My Best and Worst of Wonder Woman

As one of the more knowledgeable Wonder Woman fans here people are often asking what writer or story arc is best.  After finishing reviewing every monthly Wonder Woman issue about two months ago, I meant to have a look at the ratings that I had given to each issue and determine if I could come up with some trends.  I finally got around to finishing my spreadsheet with the information on it today so finally I can break these down into certain categories (if there are any other categories or information you are after let me know).  Also keep in mind that this is only my opinion, it is subjective and biased. 

Best Writer: Gail Simone.  She never had less than a 3.5 on an issue and had the most 5 star issues of any writer (5).  Honorable mention goes to Rucka who pulled off four top rated issues, and Perez also with four top rated issues. 

Worst Writer:  This will be a theme throughout, but Robert Kanigher wrote some of the worst issues in Diana’ publication history.  John Byrne is probably the worst writer of post Crisis Wonder Woman, with only one issue making it to 4.5 out of his 36 issue run. 

Best Story Arc:  This is a lot harder to define, as story arcs are of different lengths.  In terms of story arcs with more than one 5 star issue though, there are four – the initial George Perez reintroduction of Diana, Challenge of the Gods which followed it, Rise of the Olympian and Warkiller. 

Best back-to-back issue:   I tend to go with a story arc that ends on a 5, as it has therefore achieved everything it was designed to do.  Thus the best back-to-back issues would be the final two of Warkiller, both of which were top rated.  Honorable mention goes to Rise of the Olympian which had 4.5 and 5 alternating, and Wonder Woman #100 (volume 2) which ended the biker outfit story arc on a perfect note. 

Worst back-to-back issue:  This goes back to Kanigher once again, I ranked issue 142 of volume 1 as the worst issue of the entire publication history (there were only two others to get 0.5 but those were for different reasons.)  Anything surrounding these issues which dealt with the Wonder Family (including Wonder Tot) was generally pretty bad. 

Most unexpectedly good issue: Any series will have general amounts of momentum behind it, as in that it is generally consistently bad, average or good.  This doesn’t really apply when a there is a change of creative team, because it can go from average to pretty decent almost immediately.  So in terms of unexpected issue (and story arc for that matter) it would be “Who is Donna Troy?”, John Byrne’s last story arc and the one which broke his string of average issues.

Most unexpectedly bad issue:  Not surprisingly these are the other two 0.5 issues.  One came during the mod girl years when Them! showed up, the dominatrix themed hippie lesbians.  The other came at issue #49 of the Perez run in volume 2 which attempted a retrospective look back through the eyes of an investigative news program which was an absolute mess. 

Best 10 issue runs:  By golden age standards issue #25 to #34 of the original volume were not as bad with six ratings of 3 in the ten issues.  In the silver age issues #301-310 had six at 3.5 and 3 at 4.0.  Not surprisingly though Gail Simone takes this one as well as Rise of the Olympian and Warkiller are so close to each other in publication dates (in which she had four 5.0 issues out of ten)

Worst 10 issue run:  Again this ties into the Wonder Family era with Kanigher.  In the modern age it could be almost any combination of John Byrne issues, or potentially also the time around issue #21 and onward for George Perez where it seemed like he ran out of ideas for a short time.  

16 Comments Refresh
Posted by Jake Fury

"the dominatrix themed hippie lesbians." -Sounds absolutely terrifying....

Posted by RazzaTazz
@Jake Fury: You have no idea
Posted by Billy Batson

Could Azzarello be, in your opinion, the next best Wonder Woman writer if he keeps it up?

Posted by RazzaTazz
@Billy Batson: If he keeps going as he is he could be one of the best
Posted by etragedy

Thanks for this - I'm trying to pick out some 'best of' career highlights of different heroes to read, and this will be helpful in selecting issue of WW to read/skip.

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

It seems like John Byrne has a trend of coming into a DC series and making a pile of absolute shit. I've always had trouble getting into Wonder Woman, but I'd like to give Simone's run a look. Not just based on this, but frankly... It's Gail Simone. Its hard to go wrong with her. I once picked up an issue on a whim where Wonder Woman was fighting Genocide and it was AWESOME. But I never got a chance to go back and start from the beginning. Would you recommend reading Simone's run from the start?

Posted by RazzaTazz
@The Mighty Monarch: She had one story arc which was a little weird, and a  few others that were not really noteworthy, but overall she was quite good.
Posted by Outside_85

Question, as a knowledgeable reader of WW, do you think Messner-Loebs was overly liberal in his interpretation of the physical capabilities of the Bana-Mighdall Perez created?

Posted by RazzaTazz
@Outside_85: If I understand your question you are asking how is it that Artemis is nearly superhuman?  I think in terms of the contest it is easy to explain as Diana was not allowed to use her powers, but in terms of later applications it is true, Artemis became a lot more superhuman as times passed.  I think though that this falls into the concept that Amazons are more than human to begin with, at least by training.  ML did definitely interpret them differently and maybe even drastically so, but they sort of seemed to be a throwaway by Perez anyway who was not likely to use them again (outside of kind of using them in War of the Gods), so really they were ML's to run with.  
Posted by kfhrfdu_89_76k

Let`s hope that Morrisons take on the character will be fun and great. It may be that you wont like it (but hopefully not hate it either), `cause he is gonna write the character a little sexistly. But I trust the fact that he wont be a ***hole about it.

Posted by RyuHayabusa

To be honest Rucka & Perez > Gail

Posted by ArachKnight

I dunno which comic book it's in, but my favorite Wonder Woman short story is the one where Lois Lane shadows her for a day and does an interview. I really enjoyed that one.

Posted by Primmaster64

Do you like WW current costume?

Posted by RazzaTazz
@ArachKnight: That was issue 170 of volume 2 
@Primmaster64: Yes sure why not?
Posted by Primmaster64
@RazzaTazz: With or without pants?
Posted by RazzaTazz
@Primmaster64: Either way, doesnt concern me much