Wonder Woman: Who is Wonder Woman?

Wonder Woman: Who is Wonder Woman?

By Allan Heinberg, Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson (DC Comics)
ISBN13: 978-1-84576-557-6

When Wonder Woman was relaunched in the wake of Infinite Crisis and 52 with art stars Terry and Rachel Dodson illustrating the scripts of TV big gun Allan Heinberg (Grey’s Anatomy, The O.C. and Sex and the City among others) there was much well-deserved attention, but the comic was plagued by missed deadlines and most of the series’ momentum was lost. After the fourth issue the tale was abandoned unfinished and a new writer stepped in with very impressive work (although that’s a tale for another time and, I hope and trust, a separate review). The creators regrouped and the initial story-arc was concluded in Wonder Woman Annual volume 2, #1.

Now that all the dust has settled the completed adventure has been collected in this impressive if slim hardback and we can finally judge the story on its actual merit.

Following the reality realignment of Infinite Crisis there was a hiatus of a year when Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman vanished. Sort of…

The story opens with an Amazing Amazon battling some of her most fantastic villains and menaces, but she’s not Princess Diana of Themyscira. Rather Donna Troy, the first Wonder Girl, has taken the role and coped well, but said bunch of Wonder Woman’s oldest enemies have joined forces under the aegis of a mysterious mastermind and captured the replacement – and the new Wonder Girl as well.

Enter Sarge Steel, super spy Nemesis and the latest recruit to the Department of Metahuman Affairs, field agent Diana Prince! (Just in case you’re a complete newcomer to Amazon continuity – that’s supposed to be a big, bewildering shock because Diana is secretly the original Wonder Woman herself.)

What follows is an enjoyable romp with glamorous ‘big visuals’ art from the Dodsons as Diana resumes her place in DC’s Trinity of megastars but also assumes a valid “ordinary” human life to complement the superwoman persona – although that’s a relative term when the life consists of a day-job as a super-spy.

This big, bold extravaganza repositions Wonder Woman at the heart of DC continuity and attempts to rationalise the disparate, if not clashing, elements that have kept the various versions of the character at the forefront of debate for decades. Most fans ask not Who is Wonder Woman but rather, Which version is best?

My vote is a straight tie between the first three Nazi-busting years of the 1940s by William Moulton Marston and the unique Harry G. Peter, and the superb powerless adventurer of Mike Sekowsky, Denny O’Neil and Dick Giordano (for which see Diana Prince: Wonder Woman volume 1 ISBN: 978-1-84576-776-1). Still, in cases of such vigorous debate maybe it’s safest simply to get them all…

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