Movies & TV / Columns

Comics 411: Favorite Wonder Woman Stories

March 10, 2021 | Posted by Steve Gustafson

Welcome back! I’m Steve Gustafson and if you enjoy discussing anything comic book related, you’ve come to the right place. Each week we cover something in the industry and I always enjoy your input in the comment section below.

Previously on…

Last time we discussed our Thoughts on the Return of Milestone Comics Here’s what some of you had to say:
Excollector: “I really enjoyed Icon and Rocket and I’m looking forward to it’s return. I didn’t read a lot of the Static Shock book but I did enjoy watching the animated version quite a bit. Be nice to see it return.”

Benjamin Kellog: “For the longest time, my only awareness of the Milestone product was the DCAU’s “Static Shock,” and back then, it wasn’t my preferred choice for superhero entertainment. (Having Lil’ Romeo do your theme song and then be in reruns for years after his musical peak would tend to make me sour on your product a bit. The few episodes I sampled over the years were fun and definitely good primers to complex real-world identity and political issues, though, so points there.) I did finally read a comic issue with Static in it at least, the first issue of his New 52 incarnation with guest appearances from Icon and Hardware. It was sorta fun, but I got the feeling that wasn’t the best run I could’ve started with. Best of luck to these three new books; using a “TV season” approach similar to what the Wonder Comics imprint did is a smart move for sure.”

Richard C: “The first issue covers (above) are suitable for framing.”

So many great comments! Big thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts!

This week we discuss our…

Favorite Wonder Woman Stories
The Wonder Woman 80th anniversary celebrations have been announced to celebrate Wonder Woman’s first appearance by DC, Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences, and WarnerMedia. Expect lots of cool books and events as it gets closer but this is still awesome. 

“Embracing the call to see the world through Wonder Woman’s eyes and to ‘Believe in Wonder,’ the 80th Anniversary celebration illuminates the Super Hero’s timeless and relevant message of hope and empowerment,” reads the official announcement.

The campaign will culminate with a “worldwide celebration of Wonder Woman Day on October 21.”

So why not get in early and talk about some of our favorite Wonder Woman stories? I should point out that Wonder Woman doesn’t have the greatest gallery of rogues. For someone of her status and longevity, it’s pretty sad. Saying that, while she’s had her share of great stories, I believe her best stuff is yet to come. With that, let’s jump into it.

Perhaps the story that stands out most is Wonder Woman: The Circle, which collects Wonder Woman (Vol. 3) #14-17. Gail Simone had the reins for the book from 2008 to 2010 and wrote one of best representations of Wonder Woman we’ve seen. It wasn’t easy as Wonder Woman was coming off a pretty sketchy run that left Simone working under a lot of restrictions.

Simone’s first Wonder Woman arc was called “The Circle.” In this story, Diana’s origin gets a tweak as we learn that not all the Amazons on Themyscira were pleased with her birth from clay by Hippolyta and the story focuses on four members of Hippolyta’s personal guard, who are determined to kill the adult Wonder Woman. The story had lots of action, character development, and was an entertaining read.

Another recommendation is Wonder Woman (Vol.2) #164-170, better known as Wonder Woman: Paradise Lost. Phil Jimenez had taken over as artist and plotter and really “got” Wonder Woman. In “Paradise Lost”, the God Phobos possesses Batman villain Scarecrow and the Gods Deimos and Eris are attached to the bodies of the Joker and Poison Ivy. It’s a cool twist and allows Wonder Woman, Batman, Donna Troy, Nightwing, Wonder Girl, and Robin (Tim Drake) to come together to battle them. The story continues as Diana returns home to Themyscira to find that the two tribes of Amazons, Queen Hippolyta’s originals and the more savage Bana-Mighdalls, have been deceived into fighting one other. The Amazon civil war was short but went a long way to showcase the mother/daughter relationship and the Amazonian Civil War is a concept I wouldn’t mind seeing again. Issue #170 was a nice wrap up and had Lois Lane spending 24-hours with Diana, learning what it was like being Wonder Woman. An extremely well written issue and very underrated when it comes to single issue stories.

Christopher Moeller did a one-shot called JLA: A League of One that had Wonder Woman putting her life on the line to save the JLA when faced with a prophecy that tells of a force that will destroy the team. It does a great job showing Wonder Woman’s strengths and power level. A cool, easy read that gives new insight into Diana’s intellect.

Another quick read is Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia, a graphic novel written by Greg Rucka with art by J. G. Jones. It’s another one that involves Batman and how they view one another as friends…and foes! On that same note, Spirit of Truth by Alex Ross and Paul Dini is a nice reminder of who Wonder Woman is. While not world changing, it’s a basic tale that hits the high notes.

Wonder Woman (Vol.2) #205-213 or Wonder Woman: Eyes of the Gorgon is another popular Wonder Woman adventure. Writer Greg Rucka took over and really explored Diana’s role as ambassador, showing her run the Themysciran Embassy. While pushing paperwork might not seem exciting, things ratchet up when the mythological Gorgon Medousa (That’s how it was spelled in the story!) is resurrected and is set on revenge for her death at the hands of Perseus. Since he’s not around, she focuses on Wonder Woman instead, challenging her to a fight at Yankee Stadium. Yes, it sounds a little weird but it makes sense in the story. Wonder Woman beats her…but at a cost! I won’t spoil it but it’s well worth a read to see how she handles the “loss” and her place on the JLA.

Wonder Woman (Vol.2) collects issues #0, 85, 90-100 and simply titled Wonder Woman comes from William Messner-Loebs and Mike Deodato. Their run was quick but very fun. When Queen Hippolyta feels Diana is focusing too much on superheroics and not enough being an ambassador for peace, she holds a contest to crown a new Wonder Woman. Which Diana loses. To an Amazonian named Artemis. It falls in line with similar storylines where the hero loses the costume but goes on to show that they are called to a higher responsibility and it fits well with Diana.

You can’t go too long talking about Wonder Woman without mentioning George Perez. While he started as an artist, he quickly became a co-plotter and finally the writer. Grab Wonder Woman (Vol.2) #1-24 which is collected under The Wonder Woman Omnibus by George Perez. Not only is the art beautiful, Perez introduces a number of lasting ideas and themes that Wonder Woman still adheres to today. He overhauled some of Wonder Woman’s villains like Cheetah, Circe, and Ares, giving them more of an edge in look and motivation. It still holds up today and is worth the price of admission.

Wonder Woman has been around a long time and had plenty of adventures. Which ones did I miss?

That’s all the time I have. See you next week!