Ricky Church with 8 must-read Wonder Woman stories to prep you for the film…
In just a few short weeks, Wonder Woman will make her cinematic solo debut in the anticipated film directed by Patty Jenkins. Mainstream audiences will know her from her supporting role in last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a part which nearly everyone has agreed was one of the best aspects of the film. It spawned a lot of interest in the character and heightened her popularity to such a degree that hasn’t been seen in a long time.
For a character who has existed for 75 years, there are a lot of stories with the famed Amazon warrior for new readers to dive into. In preparation for Wonder Woman’s release, here are eight Wonder Woman stories, or stories featuring Wonder Woman, that you should check out.
Gods and Mortals by George Perez
This is the story that really kicked off the modern age for Wonder Woman and became something of a standard for future stories to place themselves around. Before this, Wonder Woman’s origin was a little convoluted and not really explored in great detail, but in the wake of DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths – an event that rebooted their whole comics line – it was the perfect time to make a definitive origin story.
Writer and artist George Perez came onboard to the title to craft an origin that has largely stuck for over 30 years. Diana’s origin of being crafted from clay and brought to life by the gods and later contesting to be Themyscira’s ambassador has been a mainstay in most iterations of Wonder Woman’s beginnings, including the 2009 animated film which loosely based itself on this story, but that isn’t the only reason why Gods and Mortals is so celebrated. Perez wrote and drew a compelling story that saw Wonder Woman enter the world at a time of heavy divisiveness, but also utilized the Greek gods in a way that had never been done with the title before. They became pivotal players not just here, but throughout Perez’s whole run, giving their dynamics with each other and Wonder Woman a Game of Thrones-like feel.
Gods and Mortals is also significant for giving Wonder Woman her archnemisis. She had never really had one enemy that stood above all others, but Perez finally gave her her own Joker or Luthor: Ares, the God of War, her total opposite in almost every way. Perez stayed on Wonder Woman for 60 plus issues and his run is considered one of the best of any comic creators, but Gods and Mortals is where it all began.
The Circle by Gail Simone
Though Wonder Woman’s creator, William Moulton Marston, was a feminist and the character stands for equality between the genders, it’s surprising how few women have written the character in her publication history. When Gail Simone was hired for the title, many fans celebrated after her stellar run on Birds of Prey and handling of female superheroes.
Simone’s opening arc, The Circle, explored who Wonder Woman really was, looking deeply at her place in the world. Simone also introduced the interesting idea that she would be viewed by other Amazonians as a sign of blasphemy, a piece of life that should not exist. When four old Amazonian prisoners escape and plot to kill Wonder Woman, she has to use every skill at her disposal to survive, but ultimately it is her compassion that wins the day.
Also, the story sees Wonder Woman fighting against a group of super-powered neo-Nazis, and who doesn’t want to see Wonder Woman kick Nazi ass?