Wonder Woman gets a new costume in this start to bestselling writer J. Michael Straczynski’s run on the iconic character’s series, collected from issues #600-606. Diana must track down the truth behind what’s happened to her timeline and face the biggest stunner of all: Who destroyed Paradise Island? All bets are off as Wonder Woman embarks on an odyssey to find her past, getting a new costume, a new set of foes, and a new tone from the ground up!
Colorist: Don Kramer, Alex Sinclair, J.H. Williams, III, Alex Garner, Michael Babinski
Cover Color by: Hi-Fi , Dave Stewart, Alex Sinclair, Alex Garner
Inker: Don Kramer, Eber Ferreira, Michael Babinski, Ruy Jose, Scott Koblish, Jay Leisten, Wayne Faucher, Marlo Alquiza
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Penciller: Don Kramer, Daniel Horn, Eduardo Pansica, Allan Goldman
Written by: J. Michael Straczynski, Phil Hester
As a general rule, I’ve always loathed two things about comics: Origin stories (especially extended ones) and reboots. During the Golden Age, origin stories were usually restricted to one or two pages (think Superman and Batman), largely because they weren’t necessary. As for reboots, well, it makes what you learned before worthless.
And yet J. Michael Straczynski (Superman: Earth One) did the impossible: he took the two things I don’t like about comics, and then made me like them (this one time).
Farewell Steve Trevor! Straczynski re-imagines WW as a refugee from a doomed Paradise Island, which fell during an invasion. Raised by guardians (including a talking black cat), Diana was raised in the shadows of the male urban world, knowing little of her past, and being hunted by agents and soldiers with the aim of destroying the Amazons.
The story reminded me a lot of the Jason Bourne mythology, except WW is the star. The story also features Diana as more youthful and fierce, which the reader will get many tastes of during the 6 issues collected in this story. Wonder Woman beats up a squad of self-destructing agents, learns of her origins, fights in a last stand against an entire army, learns to fly, and defeats legendary monsters from other mythologies. The action was enough to keep me glued to the book, and the character development of the protagonist was contained and never boring.
Another interesting thing that this volume sets up is the merging of different mythologies, as far as the villains are concerned. While I enjoyed the 6-volume class of the Gods in the 52 story line, seeing WW take on creatures outside of the mythology of the Greeks also compliments the principle of a fresh new look. That was genius on the part of Straczynski; it helps to keep WW’s character from putting all her rogue gallery eggs is one basket.
Art wise, I must say that I’m impressed with the redesign of WW’s outfit by Jim Lee. WW’s costume is a lot like Dick Grayson’s Robin outfit: It remained unchanged for nearly half a century. Personally, I didn’t really mind the classic outfit or its variations, but this new look is both a nod to her old school attire, as well as producing enough of a modern feel to be embraced by modern readers.
In general, the artwork was beautiful. The colors are bright, and very in your face. Don Kramer steals the show with his pencils, and the colorists team of Alex Sinclair, J.H. Williams, III, Alex Garner, and Michael Babinski complete visuals that “jump out” at you.
So what’s wrong?
Well, it was a fun read. But ultimately, it doesn’t matter. These issues came out in 2010, with the New 52 relaunch right on it’s heels. It’s still a nice attempt in re-imagining the mythos of Wonder Woman, a real treat for fans and newcomers alike.