Wonder Woman is one of DC’s premier characters in the company’s long history. She has emerged over the decades as one of the most powerful and important characters in the entire DC mythos, and indeed, she forms a part of a DC Trinity alongside Batman and Superman, the three of the most central characters in DC’s main-verse. It kind of stands to reason that if Batman and Superman can sustain multiple simultaneous titles, then so can Wonder Woman. After all, she is also the most prominent of DC’s female superheroes in kids merchandise. And it seems that DC has finally listened to fans.
This week saw the release of a new digital title, Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #1. In this title, writer Gail Simone explores the premise of what happens when Gotham’s villains take out Batman and Oracle calls in Wonder Woman to take care of matters in her friend’s sudden absence. Paired with artist Ethan Van Sciver, Gail Simone’s rendition of Wonder Woman feels very classic and unrestrained, with a lot of the character’s actionable charisma brought to the fore. This first issue is hopefully the start of something really great, something that can eventually translate into an ongoing print title!
This new title starts off on a rush: some of Batman’s greatest, and perhaps classic, villains get together to form an alliance and take out Batman, Robin and Nightwing all at the same time. That leaves the rough-edged city of Gotham underprotected and in need of a bit of a strict hand to enforce the law of justice. So, Barbara Gordon aka Oracle calls in Wonder Woman, thinking that the Amazon Princess’ hands-on approach and rough attitude will help balance the scales as the villains take over Gotham. And once Diana of Themiscyra steps into her new role, she steps in with all of her skills and abilities and panache and style.
And that is what makes this new title so awesome, in addition to other things.
The first arc of this new series is titled “Gothamazon” and I think that it captures the feel of both the series and its feature character really nicely. Once Oracle calls Wonder Woman in, the Amazon princess is relentless. She starts taking out the villains and she is pretty badass about it in a way that feels very… classic. There are no deep layers or anything to the character, she is up-front about what she wants and what she’s doing and she doesn’t really waste time on theatrics or anything. She just wades in.
Thing about this comic is that Gotham’s villains have brought a new war to the city, and thus Oracle’s solution to the entire mess has come prepared for this war. The final page of the comic makes that quite clear, emphatically so. Gail Simone actually covers a lot of ground here, and I think that’s for the best given that this is a digital-only (digital-first?) title and thus has a much different focus and format than a regular comic. I don’t really mind it really and it is great to see such a fast-paced story.
In fact, Gail makes it quite clear why the pace is so fast in the story itself when she comments on what Batman’s rogues are to her. I think if she was undergoing the events of Batman: Eternal she’d say something different, or Batman: Zero Year at that, but given the portrayals of the villains and everything, and that the story is set in the years before Barbara healed and when was still the Oracle, it all fits rather neatly. That is all that I am concerned about, that it all gels together.
Joining Ethan on the art are Brian Miller of Hi-Fi for the colours and Saida Temafonte for the letters. As per Ethan’s usual standards, the art here is pretty great. A few indistinct panels here and there where the character faces are concerned but by and large, the art here is excellent. I loved the brief glimpse of his Oracle and his Wonder Woman rocked start to finish. He really captured the dynamism of the character. And the Wonderarangs were just awesome too. If Batman can have Batarangs, then Wonder Woman can sure as hell have Wonderarangs!
This is a great start and I hope it continues that way!