Widely heralded as one of the best of DC’s New 52, Chiang’s and Azzarello’s Wonder Woman combines costumed superheroics with mythological horror. Azzarello’s initial description of the book as “horror” gave many pause, but that unlikely combination of genres has proven to be a decidedly successful one. And, while some of DC’s New 52 slipped in quality this month, Wonder Woman is holding the line at excellent. Spoilers to follow.
In the entire DC pantheon, perhaps no character was more deserving or more in need of a relaunch/reboot than Wonder Woman. Although she’s officially considered part of the Trinity, it’s not exactly breaking news that Wonder Woman has often, if not always, been the distant third in DC’s big three (not to be confused with Studio 60‘s big three). I was excited when the creative team of Cliff Chiang and Brian Azzarello was announced and even more excited when Azzarello described the title as a mythological “horror book”. For a character I had very little invested in, Wonder Woman had somehow become my most anticipated book of The New 52.
So how did they do?
Before we can jump into the new book, I think it’s important to take stock of both the character’s history and of DC’s recent turmoils, as both inform my (and, I would assume, many other comic book readers’) reactions to and reception of the new Wonder Woman. Gird your loins, it’s about to get real.
Up is down, black is white, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria! That’s what it can feel like in the continuity-obsessive comic book world when film adaptations continually cast from the same, relatively limited, stable of actors. Chris Evans, formerly known as Johnny “The Human Torch” Storm, will be in theaters this summer playing Captain America, another Marvel Comics character. Ryan Reynolds is not only Hannibal King and Wade Wilson/Deadpool for Marvel, he’s also Hal Jordan for DC. To make matters worse, these casting decisions often disregard decades of established character history. Admittedly, some actors were born for certain roles. To wit, even though Wolverine is listed at 5′ 3″, 6′ 3″ Hugh Jackman’s adamantium skeleton and retractable claws pretty much guaranteed him the part.
Although I was always told not to cross the streams, whether nerds like me like it or not, this cross-universe casting seems here to stay. So, when life gives you lemons, make a Top Five. Read more