Monday, February 11, 2013

Wonder Woman and the New Gods

Writer Brian Azzarello’s brings Wonder Woman back to her roots, and not as a bondage enthusiast. Plus, Olympus gets a brand new look!

When DC Comics pressed the reset button on their characters in 2011 with the New 52 initiative, many feared for the fate of iconic Wonder Woman. How was she going to be reintroduced into the pantheon of DC superheroes? Legend has it that writer Brian Azzarello, upon hearing the plans that DC had for the Amazon Princess, was so appalled at what he heard that he pitched a story on the spot for the character he never had any intention of writing.  The results have been… controversial.

Which is a great sign. Some of the criticism targeted at the series claims that Wonder Woman is almost a supporting character in her own book, but the change of narrative focus has been very beneficial for the Amazon. She still kicks ass whenever it is required of her, but she’s also more vulnerable, put in situations where she needs to look for answers about herself that she never had to question before. It’s one of the most human depictions of Wonder Woman we’ve seen in a while.

Yes, there is violence in the book (Wonder Woman even yields guns for a couple of issues - "love guns," but still,) but there’s also adventure, mythology and heart in the stories. Artist Cliff Chiang’s Wonder Woman is not depicted as a giant sexual Barbie, but as a powerful, regal and yes, sexy warrior who looks good in a bodice and tiara as well as in a white T and leather (fake, certainly).

Azzarello and Chiang are having fun updating Olympus, recreating visual representations for gods and goddesses, some succeeding more than others. Hera is one of the few who fittingly remains rather Greek in her depiction. The Olympus’ celestial family is at the center of this new series, including the major retcon of making Wonder Woman a bastard child of Zeus – one of the many – a tweak that sounds obvious, yet had never been done. Azzarello also explains what happens to the male babies of Amazons, shows Wonder Woman at a rock concert and makes Hell fall in love. The whole thing gets a little loopy in the second volume, but the promise of New God Orion joining the cast offers exciting possibilities for the series’ second year.


Post a Comment