Wonder Woman And Me

My first exposure to Wonder Woman was in the late sixties when I first started reading comics.  I knew her as a member of the Justice League of America and when I had my own money and started buying comics in the early seventies I did pick up Wonder Woman on occasion. I’ve always enjoyed the character but when I started reading comics she was going through a phase without her powers and no costume. Rereading this years later I enjoyed it but as an eight year old it wasn’t what I was looking for.  As years went by comics evolved and of course so did Wonder Woman.

The Wonder Woman of today has been shaped by many writers and artists over her 75 years. For me some of the most notable runs were George Perez and John Byrne in eighties into the nineties. Greg Rucka, Gail Simone both did amazing things on her books. Brian Azzarello had a wonderful run as well.  Diana had become one of the trinity of characters that are at the forefront of DC Comics alongside Batman and Superman. She is a warrior for peace steeped in history of the Amazons and Greek mythology. She is independent and wise, she can kick just about anyone’s ass. She is a diplomat and would like people to be calm and talk things through but will also jump into a fight when she needs to. The latest run on the book saw Greg Rucka come back and it’s been wonderful.  Every writer has their own take on a character and the good ones leave a mark and add to the history of a character. For the last 30 to 40 years there have been some amazing Wonder Woman stories and I would recommend seeking some out.

Lynda Carter played the Amazon Princess on TV and for a lot of kids my age at the time, for me 12 – 14 years old, there were a lot of reasons to watch. Yes, Lynda Carter was a beautiful woman, but for me it was having a TV show with a super hero on during prime time that got me excited. I grew up with Batman in reruns and this show was aimed at my generation.  I loved how Wonder Woman was the one saving Steve Trevor and going out to save the world.

The comics as time went on also played more into the mythology behind the legend and I have to say it was a much more entertaining way to learn mythology that my teachers could ever figure out. The stories worked so well and at the same time sparked an interest in me to pursue the mythology outside the comics so I could compare. They made me want to learn more.

I love that Wonder Woman is an icon to so many and that the character does so much to empower young girls.  She really is a symbol of empowerment. But as a kid I didn’t think that way. Reading the books and seeing her in cartoons and on TV to me she was a perfect mix of Batman and Superman. Wonder Woman was both the hero we’d like her to be and the hero we need her to be. Superman is ideally a boy scout who will always do what is right, Batman is the one who plots and schemes and does what needs to be done. Wonder Woman is both. So personally, I see in her what I would like to see in all of humanity, not just women. The courage to stand by convictions, trying to find peaceful solutions and knowing when it’s time to stand up and use force.  If it came down to it and I could have one superhero exist in the real world to help when we needed it I would have to say Wonder Woman is the one.

 

The Wonder Woman movie is set to open the day after I write this and I could not be more excited. I am thrilled how many little girls are excited by it and that it is making them feel good about themselves. I’m personally thrilled to see one of my favorite heroes finally have her own movie.  I imagine I will be walking out of the theater with a big grin.

 

 

Recommended reading list:

DIANA PRINCE WONDER WOMAN Books one through three

Written by Mike Sekowsy with art by Dick Giordano Diana Prince discovers who she is without her powers. From the late sixties and early seventies this is a fun romp.

WONDER WOMAN THE CONTEST

Written by William Messner-Loebs with art by Mike Deodato Jr, Diana is told by her mother she has failed in her mission as the ambassador to man’s world and a new Wonder Woman is chosen.

WONDER WOMAN LIFELINES

John Byrne’s take on the princess of power has her teaming up with The Demon, Phantom Stranger and more plus she fights Doomsday. Loads of fun.

WONDER WOMAN THE HIKETEIA

Greg Rucka and JG Jones did some great stories, this is my favorite. Diana against Batman while Diana tries to save a girl with a past. Their whole run is great, this one is my favorite

WONDER WOMAN: WHO IS WONDER WOMAN

Allan Heinsberg with Terry and Rachel Dodson on art. Wonder Girl has taken up the mantle of Wonder Woman and Diana is a secret agent. Loads of fun and amazing art.

WONDER WOMAN THE CIRCLE

Gail Simone with art by Terry Dodson and Bernard Chang.  Another great run and I love all of the Gail Simone Wonder Woman so why this one on the list? Talking fighting gorillas!

WONDER WOMAN BLOOD

Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chaing bring a new take on Wonder Woman on their new 52 run of the Amazon warrior. Steeped in mythology and loads of action this whole run is terrific.

WONDER WOMAN THE TRUE AMAZON

Written and painted by Jill Thompson. A beautiful take on the iconic character and a wonderful standalone tale of a hero’s journey.

WONDER WOMAN THE LIES and WONDER WOMAN YEAR ONE

The latest run on the character has Greg Rucka writing and art by Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott. Rucka doing what he does best and making me fall in love with Diana all over again. And the art is AMAZING.