Top 5: Wonder Woman Reboots

She’s no Donna Troy, but Wonder Woman has seen her fair share of reboots.

 

5. Wonder Woman #1 (Vol. 1)
by William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter

Wonder Woman was first introduced in All Star Comics #8 in December of 1941 with a nine-page origin story. Six months later, in the first issue of her own title, the Amazon Princess gets a new origin. Steve Trevor’s crash-land on Paradise Island and the infamous Bullet and Bracers are still part of her back story, but Wonder Woman #1 introduced Diana’s birth from clay, the Lasso of Truth, and the Purple Healing Ray (invented by Wonder Woman herself).

 

4. Wonder Woman #601
by J. Michael Straczynski and Don Kramer (character design by Jim Lee)

Never has a pair of pants caused so much outcry!

To celebrate a publishing milestone for Wonder Woman, DC handed the keys over to big-name writer J. Michael Straczynski. JMS wanted to shake things up, bring Diana down to street level and build her back up to her mythic stature. It was a decent plan with terrible execution. Four months into the run JMS took his ball and went home.

 

3. Wonder Woman #187 (Diana Prince: Wonder Woman)
by Denny O’Neil and Dick Giordano

Wonder Woman no more! In this infamous run by Denny O’Neil and Dick Giordano, Diana gives up her Amazonian super powers so she can stay in Man’s World. In an effort to make the character modern and fresh, Diana dons a white jumpsuit and learns Kung-Fu — it’s all very Emma Peel. The run has fallen victim to a ton of criticism over the years and is often looked at as a dark mark on the character. But aside from all the crying over Steve Trevor (there’s a lot), O’Neil’s Diana Prince was actually a lot of fun, and the artwork is stunning.

 

2. Wonder Woman #1 (The New 52)
by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang (character design by Jim Lee)

Never has a lack of pants caused so much outcry!

A year after the JMS reboot, DC Comics wiped their entire slate clean and launched The New 52. Part horror story, part crime family drama, Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang are telling a story so very different from all the other superhero comic on the racks. A few controversial adjustments have been made to Diana’s origin: she’s now an illegitimate daughter of Zeus, and the Amazons are a more violent and antagonistic tribe of women. Wonder Woman still kicks some serious ass, and this is arguably one of the best books out of the DC reboot.

 

1. Wonder Woman #1 (Vol. 2)
by George Perez, Greg Potter, and Len Wein

After she was “erased” from existence in the final pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths, George Perez, Len Wein and Greg Potter brought the Amazon Princess back to the DC Universe. While the basics of the story remained the same, Wonder Woman’s powers were adjusted to include Beauty from Aphrodite, Strength from Demeter, Wisdom from Athena, Speed and Flight from Hermes, Eyes of the Hunter from Artemis, and Truth from Hestia. This run also established Paradise Island as the mythical Amazon capital, Themyscira. Perez’s Diana is not only strong and smart, but graceful and kind — the iconic Wonder Woman.

Comments

  1. professor71 professor71 says:

    The George Perez and John Byrne runs on the title are my faves, both from Vol. 2. I might be in the minority on this, but I loved those sexy, skin-tight black pants WW sported for a while.

  2. Kmanifesto says:

    What’s apparent after reading this breakdown, is that you can’t accuse DC of short-changing the character of Wonder Woman. Even in her “darkest hour” (O’Neil/Giordano’s novelty), Wonder Woman has been given a chance at success.

    Although, the overall quality of Azzarello/Chang’s run has been top-notch, it is still to be complete and, because of that, I would have to agree 100% with the order in which you placed these reboots.

    • zattaric zattaric says:

      I think the fact that in order to keep the WW copyright, DC has to print a WW comic plays into this also. They wouldn’t want to lose out on all the marketing money.

  3. wangman31888 wangman31888 says:

    I loved that people were outraged about the skin tight pants, even though all they really did was color in her legs XD

  4. Impossibilly Impossibilly says:

    I would drop the JMS reboot off this list and replace it with the Heinberg/Dodson reboot that followed Infinite Crisis. Sure, delays utterly killed Heinberg’s reboot, but that opening story was so much better than JMS’s start, middle or finish.

    I totally agree with the top 3. I absolutely love the Diana Prince: Wonder Woman run!

  5. AriesDog AriesDog says:

    I liked the premise of Wonder Woman #1 (2006). Wonder Woman once again has a secret identity that works for the government. Logically it was in the D.E.O. (DC’s answer to SHIELD). Too bad Allan Heinberg was chronically late and misfired the execution of that concept. But it’s the one that best echos the history of Wonder Woman while keeping it modern.

  6. Timmy Wood Timmy Wood (@TimmyWood) says:

    I love the look of the O’Neil Giordano Wonder Woman. Love it.

  7. Mart Mart says:

    Nice list, Ali. I also love the Diana Prince Wonder Woman series, with the Denny O’Neil issues, in which Diana says at one point that she’s not sure she really likes women, being far less enticing than the Mike Sekowsky run. You can’t beat this period for showing how well Diana cuts across genres, such as spy, sword and sorcery, myth and superheroics.

  8. CarolStrick says:

    These seem merely to be four reboots and one fairly preliminary issue which expanded upon what had previously been presented. I’d certainly count neither the JMS nor the current run anywhere near the top 5. (It seems the writer agrees, as he says the JMS run had “terrible execution.” How does such then get into a “Top 5″ list?)

    And why is Mod Di credited to O’Neil/Giordano? Sekowsky did the editing, writing and pencilling for the VAST majority of that run. His was the great heart behind it; O’Neil disowns it (and it’s true enough that the few O’Neil issues were not the run’s shining moments). The comment about crying over Steve Trevor (and calling the run “infamous”) (so why is it in a Top 5?) makes me think the writer of this article has never actually read much of that era. Besides, it wasn’t truly a reboot.

    The limited comments about the Perez run reinforces this impression to me for that era as well, as there was MUCH more to that run than merely a string of gods being named in slightly new context.

    Still, the article brings attention to Wondie. This is a GOOD thing!

  9. flakbait flakbait says:

    I wonder if Diana would benefit from a Waid-esque Daredevil-style reboot, something a little more light-hearted. The little Wonder Woman I’ve read always seemed so heavy.

  10. BCDX97 BCDX97 says:

    I loved the pants! Not JMS abandoning the book, but that’s okay, I left before he did anyway. But the pants were very nice.

    I think the WW book is pretty awesome right now.

    But where is the Mike Deodato jacket and shorts stuff? Why does everybody gotta hate on the 90s. :(

  11. Sashaqueenie says:

    I absolutely love George Perez’s reboot and it has remained my absolute favourite. His run reaffirms Diana’s roots and gave her the gift of flight and a strong Greek heritage. It even strengthens the bonds between her and her mother by establishing prior blood relations with each other. Even Diana’s rogue galleries (while limited) was interesting and vivid, and who can forget Barbara Minerva ‘s transformation into the Cheetah? I agree that it really is the well deserving of the #1 spot.

  12. lartdog says:

    I agree with the Perez run being in the #1 spot…..Although at the time I bought it for the art I quickly loved the story as well…..That was Wondy at her best. I haven’t checked out the new series yet but I plan on getting the trade next month as I have some friends that are really talking it up.