Ever have a fictional role model, maybe from a book or television show? How about a comic series? Wonder Woman is mine. It was “given” to me by my boyfriend, but he made a good match. Fierce, strong, fearless and so much more, Wonder Woman is the alpha female with some awesome boots and a rockin’ body. I can see why she is part of the original three of the Justice League and no other female character matches her authority when it comes to comic books.
Her history is deep, beginning in December 1941 when William Moulton Marston created her. (Here is her full history.) Because of this, I never really got into any Wonder Woman continuous series, as it was too much for me, and I constantly ask questions to comic book geniuses about what is going on in the pages that I actually do pick up.
Then new 52 happened. And I still have a million questions.
Wonder Woman is hard around the edges, but I am, too, as a struggle with my identity. She also learns that her mother, Hippolyta, had an affair with Zeus and she is not made of clay. I think this makes it easier to relate to her, though it was hard for me to see the fierce woman I look up to struggle with her identity, not monsters instead. (That comes later.)
And as you read through the past 5 trades (No. 5 came out last week,) you see the universe slowly falling apart. There is a battle stirring for the throne, with earth and the gods’ realms on the brink of all out war and destruction.
This series bring the gods down to our level — literally — and really introduced me to some interesting interpretations of them. I am a big fan of mythology and Wonder Woman’s story is wrapped in that, but usually up, or down, in the other realms. This brings it front and center, in the world she vowed to protect so long ago. As some critics have said, no two people have the same idea of how they want Wonder Woman’s story to go, and as each new series emerges, they try to make it better, which usually harms the story and her image. Writer Brian Azzarello doesn’t try to make her better, just different. Though we are only at No. 5, it is starting to look good for Azzarello.
As far as art, up until this issue Cliff Chiang was the primary artist. I really wasn’t a fan of his style. I’m not sure why, but I just didn’t think it was enough substance. On No. 5, the cover was Chiang but the art inside was done by Tony Akins. I love his interpretations of the gods (you need to check out Poseidon!), but the doe eyes and other, much softer features of Wonder Woman than Chiang? No! Chiang had the right amount of edgy, fierce and sexy for her. I did like Akins’ far-away shots of her, aside from the fact she looks like a 1950s pin-up girl. What I love the most is both artists brought on a new, appropriate covered Wonder Woman (I mean, how do you fight monsters without your breasts falling out of those older costumes?!)
New 52 Wonder Woman is definitely not for children, even if she is covered up. There is violence, drama, mind games and more. Pick up No. 1-5 now, before things really spin out of control.
Comic Book Wednesday is a new feature that will showcase a variety of visually based books that fit into this wide category, to give a taste of this other form of reading.