audience for this book? The 200,000 aging grown men who read comics or the millions of teens, girls and potential new readers out there? Obviously DC gave us the answer.

You ask me, let girls have girl power bubble gum WW. Beyonce, lady gaga, the mike alred wonder woman on makeup bags they sell at sephora. Google this- Victoria justice.

but then again, teens do love dismemberment……right?

“You ask me, let girls have girl power bubble gum WW. Beyonce, lady gaga, the mike alred wonder woman on makeup bags they sell at sephora. Google this- Victoria justice. ”

So, DC should just sell whatever crap sells. Sandman had a lot of horrifying elements and yet was one of the most successful book with women (and still is actually). I rest my case.

Good point with sandman. But, just cause some this is pop doesn’t mean it has to suck. Lady gaga is pretty dope man. You see her on howard stern a few weeks back? Google mike alread wonder woman makeup bags and tell me a red rocket 7/ madman take on WW wouldnt be sweet

So… you want her to be rebuilt from the ground up, but to you that means just going back to what she was doing years ago in a classically campy DC style costume?

Wow what a missed opportunity /eyeroll

Her willingness to use weapons if she has to, as well as the mythical and magical elements to her, are what help her stand out and not just be “FemSuperman” which is still her biggest problem today.

for my money all Azzarello needs to do going forward is give her a likable personality and continue to do cool stuff with the mythological stuff, hopefully on a bigger scale.

And maybe build a supporting cast that can actually last with the next writer.

Honestly, this was a complete breath of fresh air. I honestly felt like I was reading a modern day Greek myth. The way the gods were depicted was incredible. Greek gods were not kind, benevolent beings. They were petty, self-indulgent and somewhat amoral. For the people who are going a little off kilter for Diana lopping off an arm of an entity that we don’t even know if it’s truly “alive,” take a chill pill. Until we see how Diana acts towards actual people and not something that sprang up from the corpse of a horse, I’d reserve judgement on the whole no killing bit.

It seems like Az is trying to make a more modern myth, complete with the gods and how they were depicted. How many women did Hera victimize and do violent things to? Or other gods and demi-gods getting drunk and “accidentally” killing people in fits of rage? This is not namby-pampy world. And obviously people who think that the gore is too much for any teenager, regardless of sex, obviously hasn’t watched an episode of True Blood.

DC is updating their characters, something that Marvel tends to do a bit more naturally. I for one have grown more excited about the changes and the story directions and Wonder Woman is on my pull list as long as it is as amazing and fresh as this first issue was.

“So… you want her to be rebuilt from the ground up, but to you that means just going back to what she was doing years ago in a classically campy DC style costume?”

Yea! Make it fun. I don’t order sherbet at basken robbins cause I’m a grown man- but my niece does.

“Wow what a missed opportunity /eyeroll”

She rolls her eyes too.

You know, I’m pretty sure the capriciousness of the Greek gods was well-known when Marston and co. created Wonder Woman, and having them be (or have become over a few more thousand years, or what have you) less horrible and basically, with a few exceptions such as Ares/Mars, benevolent beings who wanted the Amazons to spread the teachings of peace–I think that was a pretty cool thing.

I really think DC should have gone with what made Diana unique in the first place: That she’s a heroine whose purpose is partly to bring the teachings of her people, especially about peace and understanding, to a world that desperately needs it. The other heroes fight crime and try to stop wars and so on, but Diana was actually trying to change people’s hearts and minds, and at least some of that came through in various post-Crisis incarnations as well.

DC is floundering mightily. The ratings were a great idea, if they had any merit or meaning.

I’m not up for censorship, but this blood and gore–in the midst of reaching a new audience, and
a younger audience? It’s just disturbing. (I also flipped through the online preview of Green Lantern Corps
this week; multiple deaths, decapitations, and other dismemberments in 5 pages. Lovely.)

It is what it is; those of us who don’t want to see it shouldn’t have to. Label the books properly, and
find a way to grasp good writing without sensationalistic writing.

Still more ‘same-old, same-old’ from the “new” DC. meh.

an Amazonian warrior princess who acts violent? Makes perfect goddamned sense to me. I’m so sick of this childish “oh but morals! killing is wrong!” it’s so old and I can’t wait for comics to out grow this antiquated mentality that somehow killing a massively evil character is wrong even though those characters always break out of jail or whatever and come back and kill innocent people over and over. I thought this was a great comic, what I’ve been wanting from the book since Gail Simone wrapped her run.

“I really think DC should have gone with what made Diana unique in the first place: That she’s a heroine whose purpose is partly to bring the teachings of her people, especially about peace and understanding, to a world that desperately needs it. The other heroes fight crime and try to stop wars and so on, but Diana was actually trying to change people’s hearts and minds, and at least some of that came through in various post-Crisis incarnations as well.”

Can this be the medicine hidden in WW sherbet smoothie?

I loved it, my mom loved it when I gave it to her to read. She said it was “creepy” but not in a way that turned her off.

I’m sorry Caleb, but you couldn’t be more wrong… everyone’s entitled to their opinion but this is a great comic. Against a human foe, that is a sentient being (these centaurs were little more than beasts, following Hera’s will- though with the possibility of developing higher order thought -granted) WW wouldn’t have severed a limb but had I the time or energy I would engage in a point by point debate here… let’s just say that I feel that your review is too sensitive. The violence, while shocking, is good and does not overly dominate the story. Yours is not a balanced review. But that isn’t necessary. Were I doing a review, I’d emphasize the good and minimize the “bad”.

Everyone has their own WW in their head. This one doesn’t match yours. There is always a “knee jerk” reaction against change. You don’t like the outfit. It’s too detailed for your tastes. Aren’t outfits leaning these days towards the more detailed and “realistic”. There is strong positive buzz here about WW. I like a WW who is something of a warrior, who can do more than just punch and lasso foes, but who is not cruel. This shows it from the get out. She disabled that foe, immediately without killing it.

Basically, your review says to me: Good start, but it’s not “my” WW and it’s too violent. Just like many and many a fan. I’d expect a reviewer to have more of a distance to to KNOW that any new take that a the WW would not be THEIR WW or the WW they would write, OR the one they grew up with.

Your review: 3/5 stars.

I actually like her new costume, but that’s just my opinion.

Things like these make me sooo glad I’m not reading DC anymore.

New costumes never saved any comic book. Accept maybe Daredevil.

I’m going to give the series a chance but I didn’t see anything new here.

On a side note I couldn’t find the purple mystery woman who’s been appearing in
every New 52 issue. Was this significant or did I miss her?

Well this was the First Wonder Woman Comic I’ve bothered to read since Rucka and I loved it. It’s one of the few added to my Permanent Pull list.

@Ian Boothby
“But if you’re trying to get the mainstream audience, the new reader? This isn’t going to work.”
Are you kidding. You just have to watch TV or go to the movies to see that Mainstream audience love their heroes to be Kick Ass and even kill. The only people that maybe have a problem with WW cutting an arm are WW purists.

DC really needs to put out a Wonder Woman comic that isn’t aimed at me. The fact that they feel the need to double-down on young adult males is a sad reflection of today’s market place.

WW #1 is a good enough comic, but not a great way to position your most recognizable female character in a time when you’re trying to reach out to new readers. I want a comic that I can download on my iPad and hand to my precocious 7-year old daughter*. This is obviously not that comic, and it seems like a terrible missed opportunity.

And to head off the obvious objections: DC’s kids line is primarily targeted at 4-8 year olds (and 40 year olds). 8-12 year olds are going to want to read “real” comics.

(*I don’t have a daughter. Or an iPad.)

Qoute – “I like Wonder Woman. She’s one of the relatively few superheroes I genuinely root for.”

How does someone that does not root for superheroes get a job writing in a comics column, or is your specialty reviewing Lenore, and you drew this assignment? I’m confused – sorry, I’m a newbie.

Anyway, If this wasn’t a brilliant Wonder Woman comic for you, then I’d suggest you stop rooting for her because there is little left to be done for her. One can make the case that she is broken character, but her longevity over the other female heroines would suggest that there is something fundamental there and she just needs the right attention from her publisher. What JMS started, and then gave up on, should not be the fault of the character. DC thought they were giving her a total update and put JMS and Lee on her redesign at #600. And then JMS walked out on both titles (+Superman) like an ass. SO they assigned a writer who I would never have thought would have been interested in writing WW, but who is totally capable of bringing her strongly into the new 52, Brian Azzarello, gave him the coolest artist who was familar with the character, and they hit it out of the park. This comic was so cool, it makes me want to read what Gail wrote on her.

Awesome, awesome book.

Interesting review, I don’t really agree, but I appreciate the sentiments and the logic of the argument.

To me, the great strength of Wonder Woman has always been that she is a truly noble, idealized warrior. Unlike Superman and Batman, she is willing and able to use violence and to kill when it is necessary. But, at the same time, she is someone who can also be incredibly gentle and wise and compassionate.

What I did not like about the action of cutting off the centaur’s arm is that, as the author notes, it may not have been necessary.

My concern with this book is that I am not sure that Azzarello will get the gentle, humane part of Diana. I read the interview with him in CBR and, quite frankly, it left me cold. He seems to have no knowledge of the character and no respect for what has come before. I am not writing him off by any means, but a Diana who is just a brutal warrior is much, much less tnan what she should be. But I’m waiting to see how he develops this.

If it’s a winter setting, is it ok for you pant haters to let her wear them?

There’s a big difference between being kick ass and killing. It’s why Spider-Man is different from The Punisher. One’s a role model and one’s not. Wonder Woman is marketed to girls as a role model in their merchandise. Same as Batman and Superman. And that’s why those characters shouldn’t kill. They’re the big 3 in the DC Universe because they’re better than that. They’re not just someone with super powers, they’re the three best superheroes. They find the other way.

Nothing wrong with a character like Wolverine once in a while but every superhero shouldn’t be cutting off arms and killing. Wolverine was interesting because he was different. When you make everyone Wolverine then all that happens is people get numb to the violence and you have to keep upping it to Saw levels. That’s not what a character like Wonder Woman should be to me. It’s not mature. It’s the opposite.

To my fellow old geezers who are mockingly deriding this book as something teenage girls would never want to read…you are very out of touch. I am a teacher, and teenage girls are in love with things like “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games”. Do you know what “Hunger Games” is about? It’s about teenagers being forced to hunt and kill each other as a form of entertainment. “Twilight” has a childbirth that is something right out of Gothic horror. And these girls loved “Walking Dead” the series, as well. Your age is showing, gentlemen. :) These girls are not going to sock hops in poodle skirts and playing with Barbies until they’re 18 years old. This Wonder Woman is much more like the type of thing that teenagers like today.

Ian, killing is “not mature?” Honestly, how old are some of you?? She’s a warrior. One of the very first things Perez had her do after the Crisis reboot was to take her “razor sharp tiara” and chop off the head of a god. That was what…thirty years ago? You’re a bit late to the game, folks. Police Officers and soldiers kill, too. Are they amoral and unheroic? Get with the times folks. :)

Okay…last point. I really believe some of you are being sexist. You don’t want to see Wonder Woman using violence because she’s a woman, and women are supposed to be all nurturing and caring. Healers. Communicators. Secretaries and Nurses. :) I used to hear this sort of thing from other guys when Xena was on. They didn’t like Xena because she was not feminine enough. Women really loved that show, though! :) Women want a heroine who kicks butt and takes names, not some sweet, demure “heroine” who wants to talk her enemies into having gentile tea on the veranda. :)

And WW hasn’t killed Ian. She cut an arm of an abomination who was trying to kill Zola.

What it wouldn’t work to mainstream audience IMO would have been to see WW trying to talk to those beasts and reach a peaceful agreement (that it was obvious wasn’t going to work) while they were trying to murder an innocent woman, putting that woman’s life in more danger for not acting sooner, like she actually did.

And like others said before, WW should NOT be like Batman and Superman. She comes froma different cultyre. A Warrior Culture.

@Ian Boothby: Well i don’t know why you think you hold the position on what WW should be

You only know Gail Simone

That’s it.

No one cares.

I remember when the Birds of Prey TV show was on the air. The new X-Men film was popular so they turned the show into one about mutants who had to hide their powers. But Gotham City and the Birds are interesting enough as their own characters, they don’t need to be X-Men. Batman’s world is as cool as the X-Men’s.

Xena is fine. But Wonder Woman doesn’t have to be Xena or Thor or Game of Thrones or whatever is popular this week.

The goal for the new 52 was getting a new mainstream audience. I have no problem with characters being dark. I just think over the last ten years mainstream comics have gotten as adult as Vertigo used to be. That seems to cut off the young audience and without them this whole thing won’t work. It might keep the already existing audience around for a bit longer.

The Joker had something happen to him at the end of Detective Comics that was shocking when it was done in Preacher. To have Wonder Woman cutting off an arm in her first issue, it just feels like where can you go from there?

There’s a place for this kind of thing, I just don’t think it need to be everywhere. And in mainstream DC right now the level of sex and violence is crazy high. That doesn’t feel mature. All Star Superman felt mature. The New Frontier felt mature. Most episodes of the Batman Animated Series felt more mature than this.

Just my two bits. Lots of you feel differently and that’s fine.

And yes I know Gail Simone. Very glad to do so.

I have to disagree with the logic here:
It doesn’t make any sense to dress the characters in brand-new costumes if the effort is to attract lapsed readers and new readers (people familiar with the classic costumes form their constant presence in pop culture), but it does make sense as a signal to old readers that everything is going to be new and different now.

Those lapsed readers and non-readers weren’t reading DC’s comics for a reason. Giving them more of what they didn’t want wasn’t going to attract them to DC’s new offerings.

Instead of going into a lengthy dialogue about how I feel about old-school heroes from my childhood being updated for modern audiences.
And how I’m a silver-age baby.
And which variation of W.W. is the best.
I’ll just say,when is issue 2 coming out?
P.S. I loved Wednesday’s Comics W.W.

I kinda liked it too, but basically, it’s just cribbed, watered-down Neil Gaiman. Nice art, though.

Lasso of Deluth- VERY good points. Things are darker, but you know what… kids always liked the dark stuff, they always were seeking it out, adults were just blinder too it back in the day. I know when I was growing up it was like that, it was more socially acceptable for the guys, but the girls are getting into it too… and it’s okay. The shadow element is out there. Some reviewers, like Caleb, have this knee jerk reaction towards violence (and I bet towards sex) and some of the posters too. It’s ridiculous. If DC wants to capture the “mainstream” they have to embrace some sex and violence, but it doesn’t mean losing the ideals of the characters.

To everyone- look at something like Lord of the Rings. Someone like Arargorn. He was violent, when he needed to be, and killed, but he was also brave, compassionate, honest, a leader. And killed monsters by the score. More modern day: Die Hard- John McClane. A tough hero. He killed, and would do so again and again, but he was honest, brave, honorable, tough. Why when it comes to WW do people lose their $^*%. Oh noes not my beloved WW, she’s for little girls. She’s supposed to be an ideal! Well, guess what! No body will read this ideal if it’s the one you guys are thinking of. Boring, boring, boring. Cutting off the centaur’s arm was too much. PLEASE!!

Wow, people should get a grip. How out of touch can you be? Lots of stuff that are marketed to teenage girls nowadays that involves action also involves at least some killing. Twilight has killing. FREAKING Twilight. You’re gonna say freaking Twilight is too dark and gritty? Twilight is too hardcore for you? And Twilight IS in the mainstream, even if I hate it.

Buffy ended 10 years ago, and you know, she didn’t lock up vampires and other supernatural monsters into prison, she killed them.

Besides, Superman and Batman fight enemies that are in the sphere of human law. If Wonder Woman is just one more superhero that fights human citizens like Doctor Psycho or the Angle Man, then it makes sense for her to act more like Superman. But when you’re in the sphere of myth, other rules apply.

You expressed why you feel how you felt quite well, but nonetheless I totally disagree, folk. I loved almost everything about this issue. Azzarello took all the things I loved about the DCAU Diana and combined it with all the things I had loved about the DCU Diana and cut all the crap out. I really enjoyed the Vertigo vibe of this book and if he does with Diana what Moore did with Swamp Thing, Gaiman with Sandman/Black Orchid, Milligan with Shade, or Morrison with Animal Man I’m all for it. I can understand the disappointment of not being able to show this comic to your tween age or younger kids, but I appreciate when my cape comics aren’t softened down to all ages (honestly that’s what the all ages lines are for, no?). Nothing in this book was inappropriate for a T rated book IMO. And the violence makes perfect sense considering the character and her world. Same could be said for most of the violence I’ve seen in the T/T+ books I’ve read. Anyways, I’m glad Azzarello isn’t over thinking the book and is just doing his thing. Can’t wait to see where this book goes. This’ the Wonder Woman I’ve been waiting to read for years.

For whatever reasons someone stole my user name. I never made the 7th post.. Cadwell’s take would have been the best take version of the character. More strength through grace instead of gore, like the Paul WS Anderson. I would hope comic fans these days would have more taste than accept this kind of crap. Oh sure some teenage girls might like this stuff but like some teenager boys might like a Superman that cuts people with blades, it doesn’t mean it’s good and it’s the right thing to do.

This first issue of Wonder Woman is not a good #1. Because for a new reader… you are NOT told WHO Wonder Woman is, we dont know WHY she is Wonder woman, And we have no idea what her motivations are. She just IS wonder woman… What if I AM A NEW READER??? wft is going on?

Dear kids of today… go read WONDER WOMAN #1 from 1986 by George Perez. In ONE singel issue we are given an EPIC origin story and we know who WW is and WHY she is WW. There is more depth and scope in that issue than ANY SINGLE 52 this month.

My gripe is… if you cant make it BETTER than what has come before… why try to?

Frankly i found this issue 1 to be quite dull. i would also agree that DC could have done better. Over all this was to dark, to horrorish & generally to disinteresting for me to follow. Whats more it has all the same issues that previous version of wonder woman has had
- Over use of mythology (which does not track well with new readers)
- No secondary cast members (yet)
- No short term Status Quo (yet)
- No long term Status Quo (yet)
- No power limitations or explanations (yet)
- No personality outside of the one word description of “warrior.”

This was DC chance to go in a new direction, make her personable, add to the universe, make it interesting… Instead we get veritgo style mythological horror. I could have come up with something better then this & i wouldn’t have had to go all dark grim to do it… I also would have also been able to have brought in both a new teen audience & a female teen audience… An it would actually be astoundingly easy… All they had to do was Rboert Kirkman it (ala the early issues of Invincible).

*yawn*

Wake me when they decide to make Diana into a real character, rather then a string of mid 90′s cliches.

It depresses me that comic book fans and critics are still caught up in the grim/fun, dark/light dichotomy.

Grow up, folks.

Grim stories can be good.
Light-hearted stories can be good.
Grim stories can be bad.
Light-hearted stories can be bad.

“grim/fun, dark/light dichotomy”

No: Dichotomy is a binary system, where as what i’m saying is that the title went grim, dark & depressing. Its not a dichotomy, as much as it is a feature of the story telling paradigm they chose to write under. There can be good dark stories… This isn’t one of them. This is DC trying to recapture the audience of the 90′s without realizing that that audience has grown up & no longer cares for the subject matter.

‘We thought that by making your world more violent we would make it more “realistic,” more “adult.” God help us if that’s what it means.

Maybe, for once, we could try to be kind.’

–Grant Morrison, Animal Man #26

Its the whole greek mythology thing… It just doesn’t work. In any medium where the greek mythology has worked its because its been made personable… This doesn’t do that.

Promethea, makes a better reboot Wonder Woman, then Wonder Woman does.

No, just no. I couldn’t disagree with you more. I’m not sure if this is a well thought out ‘troll’ or not, but SERIOUSLY, NO.

As a new WW reader this was a great first issue! Blood and gore was all part of the Greek Mythology and that is WWs basis. If you want candy and strawberry milk go read Archie comics (not that there’s anything wrong with Archie comics, they are great! I read them too!)

I am quite new to WW and the DCU, only really read Superman and Batman titles, however this was a great introduction to WW for me, so please whinge elsewhere.

The whole team on this new WW did a very good job. Keep it coming please!

I just don’t get all this whining about a Greek warrior who kills monsters out of Greek myth.
You’d think Diana was running around cutting through ordinary citizens like Deathstroke, or something.

“So the ‘new’ Wonder Woman is still the brutal warrior she has been, a loose cannon that doesn’t meet Superman and Batman’s loftier, softer rules of engagement.”

And why should she? She’s an Amazon, not some spoiled rich kid or farm boy from middle America. She should have different values and ideas of justice. Why should all superheroes exactly the same? All I can say is that I’m glad you aren’t writing these books. The DC universe would be a boring place with each hero being a carbon copy of the next.

I’ve been reading Wonder Woman for over 20 years. That being said, after reading this book, I feel that, thus far, Diana’s portrayal was dead on. She should be a warrior, and even Perez had her operate in this regard when she needed to. I personally feel the gore was slightly excessive, and might have been better served being implied rather than shown. But I am very intrigued by the direction overall, and am looking forward to seeing where Azzarello and Chiang take her next.

Insofar as the costume goes, I would have preferred she kept the pants. I just am not a fan of the bathing suit (which won’t be long before an Ed Benes or Mike Deodato turn it back into a thong). Or at the very least, maybe sone serious consideration should be given to the armor-style outfits that she donned in the Greg Rucka-Drew Johnson era. Just my 2 cents.

Nah. I read a friends copy of this and this is the first time I’ve EVER had the urge to buy a Wonder Woman comic.

It was simple.

Enough mystery (who is the woman who REALLY hates horses), What’s Ares up besides looking goooood and here’s Wonder Woman, kicking arse and not bothered about taking names. Throw in some horny Zeus action and I personally can live without all the fanboy preconceptions that J. Caleb Mozzocco seems to be hankering for.

Superman, the Man of Steel!

Batman the Dark Knight

Wonder Woman the Monster Hunter!

I can get behind that.

Oh and another thing regarding the costumes.

GROW UP! because the costumes have.

Blood. Gore. “Loose cannon.” More than anything else, a warrior first and foremost.

That may live up to some Amazon ideals from the original myths, but it sure as hell isn’t Wonder Woman as she was conceived to be at all. If anything, it’s the absolute polar opposite and completely misses the point of who she was meant to be and who she’s been at her best.

I hope these are just mistaken conceptions about the ultimate direction the book will take. Maybe Azzarello has something else up his sleeve and we’ll all see that, so if I hear it’s improved, I’ll give it another look, but what everyone seems to be seeing — and apparently, liking — sounds to me like a new version of Spider-Man who isn’t really into that whole “power and responsibility” thing.

And at a time when we could use some of that original philosophy of Diana’s as much or more than the 1940s, as well. Very sad.

hey david, didn’t marston’s wonder woman kill an entire planet or something?

I have no problem with her wanting peace, but that doesn’t mean she can’t use force when she has to, like in a fight for her life and the life of another innocent person.

Only in comics is there this ridiculous “heroes should never kill” paradigm. Only DC comics even. No one gives a fuck when a tv hero is forced to shoot someone or anything like that, even someone portrayed as genuinely good. Because he/she was in a fight for their life and they did what anyone would do. Comic fans, grow up.

I’ve never encountered Marston’s WW doing that, actually; nor do I disagree that use of force, even killing, is something she would rightly do.

The whole “grow up” thing — well, I suppose we’ll just have to disagree about what constitutes a healthy and mature kind of “growing up.” Or for that matter, the attitude of using “growing up” in this particular context as a term of approval.

“Critics who treat ‘adult’ as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
― C.S. Lewis

And, again, I point to Morrison’s comment above about whether being more violent is more “grown up” or “realistic.”

David –

It’s not that I’m somehow afraid of being seen as childish. I own DVDs of TOY STORY and the MUPPET MOVIE, and I enjoy them very much, thank you.

Just as I also own DVDs of BOOGIE NIGHTS and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, and I enjoy them very much too.

What annoys me is the insistence that one approach is necessarilty superior to the other, or that one would automatically be more likely to attract the elusive “new readers”.

It is not. Wonder Woman and Batman are like King Arthur and Robin Hood. You can tell light-hearted stories with them just as well as you can use King Arthur and Morgan Le Fey to tell stories with more violence and sexuality.

And new readers are more likely to be attracted based on how and when the book is marketed, and whether the story makes sense on its own terms. Whether the story is “light” or “darkness” is secondary, or at least it should be. And I’m at a loss to understand or sympathize with people who have become so hung up on one modality or another of superhero storytelling.

Can’t we enjoy both kinds, as long as the story is good? It makes me mad when stuff like “WW cut off a centaur arm” or “Catwoman had sex with Batman” become somehow signs that the story is good (or bad). Aesthetics should be more important than morality when approaching art and entertainment.

Rene –
Interestingly, Superman did not factor into your comparison with Medieval folklore. Also, despite the light-heartedness or seriousness of his appearances, Batman himself retains something of a core characterisation throughout. There are fundamental characteristics and themes one can expect from any iteration of Batman. Superman also remains largely the same in different iterations. With Wonder Woman, however, her personality, philosophy, and MO vary wildly between disparate takes. In any case, your point would be valid to me if there were more than one Wonder Woman book out there. There’s not.

And while it’s perfectly fine to like Toy Story and Clockwork Orange (and I doubt anyone disputes that), no one asks that Toy Story be made to be more like Clockwork Orange to suit their tastes or vice-versa.

The fact is, some readers are more tolerant of different takes on a character as long as the story appeals to them, and that’s cool. But others invest more in the characters themselves, and are more static, less…mercenary in their tastes, and therefore less tolerant of changes made to a given character. Given the character-driven serial narrative structure that usually constitutes solo superhero properties like Wonder Woman, I’d say there’s some validity to that viewpoint. So when such a reader is used to a character being portrayed a certain way, and perceive (deliberate) changes made to appeal to another kind of audience, I think their contention is warranted.

Nobody demands that Wolverine sheath his claws and stop stabbing people in the main X-Men books, so why is the malleability of Wonder Woman so acceptable?

One of the worst written reviews I read i a while

So…some mysterious woman cut the horse’s head off? If you knew your Greek mythology the peacock feathers gave it away that it was Hera. Later, in the end, that is established as well that she is the antagonist. You need to be hit over the head with this stuff? Hints were subtle enough.

I don’t get the problem. Let the man tell his tale, if you don’t like it, don’t read it. This felt like a modern Greek mythological story, which is the best I could hope for. Honestly, some peaceful noble guff would be rubbish in a mythological horror story.

I don’t think it is a good idea to remake Toy Story to be more like A Clockword Orange, because I usually despise remakes in movies and the lack of originality they entail, but I am the sort of fan that would be more intrigued than offended if they made a experimental violent satire of a Walt Disney movie, with different characters.

But movies are movies, and maybe my analogy was flawed. Superhero comics are different. They go on forever and they have in-built malleability, just like Medieval folklore. I mean, how old are you? If you’re younger than 70 or so, chances are the character you met when you first started reading Wonder Woman comics wasn’t the “original take” anyway. If you accept that attachment to any one particular version is arbitrary, you’re going to save yourself a lot of heartache.

The thing I sorta agree with you is that characters have a core, fundamental characteristics and themes. And Wonder Woman as a mighty, efficient warrior doesn’t contradict her core, IMO.

For instance, let’s say that I wanted to make the Fantastic Four grittier. Giving them big guns and no-nonsense disposition would be silly, not because it’s “dark”, but because it contradicts the basic identity of the FF. But a theme more centered on science fictional body horror, where not only Ben Grimm, but the rest of them also are crippled by their powers, could be interesting and not contraditory with the themes of the FF.

I see Wonder Woman as a kick-ass warrior killing supernatural monsters as not contraditory with her basic identity.

One thing: some people seem to be under the misapprehension that the god at the start of the story (with the three women) is Ares. He is clearly Apollo, the god of the sun and the god of prophecy/oracles. He looks quite different (as does Hermes) but this is pretty evident.

“I don’t get the problem. Let the man tell his tale, if you don’t like it, don’t read it.”

It’s not just “his tale.” It’s Wonder Woman. The new, fresh, mainstream Wonder Woman we’re going to have for, presumably, years to come. It’s not just his personal toy to make into anything he likes, as if he invented the character.

” Honestly, some peaceful noble guff would be rubbish in a mythological horror story.”

Seriously? It’s WONDER WOMAN. And it’s super-hero comics.

Frankly, some of the comments here — and the attitude I think I am hearing from them about what, in the minds of some posters, constitutes goodness and heroism — bother me more than the actual comic does.

. . .

I just did a Google Shopping search for “Wonder Woman,” and on the first place, I see:

“Wonder Woman Toddler Costume”

“DC Comics Wonder Woman Child Costume: Size Small”

“DC Universe Pop! Heroes Series 2 Vinyl Figure Wonder Woman
Super cute and inexpensive licensed superhero vinyl figures by FUNKO!”

But of course there isn’t a Wonder Woman comic a kid can read, even though she’s sufficiently part of pop culture for kids’ toys and costumes. At just the time when DC is hoping to get readers in who don’t read comics. Yeah, this was the best course of action for the character’s relaunch/reimagining/reboot.

. . .

I’m sorry for the snark, but seriously, this actually saddens me a bit. I suspect (and I welcome correction on this point), from what many people are saying here, that they don’t really like Wonder Woman herself as a character (as defined over 70 years), but that they really like Vertigo, the darker side of Greek myth, etc., so they welcome this approach. But maybe Wonder Woman shouldn’t be made to fit that. Maybe that’s good for an Elseworlds version or a “mature readers” miniseries or something, but not for the standard mainstream DCU Diana.

David -

My google shopping also shows hits for Wonder Woman adult costumes, some seriously sexualized action figures, Wonder Woman “temporary body art” (great for showgirls and dancers!), etc.

Wonder Woman is also sufficiently part of pop culture for fetishists, S&M enthusiastics, the gay and lesbian communities…

I like Wonder Woman just fine, and in one of George Perez’s first issues (#4) she used her tiara to decapitate a female monster. Yes, on the one hand, Decay was established as completely evil, unlike that centaur, but on the other hand, Diana cut her head off, not just an arm. I’ve been reading Wonder Woman since the 1987 relaunch actually. And I’m okay with the direction of the relaunch.

Oh, and stop claiming your oppinion or personal taste is “THE WAY” to attract new readers, please.

@ Rene

But I wasn’t talking about a Toy Story parody that resembled Clockwork Orange with different characters, I was talking about changing the Toy Story franchise itself to the tone of Clockwork Orange, i.e., a sequel in which Woody and Buzz go on the prowl for a bit of the ol’ ultraviolence and give Jessie the ol’ in-out. But you’re right, the movie analogy is flawed.

And again, unlike medieval folklores, which by nature were public domain since their inception, Batman and Wonder Woman are not products of the public imagination, but rigid corporate entities, whose plotlines are unidirectional and come from one source, the result of which is one doesn’t get alternate sources for the characters’ stories. King Arthur’s legend happened and ended a long time ago, and different sources have been revisiting those stories and making up their own stories since, and there is no need to reconcile the divergent takes. However, what happens with the strictly-controlled corporate entity that is the comic book superhero is different writers take on the one character with their different takes and varying tones and characterisations, and the reader of the one overarching saga that is being told and it is left to the reader reconcile the inclusion of these different takes in the ongoing narrative that is continuity. When you present a very narrow and specific take on the character (NOT a superhero comic, but a Hellenized horror warrior woman tale), of a highly publicised not-a-reboot, that is more than just an alternate take on the character – it’s a direction you’re taking the character’s main narrative, possibly for years.

Which, I suppose, brings us back to square one, that is at the heart of 99% of all Wonder Woman debates that exist on the interwebs. You don’t see Hellenised monster-killer warrior Wonder Woman as being contradictory to her “core.” And that’s fine. And you probably have 25+ years of precedence to confirm that. Others interpret Wonder Woman wholly different than that, and either reject that interpretation of the character or just plain don’t like seeing it.

There’s also a lot more to the equation of a character’s portrayal than the mere act of doing something. Factors like circumstances and motivation and the character’s reaction to the act are to be considered as well. I know of fans who have little or no problem with a Wonder Woman who decapitated Deimos or who lopped off “Medousa’s” head who yet have every problem with her dismembering the centaur’s arm. Obviously, there are a number of fans who view what constitutes Wonder Woman’s core differently than you or I. Hell, I say, you can have Wonder Woman destroy a whole nation of man, woman, and child, and I’d be rooting for her the whole way through if you characterize her right.
I’m not familiar with the Fantastic Four, but I don’t know what part of their conceivable to equip them with BFGs and no-nonsense attitudes. It’s not even about contradiction. It wouldn’t contradict Superman as he was created to have him bash a villain’s head in and fry him with heat vision in issue #2 of Action Comics. It wouldn’t b a contradiction to have Batman slice a crook’s throat with a batarang.

Basically, this has all been one TL;DR way of saying there’s more to Wonder Woman than than the grimdark Greek warrior aspect (IMO, the Greek warrior aspect is not even integral to the character), so of course people have a right to be put off by what they see here.

(Besides, a monster’s severed hand today could be a person’s slit throat tomorrow, so people also have a right to be apprehensive if that’s not the sort of thing they look for in a Wonder Woman story. And one might say that’s a slippery slope fallacy on my part, but we’ve already seen that slippery slope happen in Wonder Woman’s career.)

Honestly? Wonder Woman goes through several iterations with different attitudes and philosophies because her sales have sucked. Let me repeat, her sales have absolutely, abysmally sucked. If she were any other character, her book would have been cancelled a long long time ago. She has been at the bottom of sales for several years (probably more) and sorry to say, when something doesn’t sell and you’re pretty much obligated to put out a WW book, a change is necessary.

Fru-fru Wonder Woman “who never kills” or is a “peaceful diplomat” just didn’t sell. I may be an outlier, but I was reading material like this when I was 8 or 9. I’m sure most of you were as well. You just don’t remember it at the time. I was about 11 when Deodato’s art on Wonder Woman came out. My mother purchased the comics for me. I may have gotten a couple of “uh-huh, you read it for the story” comments from her, but overall she trusted me.

Not saying this as a comment on anyone’s parenting abilities, but if you don’t want your kids to read the current issues of Wonder Woman, pick up a trade that you obviously and fondly remember and sling it their way. Most of the books today are targeted towards teens because let’s face it, 8 or 9 year olds don’t have any money. While someday I might buy and indulge my child’s interest in comics doesn’t mean everyone else does and I get that.

To conclude, DC has finally come to the realization that if they have to put a book out that they might as well try something new because the old model was not working. In fact it was utterly failing. I’m 27, but for the first time ever I feel like putting Wonder Woman on my permanent pull list. The stories that people fondly remember just weren’t cutting it as a business model, which was the whole point of the 52 Relaunch. If you watch any number of shows, read any books, they are darker and yes, have a little bit of blood. Twilight is a great example. Hell, Harry Potter is a pretty friggin’ dark story when you stop and look at it. This is a PG-13 book (pretty much says so on the cover) and if you want a PG book, you might have to go back in time.

Rene said:

“Wonder Woman is also sufficiently part of pop culture for fetishists, S&M enthusiastics, the gay and lesbian communities…”

Yes, indeed, and I’m quite happy with all that, though I have to ask why you’re lumping in being gay or lesbian with things which are definitively “adult” by nature.

“Oh, and stop claiming your oppinion or personal taste is “THE WAY” to attract new readers, please.’”

I don’t claim that my understanding of the character was “THE WAY” to attract new readers, as if that’s the most important thing. Heck, if they have to take the heart and soul out of the character just to keep the book going, maybe it’s time to put the title on hiatus for a while and let the character appear in guest shots and backup stories until the time is right.

As a side note, I never said I thought she should never ever kill–peaceful diplomat/ambassador, or better, teacher of her people’s ways and philosophy, absolutely. And at her best, she’s been that.

And what’s this whole equation of that approach with “fru-fru”? Do you see that philosophy as somehow defective, and if so, why? Do you then see the approach of most of her writers as advocating a false, mistaken or immoral philosophy in some way?

I think the way the series has been depicted has been defective for a number of years now. Diana trying to act as this bridge to a different world doesn’t resonate as much in today’s society. We’re connected by social media and the world is a much smaller place than it was even ten years ago. I don’t think her writers were advocating a false mistaken or immoral philosophy. Let’s be honest about one thing, if the stories were better, they would have been selling. Wonder Woman never even sniffs the top ten or top twenty books outside of an anniversary or special event crossover.

The way some people on this board are depicting Diana it’s as if they want her to stop the fighting, hold hands and sing kumbaya with her enemies. Sorry Greek mythology = bad asses who want to toy and play with humanity (and yes, I have read Edith Hamilton’s mythology cover to cover several times and that is the gist). These were not gods to look up to, these were gods you would crap your pants if you ever ticked them off.

I thought Diana’s character shone through. Woman show up in her apartment, she’s firm, but somewhat comforting, and then goes to figure out what is wrong. Risks her life to save said girl and shows genuine care and respect for Hermes. She answered the bell. And if some mythological creature that isn’t even alive lost an arm? Seriously? This is what we’re getting so upset about? The attitude and the story was there and that sells books.

I feel that certain elements of Diana’s history are being put up on a pedestal. I go back and I try to read stories, from even the ’80s that have just not aged well. Dialogue and illustrations just don’t strike the same chord. Today’s kids, whether some of you are willing to admit it or not, are exposed and know how to process more “adult’ themes than we ever did. DC needs to sell comics to stay afloat. They recognized what pop culture is into and this is the result. For the last decade, I really cannot think of a single storyline by the Big 2 that hasn’t had some level of blood or suggestive themes. I don’t understand why this outcry is pouring out all of a sudden. DC’s was circling the drain until the update. They needed to revamp their characters because they were no longer as popular or reflective of society. Diana is still going to battle the Hellinistic world from tampering with ours. Simple concept, What more do you need or want?

“Let’s be honest about one thing, if the stories were better, they would have been selling.”

Well, no, not really. Look at the sales of Capt. Britain and MI:13, or Agents of Atlas, just to name a couple off the top of my head.

And maybe being better than “reflective of society” is part of what super-heroes (or heroes in general) are supposed to do. Again, perhaps now as much as, or more than, over the last 70 years.

What more do I need or want? Been pretty much saying that this whole time.

With the stories, I was talking more about Wonder Woman. While this is subjective, I don’t think many people will argue about the inaccessibility of WW or that the stories have really been dreadful. Odyssey panned. Rise of the Amazons, while mandated by editorial, was atrocious. Even Gail Simone couldn’t save this book. No creator wanted to touch it because it has been a bad book for nearly 20 years. I’m surprised it took DC this long to do something drastic like this.

If Capt. Britain and AoA sold better, two books I enjoyed, they wouldn’t have been cancelled. Pure and simple. It’s a business. S.W.O.R.D. is another great example. But the just didn’t sell. No matter how good they are, Marvel and DC have to turn a profit. Wonder Woman if it was any other normal book, would have been cancelled a long ass time ago for poor sales. It’s a flagship book that is still stuck in the D-League.

And Diana is still better. We’re still talking about a mythological centaur that isn’t even really alive and she didn’t even kill it. When Diana kills Joe Schmoe from Springfield, IL, then we’ll talk. But if some random ass person had teleported into my London flat at God knows what hour of the night, I might not have been as understanding.

Comics have always been a representation of pop culture. WW’s change in the ’60s to the slick white suit. X-Men and the civil rights movement. The list goes on. Not trying to sugercoat anything, but the stories some of you want have a) already been told, to death and b) were not that interesting to anyone else and are reflective of that in the sales. It’s a new take, give it more than one issue and one fight scene and see where it takes you, but judging by how it sold out, you might be in the minority.

Oh, and again, I’m not talking about whether or not kids can process “adult” things; regarding that, I stand by the Lewis and Morrison quotes above.

Ironically, I would think that dealing with the issues of trying to build bridges rather than walls, of defusing conflict, of personal empowerment, of gender issues which are still with us, would all be more “mature” and “adult” than the stereotypically “adolescent” (dangerous word with loaded assumptions as well) notion of “being a badass” being the most important thing.

Do you really mean that Gail Simone’s and Greg Rucka’s issues of Wonder Woman were “bad books”? Seriously?

And, yes, if CB &MI:13 and AoA sold better, they’d not have been cancelled. (The former was nominated for a Hugo Award, for God’s sake!) My point was that they were excellent books, and that did not save them. Having seen quite a lot of very good stories, I would argue that the quality of WW is not, I believe, why its sales have been lower. I can make guesses as to why they have been lower, but I’m confident it has not been WW’s better writers.

Does Gail Simone have a perennial seller in trade paperback like 100 Bullets?

What does that have to do with anything? You might as well say that about Art Spiegelman’s Maus (#7 this week on the New York Times best-seller list), but that doesn’t mean that style would be right for Wonder Woman (or Superman, or the Flash, etc.). Heck, I’d even go further and say that Alan Moore’s Watchmen (#6 this week!) would not be the right style for the mainstream “new direction” DCU Wonder Woman either. Yes, it has super-heroes, has been a perennial best-seller for decades, has had its own movie, and so on, but it wouldn’t be the right approach. (As someone said above in this thread, actually, his later (and far less well-known, sadly) Promethea makes a better reboot Wonder Woman than this does.)

Promethea isn’t Wonder Woman. It started its genesis as ideas for Glory, which much was a Wonder Woman knock-off, but the end result is far greater than that. To compare the two now is much like apples and kumquats, still fruit, but entirely different things.

You also miss the point I was making about the perennial seller for sake of grandstanding, substituting meaning for content rather than the cache of the individual writer. The point is, does Gail Simone have a perennial seller?

“For the sake of grandstanding”? Um, no, that was wholly unrelated to my reasoning there, sorry. (I generally believe it is best to assume one’s opponents in discussion/debate are being straightforward rather than disingenuous.)

I think those issues, actually (writers who are very popular based on some of their own works being given super-hero comics titles, which then become very popular but in ways which, arguably (and I’ve argued ad nauseam about that for literally years now) are damaging to the heroism of the characters), have been quite relevant for years now — just mainly at Marvel (Bendis and Millar in particular). I don’t expect Azzarello to quite do that sort of thing to Diana, however.

I don’t know that Gail has a perennial seller. But I don’t think that “having a perennial seller” makes someone the right person to write this, or any, particular comics series, so I don’t think it’s really relevant.

And of course Promethea isn’t Wonder Woman. But I still think it would make a better reboot for her than this does so far.

As I said on a thread I started here on CBR (“Am I the only one who didn’t like WW #1 very much?”), at http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=385608

“By the way, please note that I’m saying I didn’t like it very much–not that I hated it, would rather gouge my eyes out than ever read it again, consider it a dark day for Wonder Woman fans everywhere, weep openly, etc. ;) (There are writers whose work on various other comics has made me think that, at least for a while, but even in those cases, once a new writer has come on, many things have been repaired or happily brushed under the rug, hopefully to never be mentioned again.)

“Nor, for that matter, that all other things being equal, I consider this a ghastly story in itself–it’s that, as the first issue of Wonder Woman, ostensibly trying to make it accessible to a new readership, I didn’t like it very much, and I’m not sure this is the best direction for it.”

The attitudes of some posters here (and on that thread) worry me much more than this one issue did. I get the sense (please someone tell me I am wrong?) that a lot of the fans of this first issue think that the issues involved about building bridges, personal empowerment, etc. are just a bunch of silly, “childish,” namby-pamby hooey which “real” adults would disparage as somehow beneath them. If I am correct in that perception, I consider it a very sad thing.

Right now and for some years now, in real life, relationships between families and friends are being torn apart by a level of partisan hatred that I think is truly tragic, and the demonization of “the other” is something which I think is doing incalculable damage here in the US and all over the world. To have one less positive voice, even in fiction, at a time when it could really do more good on behalf of teaching healthier ideals, ideals which have been the heart and soul of the character since her inception, is to me a very sad thing.

But not nearly so sad as real people really thinking that those ideals are silly and worthless.

With all due respect, this review reads like you’re just complaining for the sake of complaining. I really enjoyed WW #1, and I was never a huge Wonder Woman fan. A lot of the people I talked to at my local comic store agrees with me that this is one of the best new 52. So from the perspective where DC wanted to attract new readers or old readers to read something that they wouldn’t normally, I think they did a great job.

I really liked the way the story was told and the art was great. The blood and the gore didn’t bother me, it’s a teen book, not a kid book.

Mainstream comics used to be an all ages party. Then the folks at the party got older, decided they didn’t want kids around and set up a little table off to the side from them. This really feels selfish to me.

When comic books were all ages they sold better than they do now. Comics decided to focus on the direct market and take the books out of places kids could buy them. They upped the violence and sex. People are now getting raped in the Justice League’s clubhouse. Superboy tears people’s arms and heads off. Wonder Girl and Aquaman had their dead babies attack her.

is that helping sales? Is this a good long term plan? This kind of shock Saw style violence and titty comedy sex in book starring Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman while the characters are marketed to the general public as all ages good guys doesn’t make sense.

I don’t mind The Dark Knight Returns selling alongside a regular Batman comic. But lately it’s all been the grim and gory. And it’s all been tied together with crossovers that make all the books the same tone.

A TV series like Dr. Who is always going to be more successful than Torchwood because it appeals to a wider audience. Dr. Who is smart, scary and fun. Everything comics can be if we let them. And being all ages doesn’t make them less mature as long as the writing is smart enough.

If we just cater to the older audience sales will peak as people check in to see what’s new. But then they’re going to just start dropping again. There’s a real chance here to bring in an audience that will grow with the books. Unless we’re selfish and short sighted.

I am not a hardcore Diana/WW fan and I mean no insult but I have noticed a trend which seems to draw in older fans as well as brand new viewers.

This comic is paced and acted in sync with the character the whole time. This is something that was hit or miss alot from the few issues (40 or so) most of which were Vol 3. It seems like to push that she is a woman there has to be this conflict or at least there should be. But both Bats and Boy blue never have unless its introduced as part of a story or arch. This seems to be the reason for the internal dialog that people couldn’t stand back before relaunch (along with luke warm stories). So maybe WW being what the trinity is what they are focusing on. Undisputed hero, that does not question their own morals when against the wire. To me this is why she killed max. This is what she is. So in essence its distilling her being a women out of the equation. Its understood she is but its not a focus because she can do anything a man can, can be equal as any hero, and can save the day as the best them.

Could that conflict of her being a women is what missing from the 60′s?

Wonder Woman #1 had enough mystery to keep me turning the pages, and enough interesting characters for me to be curious about their motivations. Add in some great art and excellent colouring, and you’ve got a perfect comic book.

Oh yea in Greek Mythologies Hera slaughters creatures so that means it’s ok for WW to do so! That’s rich. These are super-hero books!

I do agree with the review to a point. I don’t understand all the praise for a book that didn’t present itself clearly and had little of the title character in it. WW #1 almost felt like the same bad dream we were on with Straczynski’s run. Wonder Woman’s costume (ditch the choker and arm band) and visual look of the Gods & Goddesses so far are disappointing. I definitely liked the visual look of Rucka’s Greek Gods to this bland inhuman depiction.

George Perez really perfected Diana’s origin and character in his run. The Amazons are spiritual and physical beings, nourishing the mind and the body. They were created by the Goddesses to be examples of strength, unity and peace for other mortals. Diana has always been about peace and being a champion of it. However, she’s also a warrior and knows when to put these skills in place to uphold justice.

I can only hope Azzarello can successful marry her two sides and bring out the very best of Wonder Woman. Diana needs to be more relatable, which I think bringing Steve Trevor back as a love interest would do. Like Lois is to Superman, Steve is a big part of Diana’s Mythos that’s been missing for some time. It was the one thing I wished Perez didn’t exclude in his run. I’m not saying for Diana to go all puppy dog love for him, but the exploration of a companion she could respect as see as an equal.

Though I didn’t like WW #1 for the most part it did hold my attention enough to warrant another look next issue.

i think maybe bringing back nemesis as a love interest and DEO as a secret identity might be a better alternative than bringing back steve trevor because i always thought nemesis was more of an equal to her and a more interesting love interest than steve.

Also the DEO spy stuff might be more at home for Azzarello and might be something he may be more comfotable with than making her a nurse since it does have more room for morally ambiguios choices.

Or reinvent Steve Trevor to be more like Nemesis.

Not sure why “morally ambiguous choices” would be something Wonder Woman needs to make, though.

My favorite thing about all this is, it’s probably going to sell out after its great reviews… and there ain’t a damn thing you or anyone else can do about it. Mwaahahahaha!

I am confused by all of the people complaining that Diana’s moral compass may not be in line with our view of heroes today. We should remember that Superman’s “no kill” is based on the way he was raised, Batman’s because of how he became who he was.

Diana doesn’t have those events to shape her opinion of death. She is a product of the gods and of the Amazons. She shouldn’t have qualms about killing mystical beasts because she knows how bad they can be, and how they are made. In this case the Centaur is made from the death of an innocent beast and therefore irredeemable as a character. So is it so bad that she would kill it – oh but she didn’t… she just chopped off it’s arm to save Zola.

And for the ones wondering why she didn’t use the lasso… The Centaur had Zola in her hands to stop her with the lasso could have hurt, injured, or killed Zola because she’d have no way of knowing the reacion of the Centaur to the lasso. If she’d looped the leg the Centaur could have fallen on Zola and killed her, if you got her neck then we’re still talking about potentially hurtin Zola… That doesn’t – however – excuse them using the lasso to ynak Zola back in the next panel… I understand it was just for the sake of making a point, but it was still dangerous.

Wow, this was the best free preview I’ve read in a long while, despite it being an opinion article.

Diana lobbing swords at Centaurs=Instant purchase. My only problem was they ditched the pants. Jim Lee’s JMS WW run costume was rad.

Heh. Actually, if anything, I’d like to see Diana’s moral compass be *better* than what seems to be many people’s ends-justify-the-means view of heroes today. When I see some attitudes in general about what is OK to do in wartime or to protect the country or whatnot, it makes my blood run cold. I’d rather have Diana be better than all that, not the same or worse.

And she’s not merely a product of the gods and the Amazons; she’d have free will as well. One of the things I found impossible to suspend belief on with Flashpoint is the idea that in that environment, Diana and Arthur would become villainous, innocent-slaying monsters. Screw that.

David -

Let me explain myself better.

It’s not that I think a hero who kills is better than one who doesn’t. Or that the traditional superhero morality is somehow defective and I want them to introduce a new (bloodier) moral code to superhero comics.

It is simply that morality doesn’t enter into the equation for me.

My approach to entertainment is mostly amoral. I like stories that are intense, well-told, smart, perceptive, fun, dramatic, etc. I don’t care if the hero kills or doesn’t kill. I don’t even care if the hero has a morality that matches mine.

If they want to write a Silver Age style Wonder Woman, and they can do it in a fun, smart way, then wonderful! If they want to write a grittier Wonder Woman, and they can do it in a fun, smart way, then great!

I don’t really favor one over the other. I don’t think comics’ function is to educate the kids. Lewis Carroll wrote immortal stuff with the Alice books, and one of the things that make him special is that he didn’t try to educate or moralize to the kids, unlike every other Victorian kiddie writer.

In great literature, some of the heroes are admirable, some aren’t. Some heroes change over the course of the story, some are re-interpreted, and authors have myriad views on morality, some don’t match my own morality, some do. So what? I like variety. I think it’s more interesting to give any writer a chance and to be exposed to various interpretations.

I’m not in favour of all grim-and-gritty takes and never was. I abhor a lot of the drek from the 90s. But for aesthetic reasons, not moral.

“It is simply that morality doesn’t enter into the equation for me.”

Well, then I… have no idea what to say; we may be at a philosophical impasse.

(I mean, I could go line by line and reply to each point, and make this whole thing into something more terrifyingly long and convoluted than it already is, with huge digressions into the nature of heroism, classic literature, philosophy and metaphysics and so on, but I’m not sure it would really bridge the gap here and/or be productive. Part of me wants very much to say that I’m not sure my own position is quite the one I think you perceive it to be, and then to post another huge long post explaining it in more detail, but as it is I suspect hardly anyone is going to read this one, since I get a lot of “TL;DR” in reply to this sort of thing… if you’d like me to, I will, but only if it would be productive or interesting to you.)

I will say (“Oh no! Here he goes again,” I hear everyone cry) that different sorts of stories *in general* are one thing. Even different interpretations a la Elseworlds are one thing. But the official standard mainstream version of a classically heroic super-hero character, whose point in life was largely to preach to the rest of the world a philosophy of peace and understanding, being changed in this way, seems to me to be a terrible step backward beyond the worst or weakest writing the character has ever had.

Someone can love Preacher even though (I am told by my partner, who loves it) it’s quite nihilistic. But Preacher was created to be that way. There are no Preacher or Cassidy costumes for toddlers for Halloween. While Wonder Woman does, absolutely, have sexy statues and the like, in her essence she’s meant to appeal to a broader spectrum than just the “mature readers only” end. That doesn’t make her kids-only, but taking away the ability to let kids read it at all is, I think, a ghastly mistake.

Although again I will say that I am not basing this response on that first issue but on what everyone seems to be expecting or hoping for from the character. I don’t expect to give the second issue more than a glance to see if things have improved, but I don’t know that Azzarello himself is going to keep those positive elements out of the character altogether down the road. But from the posts here and elsewhere I have read from many people who really liked this first issue, I get the sense that the *absence* of those elements is a real selling point. And that, I do find really sad.

It’s sort of like the Wonder Woman version of Action Comics #775 (“What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way?”.

… my partner is saying, “Good Lord, your post is longer than the comic” now. I think I should stop now. *LOL*

I am interested in the discussion, so write as much as you want. :)

I think my take on superhero morality is different from what is usual these days. To use Action Comics #775 as an example, there are two camps: Silver Age (Superman) versus Grim and Gritty (The Authority). With fans urged to take sides.

I reject this dichotomy and don’t want to take sides. I think this whole mess started with Image Comics in the 1990s and then the “counter-revolution” that idealized the Silver Age to “fight” the grim and gritty Image Comics.

It is telling that I am a kid from the Bronze Age, and was raised with the comics from the 70s and 80s. I am interested in seeing light and darkness co-existing, many times in the same series or character.

I don’t believe Superman and the Authority are opposites. I think they’re in the same heroic continuum. Almost all superheroes use force in an extra-legal manner to solve problems, to “fight evil”. Superman does it, the Authority does it. They happen to be at different ends of the spectrum, but they’re still in the same spectrum. I’m not so hang up on the supposed purity of the heroes closer to Superman’s side of the spectrum.

THIS is the kind of New 52 reviews we need more of. What’s good, what’s bad, what can be improved. More, please!

I linked to this review from my site so more folks can check it out: http://wp.me/p1Hi9G-8K

Wow.. All in the taste, I guess. Hearing people praise this comic (or Chiang’s art) makes me feel like I’m in Bizarro-land. This Wonder Woman is a complete waste product for me- the art and story are so very crude. I wish they’d take Perez and Jurgens off Green Arrow (since he’s basically a Batman Inc. clone now, and the art they’re doing there is old-fashioned, the story trite) and let them take over WW! It might be like the ’85 WW reboot all over again- and that’s MY Diana. This “Walking Dead/Vertigo” stuff can be saved for Animal Man, in my opinion. It is in no way true to WWs history or important incarnations. For me, this was a heartbreaking disappointment on every level, and easily the worst of the “New 52.” (it reminds me of Si Spencer’s brutalizing of Tim Hunter in that unspeakable Books of Magick: Life During Wartime thing).
I’m glad, at least, to see so many other readers enjoying it. A WW comic that gets popular and critical acclaim is the most important thing, even if I personally can’t stand it.

I think the new stage of WW since the start of the New 52 is disappointing, not only in the story also in the art. They have ruined the character.

People who don’t like the way Diana is presented in the new 52 need to realize that she is not going to be changed back to ‘diplomat’ Wonder Woman. She may seem like Xena now but that will make her easier for future writers to work with. I understand your heart-break over a more forceful and aggressive WW, but the peace-messenger version just isn’t coming back. Cherish the version you loved, but don’t wait for her to come back. She is a hawk now, not a dove.

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