Four Biggest Ways DC's 'The New 52' Has Changed Wonder Woman

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Posted by No_Name_ (17403 posts) - - Show Bio

One thing that has remained consistent throughout the 'new 52' books at DC is the level of change. We have seen costume changes and character changes. In fact, when Sterling Gates came in for our podcast last week, we spent a lot of time discussing the changes being made to many popular DC characters and the reasons why.

Many of these characters are getting a completely new interpretation -- they are being re-invented in order to attract a growing and diverse audience; however many other characters are staying the same. Yesterday one of DC's most anticipated books of the relaunch, 'Wonder Woman #1' finally hit store shelves, and many fans who anticipated the release of the issue immediately begged the question, what is it about Wonder Woman that is different? We've read the issue, and we've reviewed it (almost gave it a perfect score-- it was that good) so what's different?

== TEASER ==

Location

Wonder Woman's home base is something that changed pretty frequently. Unlike Batman and Superman who had the Fortress of Solitude and the Batcave (respectively) to go home to, Wonder Woman never really had a home base. Yes, she would often visit and defend Themyscira, but she didn't necessarily live there all the time. Where Bruce Wayne had his mansion and Clark Kent had his apartment, Diana never really had a home. Based on the first issue of Wonder Woman it seems like writer Brian Azzarello is establishing where she lives right off the bat. The first scene where we see Wonder Woman she appears to be in a London apartment or penthouse in bed asleep (or at least pretending to be). The bed has a simple wooden frame, and across from the bed is an armoire where she stores her costume and weapons. Pretty simple little place for the Amazon Princess, right? The decision to give Diana a London location could be left over from Flashpoint; after all; the destruction of Themyscira is what led the Amazon's to take over Great Britain.

Is she still a Princess?

In Diana's first interaction with Hermes, the messenger to the Greek Gods and the guide to the underworld, he calls her "Amazon" and makes no mention of her being a Princess. The fact that Diana's home base appears to be in London might also be another hint; does Themyscira even exist anymore? And if it does exist, what is her relationship to her homeland? She appeared to be laying in bed in an empty apartment, so what is her relationship with the Amazons? Are they no longer a nation of female warriors and have they been dispersed? This also begs the question, what is her relationship to the Gods? In this issue we see three Gods, Apollo (in the first few pages), Hera (who births assassins to attack Zola), and Hermes who appears to try to save Zola's life. However, this does not explain what her relationship is with "the Gods." Is she at odds with them? Whose side is Diana on?

The tone

There's been a whole heck of a lot of talk about making characters "darker" and "edgier" in order to make them appeal to a wider audience. That has often included a higher level of...well...gratuitous violence in several of the new 52 books. The amount of violence in the first issue of Wonder Woman, however, is appropriate. The comic rated T for teen, and Diana is after all a warrior; so while she doesn't necessarily kill the assassin's that Hera created she does manage to incapacitate them to the point that they are forced to flee.

Her character also seems to talk a lot less, showing a certain level of compassion (in the scene with Hermes) but knowing that she must get the job done at whatever cost. She seems stronger here than in her previous series; more confident and self assured. These characteristics make her interesting. Azzarello has also cited in a recent interview that Diana will be very different, and that the tone of the book will be "less superhero" and more likening to a "horror comic." I would argue that giving her character this kind of edge is empowering and exciting.

No 'Odyssey' here...so far

If Straczynski 'Odyssey' story arc (the final story arc in the last Wonder Woman series) is going to stick, it doesn't feel like that's the case in this issue. The entire Odyssey story revolved around the idea that Wonder Woman had no idea who she was or where she had come from, and she read as very unsure of herself. Here Diana means business. She doesn't ask for something; she demands it. In the scene with Zola she doesn't ask for the key, she gives her a choice: she can hand it over willingly, or Wonder Woman can take it from her by force. Even though Diana only appears a third of the way into this issue, Azzarello still manages to relay the strength and confidence of her character in the few words that she does speak.

This series is one of the more interesting starts to any of the new 52 series. Diana appears to be a stronger, more interesting character; so perhaps the changes we've seen here are positive ones. What do you think of the new 52 Wonder Woman? What other changes (if any) did you notice in this series? Are you looking forward to issue #2?

#1 Posted by SirSparkington (342 posts) - - Show Bio

I haven't read it yet but I am looking forward to reading it soon. Love Azzarello's work on pretty much everything he's done.

#2 Posted by Daveyo520 (2447 posts) - - Show Bio

Maybe I should have picked it up. Hmm.

#3 Posted by msavo (66 posts) - - Show Bio

I really liked this as someone new to Wonder Woman. Not only was Wonder Woman herself cool but the general tone of the book and Apollo really sold me on buying the next issue.

#4 Posted by darknight150 (13 posts) - - Show Bio

I really enjoyed reading this first issue, though I am ashamed to admit Wonder Woman is a character I haven't given particular attention to in the past. All of this is new to me >.<

#5 Posted by Fluffy6079 (27 posts) - - Show Bio

As someone who is really unfamiliar with Wonder Woman, I sort of hoped this issue would give me a little more information about her. Right now, all I know of Wonder Woman is that she fights in a halter top one piece with boots and uses a lasso.

#6 Posted by RedK (2521 posts) - - Show Bio

i really liked the new series, but unfortanatly i've never read any of her other series only her appearances in the JLA titles and Trinity but i always liked her as a character

#7 Posted by The Mighty Monarch (2236 posts) - - Show Bio

It was great and all, but I'm just really bummed out about the lack of pants. They showed her having pants in the first few months of promos for the new 52, but took them away at the last minute, and she just looks better with them. It's hard to take her as seriously when she looks like she came straight out of the swimsuit competition in a Miss America pageant circa NINETEEN FRICKING FIFTY.
But in all honesty, Azzarello did a GREAT job at making me take her seriously despite this.

#8 Posted by Omertalvendetta (395 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Mighty Monarch said:

It was great and all, but I'm just really bummed out about the lack of pants. They showed her having pants in the first few months of promos for the new 52, but took them away at the last minute, and she just looks better with them. It's hard to take her as seriously when she looks like she came straight out of the swimsuit competition in a Miss America pageant circa NINETEEN FRICKING FIFTY. But in all honesty, Azzarello did a GREAT job at making me take her seriously despite this.

This

@Fluffy6079 said:

As someone who is really unfamiliar with Wonder Woman, I sort of hoped this issue would give me a little more information about her. Right now, all I know of Wonder Woman is that she fights in a halter top one piece with boots and uses a lasso.

And this.....

I can't take her seriously when she looks like my grandmother back in her prime.

#9 Posted by BatUniverse (111 posts) - - Show Bio

They're not good changes...

#10 Posted by gangly (107 posts) - - Show Bio

Great article, Babs! I never would have thought of the London-Flashpoint connection if you hadn't mentioned it. Made me flip through the issue again to the panels where we see her open closet, to look for any hint of Mera's helm.

No dice. ;)

#11 Posted by gangly (107 posts) - - Show Bio

@Omertalvendetta said:

I can't take her seriously when she looks like my grandmother back in her prime.

So... umm... can you take any other Superheroes seriously? They all have pretty similar costumes to this new one. And this is even more (I hate to say) practical than most.

#12 Posted by The Impersonator (5483 posts) - - Show Bio

WONDERFUL! :D

#13 Posted by iaconpoint (1363 posts) - - Show Bio

Is her costume really that much of big deal to make people not read this book? Really? Seems a bit small-minded. Granted, I'm a new reader to Diana, but Peter Parker's various costume changes never made me stop reading his adventures (John Byrne and Howard Mackie did that). I've seen complaints about the scene where she sleeps in only a robe. Really? You've never dated a real, live girl before? They sleep naked. Lots. I picked up this book because I like girl ass-kickers and Power Girl and Zatanna were canceled, plus the writer did a great job with the Flashpoint: Batman mini and I wasn't disappointed. The tone is a bit dark and I'm a sucker for mythological gods and stories, so I hope Azzarello works more of that in. I'm really looking forward to more of this series.

#14 Posted by kennybaese (1114 posts) - - Show Bio

This issue was really really good. I'm a huge fan of Azzarello, so I was on board with this from the get go.

I'm liking the fact that there is a distinct amount of myth to this but it seems to still be set somewhere that is believable. It's part of why I never got into Thor, the Asgard stuff just never appealed to me. Same thing is Paradise Island in Wonder Woman. But, this seems to keep the mythic aspects while still having it firmly placed in earth with believable people in the story.

That could change, naturally, but I have high hopes.

#15 Posted by super_psycho (2792 posts) - - Show Bio

Brian azzarello said "nothing is changed about wonder woman's history she is still from paradise island"

#16 Posted by They Killed Cap! (2243 posts) - - Show Bio

I am not big enough of a fan of WW to read her individual issues but I like the direction it sounds like she is going in.

#17 Posted by GraveSp (318 posts) - - Show Bio

honestly Azzarello is sometimes hit or miss with me, Wonder Woman is not one of my favorites but I decided to give this book a chance and it has me intrigued, I will definitely be back for issue 2

#18 Posted by difficlus (10679 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Impersonator said:

WONDERFUL! :D

second that!

#19 Posted by RareCheshire (190 posts) - - Show Bio

@difficlus said:

@The Impersonator said:

WONDERFUL! :D

second that!

They totally stole that from Big Barda in the Batman/Superman: Supergirl graphic novel. Nothing with a towel on, cabinet full of weapons and armor. Big Barda pulls it off better!

#20 Posted by fenixREVOLUTION (889 posts) - - Show Bio

I read a few issues of Wonder Woman pre-DCnU, but I picked this up because Azzarello is bound to do something interesting and he didn't disappoint. It's still the Wonder Woman we remember, just a different tone and setting, which worked for me. I hope this sticks around for a while, I really do.

#21 Posted by RiddlingGambit (204 posts) - - Show Bio

Very enjoyable issue, one of the best the new 52 has to offer. I haven't ever really regularly read Wonder Woman, but I think I will now. I simply love the "horror story" feel.

#22 Posted by niamahai (39 posts) - - Show Bio

THIS. is how you write a lady super hero comic. 
 
the new color scheme for her classic outfit maker her look less goofy, and the way she cuts up people with no remorse makes her extremely badass. 
 
despite the book showing WW sleeping nude and Zola pantsless all the time, this doesn't feel cheap like the new Catwoman (BOOBS EVERYWHERE!) 
 
I hope now at DC there is a centralized character bible that dictates how ALL character should be drawn ALL THE TIME, this is how I want to see WW to look like from now on. (i also hope she is taller than most of the dudes of DC)

#23 Posted by Om1kron (1170 posts) - - Show Bio

the difference that the new 52 has made with wonder woman is her book actually sold out LOL

#24 Posted by MrDirector786 (43552 posts) - - Show Bio

I still need to get the first issue. I'm more tempted to get it now since I know that it got a good review.

#25 Posted by Casshern (142 posts) - - Show Bio

Looks and sounds as good and mysterious as I'd hoped it would be. I wonder if Artemis will be in this new 52? I've always liked the character...and at times for so than Wonder Woman. To bad she doesn't get her own book.

Did the mystery purple show up too?

I was thinking it might be Donna Troy? its not drawn like her...but Donna remembers all variation of herself, what if she were in New 52? would she remember the old DC Universe?

#26 Posted by Omertalvendetta (395 posts) - - Show Bio

@gangly: Good point, but what I'm referring to is that DC (at least lately) has been pushing for WW to be cooler, more relatable, etc. For me, it's not really working because I can't get past her ridiculous outfit.

#27 Posted by Big_Bell (2 posts) - - Show Bio

It's nice to see that the 'Odyssey' arc is mostly being ignored. I've always preferred the strong, self-confident Diana to the confused, lost Diana (granted, the only WW stories I've read beforehand were mostly in JLA books).

#28 Posted by Pokeysteve (8294 posts) - - Show Bio

As a huge Wonder Woman fan I was worried about this but it was actually pretty good. Almost like Diana from the JL cartoon. She is sweet and kind but isn't afraid to bust your face haha. Hermes looked weird and I love the addition of Apollo as a villain. Ares was awesome and all but there's a whole Olympian panel to choose from.

@Babs: You mentioned she seemed stronger here than in her previous series. Did you mean Odyssey or Volume 3?

#29 Edited by ALdragon17 (126 posts) - - Show Bio

I wish they make the female character more of bad ass than anything. Then I can pick up those comic, real quick like. Most males are the target audience i'm afraid, please forgive me for that. For one thing, I see the drawing of Wonder Woman, too wimpee for me. She's a amazon, with muscles and stuff. I believe in fantasy, but I have a hard time believe a woman who weighs at 90lbs to pick up a battle axe that weight more than her. Her body should look like Taki off of Soul Calibur IV or if you want to tone it down, try Princess Kitana off of MK9. Just a nudge in the ribs or a hint, hint. If anybody thinks that the muscle are too big, well I say go to a gym fool.

#30 Posted by frogjitsu (481 posts) - - Show Bio

I have to admit, I'm not the biggest Wonder Woman fan, but this book was awesome! Looks like another book added to my pull list.

#31 Posted by batman_begins (90 posts) - - Show Bio

Loved it. Azzarello has never failed to impress me with his story telling, and Chiang's art has really taken to me. Now Geoff, it's up to you to step to the plate with Arthur.

#32 Posted by KitaiCK (1 posts) - - Show Bio

I like the story (the Great Azzarello of course), the art, and the new Wonder Woman, woow now she live in London

#33 Posted by CombatSpoon86 (832 posts) - - Show Bio

Dang Azzarello got me to pull this. Didn't expect to like this.

#34 Posted by LiquidSwords (115 posts) - - Show Bio

Sold out before I made it to my comic shop :(

#35 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm definitely on board with this new Diana! Curious how it would be London to be her little base of operations, and I think its clever to show it may be a holdover from Flashpoint. Nevertheless, that does strike me as odd that Hermes didn't even refer to her as Princess, but merely Amazon. I think this might be an idea in which she may very well be at odds with her Themiscyran sisters AND the Greek pantheon, for she definitely seems to be the lone wolf warrior in this revamp. At any rate, lets see if Azzarello can finally bring some sense to what 14 issues of Odyssey under Straczynski kind of confused over the course of the last year or so.

#36 Posted by EnSabahNurX (2316 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm so excited for the issue, wonder woman is one of those characters i've had a love hate relationship(thanks to certain writers) So i never was able to keep reading her series but the changes seem to make her more "likable" because they seem to humanize her just enough to keep her from being boring.

#37 Posted by JonesDeini (3620 posts) - - Show Bio

In a interview that literally hit the net yesterday Azzarello said he didn't follow Wonder Woman and wasn't even all that interested in the character, but hated the ideas Didio was throwing out at a dinner....and out of that was birthed this Awesome book. From what I read of the issue and interviews, it looks like Azz will start from scratch and I love that. Totally blown away by this issue.

#38 Posted by Eyz (3095 posts) - - Show Bio

This looks like a true return to form to WW!

I haven't been dying to read a WW book like this since John Byrne and Greg Rucka's respetive runs. (I do miss Gateway City and Mike Shorr though...)

#39 Posted by BuNKiTZ (165 posts) - - Show Bio

When I first read it, I wasn't really that, umm, interested? I don't know, it just didn't feel so excited or whatever when I was reading it. In fact, I was confused. Though, after reading a few articles (including this) I start to realize how good it is. Slowly, but definitely. I hope to better enjoy the following issues since not only am I interested in Wonder Woman but also since Greek Mythology is involved :P

#40 Posted by entropy_aegis (15312 posts) - - Show Bio

@RareCheshire said:

@difficlus said:

@The Impersonator said:

WONDERFUL! :D

second that!

They totally stole that from Big Barda in the Batman/Superman: Supergirl graphic novel. Nothing with a towel on, cabinet full of weapons and armor. Big Barda pulls it off better!

That has been retconned out,so who cares.

#41 Posted by Abriel (54 posts) - - Show Bio

I loved the issue and it's about time we got a Diana with a real personality, much like the way she was depicted in the animated Wonder Woman movie of a couple years back. Azzarello nailed it and I thought at first the art would bug me but it really hasn't. I don't mind the costume either. To me having the legs bare emphasises the warrior aspect more than having leggings.

#42 Posted by yeopop (631 posts) - - Show Bio

Do you have to read Flashpoint to understand new reboot?

#43 Posted by shrmntnk62 (251 posts) - - Show Bio

Sounds pretty cool, I wish my wallet would let me buy it.

#44 Posted by supermanprime6 (111 posts) - - Show Bio

@yeopop: @yeopop: Not at all. The only thing you need to know from Flashpoint, happened in the last issue. When Flash reentered the time stream in an attempt to reset things the way they were, a mysterious figure (the hooded woman that everyone is talking about who also makes cameos in all the new comics) intervened and told Flash that the timeline had been broken into three parts (presumably the DC, Vertigo, and WildStorm universes) and now was the time to fix it before "they" came. We have no idea who "they" are or when they will come into the equation, but after Flash left the time stream, the new universe was born, consolidating the DC, Vertigo, and WildStorm universes into one and resetting everyone's origins to present or near present time. Thus, the DCnU was born and the comics are starting over. Some of the old backstory is retained, for example: Barbara Gordon was paralyzed previously, so the Killing Joke happened; Nightwing alluded to his time as Batman, so Battle for the Cowl still happened. In other cases, things are completely new, for example: Supergirl just landed on earth and Superboy was just created in N.O.W.H.E.R.E. labs. Hope this helps!

#45 Posted by Or35ti (1101 posts) - - Show Bio

This book sounds so good. I expect Wonder Woman to really shine in the Trinity with Batman and Superman, something she less frequently did pre-Flashpoint

#46 Posted by Sekele (276 posts) - - Show Bio

@Omertalvendetta said:

I can't take her seriously when she looks like my grandmother back in her prime.

I envy your grandmother

#47 Posted by TheOptimist (713 posts) - - Show Bio

I had missed the implication of Diana not being referred to as a Princess at all... though as the (solicited) daughter of (still) Queen of the Amazons, I assumed that the title remained... however, that kind of shift would be intriguing indeed.

I also agree completely (thusfar) on the assessment that the tone really portrays her as powerful. And the key choice was a really sharp moment.

#48 Posted by A-Strondinaire (370 posts) - - Show Bio

I might pick this up and if i like it there will be something in the back of my head reminding me this could get ugly and i mean "Ultimate Universe a cool new take on things to just plain stupid" ugly
#49 Posted by MrSpiffNifty (3 posts) - - Show Bio

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. I didnt like this issue at all. especially for a #1 nothing about it makes me want to buy #2 :/

#50 Posted by Crowman (435 posts) - - Show Bio

Wonder Woman is lame.

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