September 20, 2012

Review: Wonder Woman Issue 0

There's a few issues that stand out from the "Zero Month" initiative by DC Comics. One of them is Wonder Woman written by Brian Azzarello with artist Cliff Chiang. Look close enough and you'll see subtle grievances against her previous origin.

As DC Comics continues it's zero issues for the month of September, one of the delightful stories so far, is no doubt Wonder Woman's own. Given that most of the zero issues have given minor details about a character's origin, Wonder Woman issue zero isn't quite the exception either.

Reading the title for the past year now, the creative team of Azzarello and Chiang (with fill-ins by Tony Akins) have given us readers enough about her origin and the supporting characters as well. Revelations about Diana's father and a peek into the history of the Amazons has already been featured in previous issues. I wasn't surprised nor expecting other details to emerge from the zero issue. Nonetheless, Wonder Woman issue zero is a joy to read but doesn't reveal anything else we don't know about her.

Azzarello and Chiang transport us back to a time before the New 52 event began in this tale revolving around Diana's teenage years.  It's another story filled with rites and passages but also features an intervention by a deity that changes Diana's life forever. This deity will eventually figure prominently in the coming issues of the series, so it's fitting that this character gets the spotlight in this issue as well.  Besides the magnificent art by Chiang, the color work is stunning giving certain panels an extra "wow factor"! Of course, the retro style of the issue is amazing too. Can't help but be reminded of a Sandman character that the deity in this issue resembles as well.

There are instances where readers should take note of, concerning Wonder Woman's new origin story in the New 52 universe. That is, would we prefer the old version (there's a hint in one of the panels) or the new one where she can call Hippolyta her mother and now, Zeus as her father? It challenges us to choose which origin would be more fitting, despite the strong undertones of both versions, for Diana. This zero issue goes beyond revealing a moment of her past, but also addresses how we have portrayed Diana's origin, in which case, most people never knew.

Final Verdict: A

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  1. It's a strange situation to be in where Diana herself considered her origin to be that of the pre-New 52 Wonder Woman. It makes the change of direction easier to swallow with Azzarello folding this into his own version of the character.

  2. Agreed. Clay vs. daughter of Zeus? We'll go with Azzarello's version :)