TRADE | 3 Wonder Woman Comics Worth Reading
Over the weekend, the new Wonder Woman film hit the world by force.
Shattering so many expectations, and topping the charts, Patty Jenkins and the rest of the team behind DC Comics Wonder Woman quickly broke a whole smattering of records. This new incarnation of Wonder Woman sparked a whole new fanbase for a timeless character. Checking out the premiere last weekend with Gal Gadot and Chris Pine truly brought Diana of Themyscira and Steve Trevor might have been a lot of people’s first introduction to a truly mythical heroine. With over 75 years of history to build on – including a whole fascinating history behind her creator, William Marston – it can be a little overwhelming!
Where do you go when you want to see more of the ultimate heroine?
DC Comics fans may be in the know about the wealth of modern interpretations of Diana. With contemporary comic book greats like Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott, Yanick Paquette, Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang all taking their own looks at a classic feminist hero, we’ve got some great new options for both dedicated fans and Wonder Woman novices alike.
To get you ready for your own trip to Themyscira, here are 3 Wonder Woman comics worth checking out!
We’re breaking a rule here – skipping over Volume 1 of a series and picking up with Rebirth Volume 2: Year One. At least we have a valid reason! This Wonder Woman starts out her Rebirth not knowing where she comes from, moving between her childhood and the present.
It becomes the ultimate question: Where did wonder woman come from?
Stepping back in time from the first volume, Year One takes us through Diana’s first year as Wonder Woman. When Greg Rucka took on the Rebirth of Wonder Woman, it was lauded as a great return to a character he’d written in the past. You’ll definitely see a true-to-classic storyline, with interesting embellishment for the new canon. Diana has a life on Themyscira, a love, and a reason not to want to leave – before the fates intervene. Get ready for a relateable (and tearful) backstory for Steve Trevor – more depth than he gets in many other interpretations.
Year One is all about Diana exploring who she is.
This is a Wonder Woman who needs to learn to speak English, understand the world around her, all while grasping important messages from the fates and taking on new powers she never had before. Fans will also find that Nicola Scott’s artwork creates a faithful adaptation of the original work, which will feel familiar and modern at the same time.
Something about Wonder Woman Earth One Volume 1 is going to feel a little weird to some readers, but there’s a lot of well thought out honesty to classic Wonder Woman messages buried not too deep below the surface.
Get on board with the bondage.
Grant Morrison’s take on Wonder Woman has been heralded as “one of the most provacative” and yet, anyone familiar with William Marston and his original Wonder Woman will know that Morrison just went back to the original. As The Secret History of Wonder Woman will tell you, Marston was all about bondage. Much as chains were a symbol of the suffragist period he was writing in, Marston believed that it was important for Diana to be chained as often as possible. Of course, he wanted her breaking out of those chains, but when you see Yanick Paquette’s seemingly sexy Diana in chains, know that there are lots of layers there.
Here, Diana is sultry and strong. The storyline pits Diana against her mother and sisters – contrary to other origin stories – and shows her acting in defiance when supporting Steve Trevor. That’s not what you’re going to see elsewhere, and it makes for a different dynamic within the story, with Diana alternately submitting to her mother’s authority and fighting for what she believes. It’s an interesting take showing how Wonder Woman can be modern and still a product of a very specific time and place.
Finally, we’ve got a whole new Wonder Woman in The New 52’s Volume 1: Blood. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang (of Paper Girls fame) took on their own vision of Wonder Woman starting in 2011. Part of the concept behind The New 52 is unique – tons of classic DC Comics characters loosed from the chains of their origin stories.
What happens when Wonder Woman isn’t tied to all the established lore?
The result is a beautiful story – and one that quickly creates a whole new backstory for Diana. A core element of the Wonder Woman myth is Diana’s origin – being wrought by her mother, Hippolyta, from clay. The New 52 assumes that Hippolyta lied to Diana to hide her from her true father, a revelation which will bring Wonder Woman face to face with a whole family of gods as well as the sisters she left behind on Themyscira.
If you’ve loved on The Wicked + The Divine, you might feel some similar love of mythology. Sadly, you might also get a little hint of W+D in that Brian Azzarello assumes that you know your mythology pretty well – and will recognize characters from it with no need for introduction. All is forgiven quickly though, as this version of Wonder Woman is all grit and determination, wielding her weapons for truth and anyone who needs protection.
Which one are you most likely to check out?
Each of these new Wonder Woman stories brings a new aspect to a timeless story. Whether you’re wanting Greek gods waging war, modern takes on a classic story of family, or lots of imagery of the triumph of women, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for. They’re each interesting!