DC fans were hit with a bit of a shock yesterday with news of the 52 issue reboot planned for the coming September. Coming on the heels of Flashpoint it seems as though DC has decided to go the Abrams Star Trek root by reimagining characters in a more contemporary way without really comprising their character histories. This has got some fans concerned and others jubilant. It does in a sense obliterate all the effort we have put into reading the comics that we have done in recent years, but if successful this could have as wide reaching an impact on the DC universe as the 1960s reboot of characters did in creating Hal Jordan, Barry Allen and Katar Hol. I have to hope that the creative teams know what they are doing and that this doesn’t turn into another Arch Deluxe.
When it comes to Wonder Woman though the score is a little different though. She is usually considered among the DC Big Three more conceptually rather than based on popularity. There are some rumours which if they come to fruition will ruin my appreciation of comics, but when compared to the other two of the Big Three reboots are nothing new. There have of course been some changes in direction in Batman and Superman over the years, but there only major reboots came after Crisis on Infinite Earths. Wonder Woman on the other hand is on her third and soon to be fourth series despite being in almost continuous production since the 1940s. Last year the fans appealed to the publisher to get the series renumbered 600 to pay homage to those old issues (and it was in fact the 600 issue not counting a few here and there) which gave the character the high number she has earned in terms of comic issues.
It is kind of hard to specifically define a reboot. Does it mean the character is completely reimagined like what happened after Crisis, or does it mean just some tweaks like after Zero Hour? Or is it even less. Since her first series Diana has had to rebattle for the title of Wonder Woman numerous times, with her origin being retold each time. There was Wonder Woman 159 in the original series, then issue 178 where she becomes the mod girl version. Coming our of the mod girl era she again battled for the title in issue 204, which lasted for a short time before the focus of the series turned to Earth 2’s Wonder Woman stories in the Second World War. After that the series went on as usual for a while but then got rebooted again after Diana gave up her title in issue 269. She kept on with this until Crisis where she was rebooted by George Perez. There was a great deal of continuity in the title over this time as only the Zero Hour reboot around issue 90 (or issue 0 as all Zero hour issues were referred to). There were a few small retelling of her origin over the following years, but she basically made it from here to Infinite Crisis until the next one. Wonder Woman volume 3 started off with not much of a reboot, more of a continuation but in a new direction, but then of course it got to issue 600 (which came after issue 44). In my opinion the run right now is among the top 5 in her publication history, but now it will disappear along with the rest. What is my point here? Reboots are nothing new in Wonder Woman titles and they happen almost as often as Batman battles one of his more obscure villains (maybe like the Scarecrow.) So while the DC reboot might affect some characters very deeply, for Diana it is just continuing a long line of ineptness in writing the character.