Published on November 19th, 2023 | by Matt Fischer
Throwback Thursday Review: Wonder Woman #1 (2011)
Summary: The moment I opened this comic, I knew it was different. This issue set the tone for an amazing run. Brian Azzarello truly redefined Diana.
A new old Diana!
After being in and out of comics for several years, The New 52 is what led me back into comics, full time forever. My goal is to review each one of the first issues they released as part of The New 52 imprint. That’s A LOT of comics to read and go through. Wish me luck!
Background – A new Wonder Woman for a New universe! She’s the same but different!
Writing – The issue is a slow build. We really don’t get any Diana until we’re 10 pages in (14 if you also count the ads). She apparently hates being called Wonder Woman (this does seep into other books containing her, at least for a little while.) Zola (our human protagonist) is quickly thrown into a world she is COMPLETELY unprepared for. One minute she is at home, then an injured Hermes shows up at her door, then centaurs attack her, she gets transported to London (where Diana apparently has her own apartment), and then gets transported ack to do battle with crazy horse people. That’s not even the biggest thing that happens to her. It turns out that she’s pregnant… with Zeus’s kid!
Now, I was debating on doing this next part, but because I do not plan on doing any more than the first issues of the New 52, I need to address the elephant in the room: Wonder Woman’s origin. Wonder Woman for me (Until this run) was never on my radar. The only other Wonder Woman I book I read with any regularity had been all the way back in 2006 when the “One Year Later” storyline took over pretty much everything. That story put me off reading Wonder Woman with any normal consistency for 5 years. With all that being said, I find that Diana actually being a demi-goddess makes a lot more modern sense than “being made out of clay”. I understand that origin and I get why it was so popular being that it has a large basis in Greek mythology, but the New 52 was about change, and making her the daughter of Zeus certainly qualifies.
Artwork – 24 out of 35 Issues out of this run were drawn by the venerable Cliff Chiang. He has a doll of a time drawing the gods with… well… unique designs. Honestly, the word unique doesn’t do some of these designs’ justice. I will say that when I first read this issue in 2011, I had no idea that fellow in the suit was supposed to be Apollo. Hera’s appearance in her peacock cloak is stunning and the death and “resurrection” of the horses is quite scary. The ONE nitpick I have with the art is that Cliff has Diana do a kip-up once to often. It looks cool the first time, but nobody should do 2 or 3 kip-ups in a fight.
Pandora sighting: She’s in the trees in the woods!
Final Thoughts – This book was a revelation to me when I read it. The moment I opened this comic, I knew it was different. While the rest of the series left the horror trappings behind for the most part, this book is very much a horror book mixed in with a bit mythology. Between the business-man god who sets his oracles ablaze to the horses transformation, we get a lot of body horror. This issue set the tone for an amazing run. Brian Azzarello truly redefined Diana.
Final score: 5
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Penciler / Inker: Cliff Chang
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Release Date: 09//11