Wonder Woman in the new DCU

Jwwosh mentioned Wonder Woman in his Great Summer Reads post. And it really is a good book, so I thought it deserved it’s own post. I’ll probably do this for a couple other books he listed because he did make some really good recommendations.

Now I feel Wonder Woman deserves special mention because, well, I’ve never been a fan of Wonder Woman.

She’s a character with an interesting beginning, but DC has always had a hard time making her a standout character. I could give you a whole list of reasons why I’m not generally a Wonder Woman fan, but that would be mean so I’ll just give you one. Anytime someone mentions Wonder Woman I always here the old TV show theme song with it’s high pitched “Wonder Womaaan.”

How could I read a comic with that repeating through my head the whole time?

But DC had this big event called the New 52, where they restarted the entire DC universe, erasing and compressing a bunch of that past history.

Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman Volume One: Blood is this new universe take. So, I decided to give it a try.

Brian Azzarello was a really daring choice to write Wonder Woman. Azzarello is better known for his grittier more human stories, like the absolutely wonderful 100 bullets and the extremely creepy Joker. So how is Azzarello really grounded writing style going to work for super heroics? Surprisingly well to be honest.

One of the common traits of Greek Myths is  the human failings of the greek gods. This story plays wonderfully with those tropes basing the story off yet another one of Zeus’ bastard children.

Wonder Woman protecting Zoe.

Wonder Woman protecting Zoe.

In this story Wonder Woman finds herself protecting a young woman impregnated by Zeus from his vengeful wife Hera.

But Wonder Woman is about to find out her own dubious parentage, a secret her mother Hippolyta has kept from her for years.

To go with Azzarello’s unique voice, Cliff Chiang provides wonderful unique artwork.

greek gods

1. Zeus, Hera, Poseidon
2. Hermes, Hades, Discord
3. Demeter, Ares, Apollo
4. Artemis, Eros, Hephaestus

If you’re big on DC continuity, you may be annoyed at the massive re-imagining of the greek gods. Ares is no longer clad in Black Plated Armor. But I’ll forgive it because he really makes all of the characters look powerful and otherworldly, while making them look like real individuals.

The action scenes are terse and brutal looking and the down time scenes are expressive and moving.

Great story, beautiful artwork, realistic characters. It’s everything I want in a graphic novel and it’s only the first collection.

If Wonder Woman ever makes to film, I can easily see this story being the basis for it.

This book is easily the one of the best books of DC’s new 52 and absolutely a great read for old and new readers alike.

I really can’t say enough except you have to read this story. And I’m almost certain you’ll want to follow up with  Wonder Woman Volume 2: Guts.

And pretty soon we should be getting Volume 3: Iron in, as well.

So, give it a read and let me know what you think. And as always, if you come by the Lantana Road Branch, say hello. I love meeting other comic readers.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the shout out, Campbell! Brian Azzarello is doing great work with Wonder Woman, and he’s really been taking that character in a completely different direction than the rest of the DCU. So, basically, enjoy his run while you can.

  2. I have to say that I was really impressed with the New 52 Wonder Woman. I haven’t read any of the older Wonder Woman comics, but I have seen some and thought they were really cheesy-looking. Considering Wonder Woman joined the Justice League as their secretary (a million years ago, I know, but her books always looked so dumb), I was relieved to see how bad-ass she was in this series. I also found it interesting that her world seems disconnected from the other JLers and supes in general, besides the gods and demigods. I have read the first two trades and have enjoyed them so much that I think Wonder Woman might be one of my new favorite characters.

  3. Thanks for the Comment Jessica. That cheesiness is part of what I don’t like about the older renditions of WW. Every time they got on a good streak with her, the next person comes in and tries to bring back the invisible jet. As long as they can keep her in that middle ground between the real and the fantastic, like the greek myths themselves, the character is fantastic.

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