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The Mythical story of Wonder Woman

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So Wonder Woman 1984 is set to hit screens (not sure what screens given the virus) on October 2nd. I for one am excited. Now I don’t always have the highest opinions about DC movies. The TV shows and animation on the other hand, I enjoy. (Batman Ninja does not exist)

The first Wonder Woman movie was pretty damn good. I’d say it could have been maybe 20 minutes shorter, but that’s just me.

The second movie sees Patty Jenkins return to direct. Gal Gadot obviously plays the titular character, with Chris Pine somehow returning as Steve Trevor. What has me excited though is seeing Kristen Wiig playing The Cheetah. This movie was originally scheduled for November 2019, was pushed to summer 2020. And of course was pushed further due to the pandemic.

With WW84 coming soon, (and the fact that I found a beautiful WW artwork drawn and signed by the every awesome Marcio Takara in my pile of posters) I thought this would be a great time to do a quick dive into Wonder Woman and some comics you can check out.

Origins

A founding member of the Justice League, one of the holy trinity of DC Comics, Wonder Woman first appeared in All Star Comics #8 way back in 1941, with her first feature in Sensation Comics #1 in 1942. WW was created by William Moulton Marston (a.k.a Charles Moulton) and Harry G. Peter.

When first created Princess Diana was a member of a tribe on women known as the Amazons on Paradise Island (later Themyscira). She was sculpted of clay by her mother Queen Hippolyta and given life and powers by the Greek Gods.

This was changed with the onset of The New 52. Here Diana is no longer clay given life, she is the daughter of Zeus and Queen Hippolyta. Making the original origin a cover story to save them from Hera’s wrath.

Essential reads

She’s been a positive role model for women. A strong female character that is far away from the damsel in distress stereotype that existed in many stories. A UN ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls, a pacifist icon, an LGBT+ icon and just an all-round badass. Wonder Woman has a rich and extensive history.

I’m going to focus on 3 series that I feel are important to understanding the importance and impact of the character. And hopefully encourage you to go and read more about her.

1 Rise of the Olympian

Written by Gail Simone

Art by Aaron Lopresti

Gail Simone is by far one of the most exciting writers, and an absolute riot on twitter. This was released in 2009 as a new type of arc for WW. Delving away from the traditional storytelling involving Wonder Woman, Simone introduced new villains, new threats, new characters and in my opinion new life into Wonder Woman. The story follows the Gods of Olympus returning to Earth after being imprisoned on Apokolips. Zeus uses the last of his power to restore the Amazons on Themyscira. To give them time to rest, he creates a force of long-dead warriors like Jason and Euphemus. But things don’t turn out like the King of the Gods expected.

2 Wonder Woman: The True Amazon

Written and Illustrated by Jill Thompson

An original by Jill Thompson, this beautifully painted book recounts Diana’s younger, formative days. It’s unlike anything I read before. Thompson is an Eisner award winning writer/artist who weaves a tale steeped in Greek mythology. When a young Diana is faced with the adoration of the nation, she becomes spoilt. But tragedy strikes, and the Princess rise to the occasion and save her people, her home, and herself. It’s a beautiful interpretation and story of one of the most iconic superheros ever.

3 Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals

Written by Greg Potter and Len Wein

Art by George Perez

The George Perez years of Wonder Woman are widely considered to be nothing short of iconic. This was the first arc featuring Wonder Woman in the newly launched series back in 1987. DC had just used Crisis on Infinite Earths to wipe the slate clean and restart their stories fresh so that reader could follow them easier. Gods and Mortals follows WW as she comes to man’s world to find and defeat Ares. However before she can do that, she must face new evils that stand in her way of preventing world war III. Including the Cheetah, whose goal to acquire the Lasso of Truth impels her in an onslaught towards Diana. Such was the impact of the storytelling in this arc, that it inspired the future stories of Wonder Woman for years to come, not to mention the 2017 film.

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