Wonder Woman has always been a complex female figure in DC comics. Rumor has it that she first originated in bondage pictures, in actuality, William Moulton Marston, a psychologist and inventor who was hired by Max Gaines (at the cusp of the conception of DC) as an education consultant, whose wife suggested he create a female superhero. Interesting aside, Marston also created the polygraph machine, and his tests with it convinced him that women were more honest, reliable and effective than men. His fascination with the truth was deeply tied to the character, his initial idea being a hero with a magical lasso. But more than that, he wanted a superhero that would triumph not with physical violence, but with the power of love.
Fast forward to today, and the release of Wonder Woman issue #10. The DC reboot has been rough on a lot of fans of female characters, but Wonder Woman has been a welcomed bright spot. Although some editorial choices gave fans reason to fluctuate (making the Amazons a race of killers, not loving women), the comic has consistently remained in the top 50 in terms of monthly sales. With Brian Azzarello’s masterful writing and Cliff Chiang and Tony Akins’ wonderful, unique art (most issues feature Chiang’s surreal style, but Akins’ pencils pair well with it, not interrupting the visual flow), the book is a fresh, re-inventive way of viewing Wonder Woman.
Azzarello reintroduced the gods as characters in the Wonder Woman mythos, rather than figures to be referenced in passing. This technique is reminiscent of Marvel’s The Incredible Hercules, written by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente, showing some of the gods and goddesses living in the modern world, Apollo and Eros in Wonder Woman, while others stick to the old ways, hiding in caves, the ocean, or hell.
Wonder Woman is also given a “sidekick” (or fellow-woman-in-arms) in Zola, who is, when you sketch out the family chart, almost a stepmother of Wonder Woman. Clearly, some of the Diana mythos has been changed, she is no longer made of Clay, but the daughter of Zeus, but at its core, the book remains the same.
And that really shows in this week’s issue. Wonder Woman is a fierce and capable warrior, and likely the most brutal of the Trinity, unafraid to kill if she must (think Max Lord), but she also loves. Everything. Love is ultimately her reason for coming to America in past iterations, and love should ultimately be how she wins battles. And this is indeed what happens in Wonder Woman #10.
I really applaud Azarello for sticking to Wonder Woman’s true origin; it is a side of the character that is too often forgotten or mired in an attempted show of, often forced, feminism. Feminism, and Wonder Woman, does not have to be about hate. It should also be about love and acceptance.
Wonder Woman #10 is available now.
If you want to start from the beginning, Wonder Woman Volume 1 is available in hardcover.
All at Modern Myths, LLC!