Posted October 16, 2012 by X Pacaud in Comics

The New 52- Year in Review: part one Wonder Woman

A lot of fans of the DC Universe sighed that despondent sigh when DC Comics announced their biggest reboot ever. The characters were to get all new origins and their adventures were to be written out of existence, all to start fresh. Even the numbering of DC’s most established comic titles, well-ALL of their comic titles was jettisoned so everything could start at #1. The horror!

But see, it’s been a year and The New 52 is here. Perhaps even the most hardened pre-New 52 fan might wonder “Maybe there’s something here.” Have you been steering clear of The New 52? Perhaps it’s not as bad as you think. In fact we’re starting this series with one of the best things that could ever come from the new DC Universe- the world of Wonder Woman, as featured in Justice League and Wonder Woman.

 The Suit

Redistributed color, silver armor and lines make the new suit.

Wonder Woman’s new suit follows what seems to be most of The New 52 League’s mandate- “Lines. Lines everywhere!” but it recalls her most iconic look, despite all the new frills. Wonder Woman trades in her usual gold for stark silver. At least this time when someone mentions that she had modeled her costume from the colors of the American flag, it actually makes a little more sense. An interesting color change is the swap of red for blue colors. The darker boots somehow makes her seem slightly more intimidating. Also she now carries a sword EVERYWHERE.

The most interesting thing about the suit is the bracelets. They cover two-thirds of her forearm as per recent versions. However, this time, they do more than provide her with protection from projectiles and blades. They are bindings that can keep her true God-like strength (and other powers seemingly yet to be revealed) at bay.

The Origin

Wonder Woman’s solo book starts off with somewhat the usual origin story. In an island full of female Amazon warriors, the barren queen Hippolyta had prayed for a child, and thus, she was gifted by the gods with a child made from clay. She was the perfect amazon, created from no male seed.

The shocker comes when Diana discovers she was in fact no clay figure, but was the love child of Hippolyta and Zeus! This is reminiscent to one of her more memorable surprise origins in the show Justice League Unlimited where it was revealed that she may have been fathered by Hades.

Though already gifted with strength, she later gains the power of flight, when Hermes magically blesses her feet with one of his feathers.

What Have You May Have Missed

This is a summary of Wonder Woman’s first year for The New 52. Skip ahead to “Why You Should Get on The Wagon Now” if you’d rather read the story from the comic itself.

Aside from the origin story above, she has gone on to have quite the story arc in her first year.

Wonder Woman comes to terms with her identity.

Diana, princess of the Amazons decided to leave with USAF Pilot Steve Trevor (who had crashed on Paradise Island) for “Man’s World”. She took the name Wonder Woman and discovered likeminded individuals who’d later form the Justice League. They’d been in the middle of battling Darkseid and his Parademons. After they won and the League was founded, Diana and Steve entered into a relationship. However, Diana later broke it off- one of the reasons being that their relationship puts Steve in jeopardy. The breakup leaves Steve rather publicly humiliated.

Some five years later, a woman named Zola is threatened by otherworldly creatures. The bird-like god Hermes appears and sends her to Diana to protect, via a magic key. Diana immediately puts her under her protection. The key allows her to meet with Hermes with Zola in tow. Hermes reveals that Zola is actually the mother of one of Zeus’ children and that Hera is after her.

Meanwhile the sun god Apollo divines that one of Zeus’ children will kill another and take Mount Olympus. He tries to enlist the help of the god War. However, War opts out.

Diana brings Zola to Paradise Island to keep safe. However, the goddess Strife, Hera’s daughter, had followed and revealed Queen Hippolytta’s secret to all. Diana was the offspring of Zeus.  Diana storms off to London with Zola, Hermes and Strife, shocked at the conspiracy to hide her nature. However, Hera had heard, and transformed the entirety of the population of Paradise Island as punishment. As Diana arrives to make peace, she is met with the terrible sight of snakes and a single statue in the center of the island.

Back in London, Diana meets Lennox, who also claims he has Zeus blood. Diana and Lennox stage an elaborate ruse issuing challenges to the throne Zeus vacated, which rightfully can be claimed by Hades or Poseidon . As she draws out Hera, who arrives to protest, Diana uses Hermes’ staff to plant stab one of Hades’ candles into Hera’s mirror, removing her ability to “see” anyone or anything in the world from it. However, Hades captures Zola and demands that Diana fulfil her offer- a bride. Otherwise, Zola’s child would die.

With Zola gone, the party asks Eros to escort them to The Smith, Hephaestus for armaments. While there Diana discovers what happens to the Amazon male. It is revealed that the Amazon women thrice a century act as sirens and lay with sailors, killing them afterwards. The Amazons who give birth to men use them to barter weapons from Hephaestus. He then treats them as his children and they become his smiths. Now armed, Hermes and Diana go to Hell to battle Hades. But while they succeed in getting Zola back, Hades shoots Diana with Eros’ pistols, causing her to “fall in love”.

While Diana was nearly forced into a wedding, her party decides to attend the nuptials in Hell to rescue her. However, she manages to get out of it, proving to Hades that in fact he is loved, by her, as she loves all.

Hermes gifts Diana with flight.

Hera, now blind to the world, puts a price on the baby’s head- the throne of Olympus. Apollo, knowing of the prophecy of one of Zeus’ that will bring down the other children for the throne, teams up with Artemis, goddess of the moon to take the child, and at Hera’s blessing, take the throne. As Hera  attempts to kill  Zola, Hermes allows Diana the power of flight to save her. Apollo takes the throne as bargained and exiles Hera to mortality. Hermes manages to take Zola to safety as Diana battles Artemis, revealing that without her bindings, she is as powerful as any god. Apollo promises to stay away from the child, as long as Diana will slay the prophesied murderous child of Zeus’ when the time comes that he or she is revealed. Upon returning to Earth however, Diana is shocked to find that Zola has given birth, and Hermes had taken the baby.

Wonder Woman's true power.

Later she discovers Steve Trevor had been taken by David Graves, a writer that had been overtaken by supernatural forces. Wonder Woman decides to go find Steve herself. Her decision to go without the League puts her at odds with Green Lantern and Superman- a battle that ends up being broadcast to all stations. When the League regroups and finds Graves, Wonder Woman is drawn into memories of her mother, now stone and the supposedly dead Steve Trevor. However Steve turns up alive and allows Diana and the rest of the League to break free from his trance.

With Graves defeated and old wounds opened, Wonder Woman finds a kindred soul in Superman, a man who for all intents and purposes is completely alone- just like she is. The two heroes end the night in a passionate kiss.


Wonder Woman basically wiping the floor with Superman and Green Lantern.

Why Should You Get on the Wagon Now?

Wonder Woman, the solo book, features stylized art, primarily by Cliff Chiang, befitting a mythic heroine. The writing by Brian Azzarello is solid and very tight with a great host of supporting characters. The gods were designed to fit in with a modern era but retain their regal mythological Roman/Greek flair in dialogue and demeanor. The Justice League book on the other hand delivers with giant-sized action and inter-character tension, care of writer Geoff Johns with art primarily by Jim Lee. The book shows Wonder Woman measure up famously against other big name heroes in more ways than one. It also features her as a novice prior to her own solo book, and as a seasoned fighter five years into the future.

Definitely, Wonder Woman is one of the characters that benefited from the New 52 in a number of ways. DC Comics promises to deliver in the coming year, what with the Trinity War, the arrival of Cheetah and the New Gods arc featured in her solo book. There’s more Wonder to come with Wonder Woman in the New 52.

X Pacaud