While Superman supposedly represents the values of “Truth, Justice, and the American Way”, there is no greater champion of “Truth” than Wonder Woman with her magic lasso. Her creator, psychologist William Moulton Marston, invented the lie detector, (check out The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore for more), so one could say that Truth is in her DNA. Unfortunately, not even Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth can help her discover the actual nature of her origin. Was she formed from clay by the queen of the Amazons and given life by the gods of Olympus? Or is she the biological offspring of Queen Hippolyta and Zeus, ruler of the gods? As she observes in the opening pages of Wonder Woman: The Lies, the first volume of DC Comics’ Rebirth era, her story keeps changing.
Acclaimed writer and novelist, Greg Rucka, returns to Wonder Woman after ten years, taking her on a journey of mystery and self-discovery. He skillfully weaves mythology, superheroics, and military action to create an intriguing re-imagining of Wonder Woman’s world. Despite her uncertainty about her origin, Rucka’s Wonder Woman is confident and heroic, charging headlong into action, slaying monsters and saving lives. While the love interests of superheroes are often portrayed as damsels in distress, Master Chief Steve Trevor leads a Navy SEAL team and is just as brave and heroic as Wonder Woman, despite his lack of super powers. Rucka doesn’t emasculate Steve to make Wonder Woman appear strong. In his vision, they are strong together. Which is one of the things I found most appealing about this revision, that women are just as capable as men and the men are just as capable as women. There are many strong female characters in this story: Wonder Woman, Cheetah/Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva, Commander Etta Candy, CEO Veronica Cale, Director Sasha Bordeaux. One day it won’t be unusual to see so many women in leadership positions, but for now it is fantastic. Awesomely fantastic.
I tend to associate superstar artist, Liam Sharp with bombastic action, and he certainly delivers that here. But what surprised me was his ability to convey quiet, tender moments. The five pages of Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor talking on the beach have stayed with me more than his many impressive action sequences. Great comic writers know when to ease up on the dialogue and let the artists tell the story, and Liam Sharp handles those moments artfully.
This is an especially great starting point for anyone who has never read a Wonder Woman comic before. Not knowing her history puts you in the same position as Wonder Woman herself. Lapsed readers can also pick up on things easily. As a longtime reader, I found the changes made in this version to be improvements on what came before. I am very excited by the new direction and can’t wait to find out what happens next.