I’ve never really liked Wonder Woman that much. I feel like she’s a really hard character to write. She’s a strong female lead, something hard to come by in the male dominated world of comics, rooted in the rich tapestry of Greek mythology. However, more often than not she comes off as a weaker female Superman. While I’d heard good things about Gail Simone’s run and was intrigued by J. Michael Straczynksi’s interesting take on the character, there was never enough to attract me to the book. Yet here we are in the dawn of the DCnU, and I find myself loving a book about Wonder Woman.
Let me clarify, this is a book about Greek mythology, featuring Wonder Woman as the main protagonist. And it works on so many levels. In theDCnU we have seen the DCU-sation of many longtime Vertigo characters such as Swamp Thing and Madame Xanadu, but here we see the Vertigo-sation of Wonder Woman. Don’t let that T for Teen rating on the cover fool you, this is a gruesome book, with plenty of blood and dismemberment. Writer Brian Azzarello, a long time associate of Vertigo, has said that he wants the book to be a horror book rather than a super hero book. But guess what, it’s both, and it’s so awesome. I don’t want to spoil anything about the story, but in one issue Azzarello has created a plot so enthralling that I can’t help but love. And I can’t go with mentioning Cliff Chiang’s incredible pencil work. The depictions of all the Greek gods and monsters are original while remaining faithful to the character’s/creatures roots and the book’s atmosphere is wonderful. As for the depiction of Wonder Woman, we don’t even see her until half way through the book, but when she appears you can feel the strength of the character coming off the page. This is Wonder Woman, part of DC’s Trinity, as she is meant to be. My only complaint is that the character is somewhat overshadowed by the events occurring around her. I hope in later issues she, and her companion Zola, get the development that they deserve.
When this book was first announced I thought Azzarello was a strange choice for Wonder Woman. He’s known for his work on dark, gritty books like 100 Bullets. His superhero work is usually confined to books that fit that mold, like Batman. But this issue alone has made me a believer and for the first time ever I’m interested in Wonder Woman. Well played Azzarello, well played.