When we found out that DC was "revamping" their universe and launching 52 new ongoing titles, we prepared ourselves for a variety of slight changes to characters and their costumes, but we didn't think DC would go so far as to make drastic changes to a character's origin story -- particularly not one of the big three -- so when news about the changes being made to Wonder Woman hit the web yesterday, we admit, we were pretty shocked.
Yesterday DC unveiled the cover to the fifth issue of their Wonder Woman series and on the NY POST they announced that Wonder Woman's origin story had undergone major modifications and that she would be getting a Dad; namely, Zeus. If you're a fan of the character then chances are that the idea of Wonder Woman having a father probably blew your mind a little bit. As it should. For those unfamiliar with her origin story, let's recap.
The first issue of George Perez's Wonder Woman series probably does the best job recapping the events of her origin. In it, Perez tells the story of how the Amazons came to be; and how they were essentially created by the Greek Goddesses to be sort of "model citizens" for the rest of mankind; demonstrating how mankind should live their lives. They were a new "race" and technically above mortals in terms of strength, intellect and power.
When Zeus gave the Goddesses his blessing to create the Amazons, Ares became angry. Ares believed new civilizations should be birthed from war, and therefore he tricked Heracles (demigod, Zeus' son) to conquer the Amazons and make them his slaves as part of his "trials" to prove himself. Heracles travelled to Themyscira and after drugging Hippolyta, he chained her up and proceeded to pillage Paradise Island. When Hippolyta awoke, she prayed to the Goddesses to release her from her shackles and she and the Amazons defeated Heracles. Hippolyta's reward was Diana, whom she created out of clay without the help of a man. Diana's entire existence was surrounded by powerful women, and it wasn't until Diana met Steve Trevor who accidentally crash landed on Paradise Island that she actually met a man for the first time.
Wonder Woman's character has never really been influenced by a man, which is why giving Wonder Woman a new origin story and incorporating a powerful male figure like Zeus as her father definitely changes things. But is this a good change? Should Diana have a father?
Writer Brian Azzarello has been dealt the responsibility of crafting Wonder Woman's new origin story, and from the start of the first issue in his series we get the impression that Zeus will not only be an integral part of the story, but that Azzarello is clearly laying out the character of Zeus to be kind of a womanizing jerk. Which, according to Greek mythos, is pretty accurate. He liked to have sex and he didn't really dig monogamy -- which incidentally is a big problem for his wife, Hera. So is this a good thing?
Upon hearing the news about the big change to Diana's origin, former Wonder Woman writer Gail Simone tweeted; "I am loving Brian Azzarello's Wonder Woman. Not sure about the dad thing, but love the creative team lots." I agree with her. While it's a little bit soon to say whether or not the "Dad thing" is a good idea (we haven't read it yet!) I will put my faith and trust Azzarello because I know that as a writer his primary goal is to tell a good, interesting and entertaining story.
Personally I think this is a good idea. While Diana's origin story is certainly interesting, it's not something we haven't heard before. We know she was made out of clay by her Mother. We know she was raised on an island of women. It's a story that has been told and retold many times -- yet it is still sort of difficult to wrap your head around. The idea of there being Gods and Goddesses is far-fetched enough, but the fact that she was made out of clay is even more unbelievable; and it also makes her a little unrelatable. By including this new piece to Wonder Woman's puzzle and giving her a father figure (albeit a pretty crappy one) it opens the door to further developing Diana's character in ways that we have never seen. Before this moment, writers have always struggled with crafting and expressing Diana's perception of the men that she meets and interacts with; and that may have something to do with the fact that she never had a Father or a father figure. She has never had a successful relationship with a male character; all she has ever done was fight them (with the exception of Steve Trevor, but that did not last long).
Not only does giving Diana a Father allow for the further exploration of the way she views men and males in society as they directly relate to her, but the fact that her father is Zeus signifies that Diana is now a Demigodess. She gets to have a brother in Heracles, which is something we have never seen. This new development may also fuel Hera's anger, making her an even more interesting adversary on a personal level.
Whatever happens, the first issue in Wonder Woman's series was definitely interesting and well written, and I am looking forward to the changes being made to Diana's character and rediscovering her as a central part of the DC Universe. What do you think about the announcement that Zeus will be Diana's father? Do you think this will create a new facet to her character? Do you think this is a bad idea?