‘Wonder Woman’: The Best Modernized Superhero Pantheon
By Chris Murphy
For years now I’ve felt like Wonder Woman is a character that I wanted to enjoy reading about more than I actually did. Regardless of the take on the character, something always felt just slightly off, slightly missing, as if all the individual elements were there for a great story but no creator was putting them together in a way that felt right to me. But when DC relaunched their entire line this year, they made the bold and surprising choice to give the new Wonder Woman series to writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang. They gave readers a modernized take on Greek mythology, full of jealous gods and mortal heroes victim to their whims, and I’ve found myself finally looking forward to every issue.
Wonder Woman had always been a character connected to Greek mythology in the DC Universe, but before the relaunch it was never quite so big a deal. Sometimes Greek gods would make a cameo, but more often they’d merely be mentioned as a censor-friendly profanity substitutes. (Seriously, go find every time she says “Great Hera” and replace it with an F-bomb). They were wise mentors or comic book villains rather than the scheming, grudge-holding Olympians seen in mythology. Wonder Woman’s connection to them was merely an origin story for her superpowers.
In Azzarello and Chiang’s Wonder Woman, the Greek gods are back and they’ve brought all the prophecy, tragedy and blood readers of classic myth would expect. And by telling a story where Wonder Woman deals only with gods rather than any superheroes or supervillains, they’ve reminded us just how much of a difference there is between the worlds of togas and magic and those of capes and tights.
Read more of this feature at ComicsAlliance.
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