Once Upon A Time....a young Megan was born into a Marvel household. Her mother loved the X-Men and taught her to love the X-Men. Together, they collected Fleer Ultra X-Men trading cards and Uncanny X-Men comics, many of which they still own. She would cosplay Marvel characters (which at that age was just playing dress up) and create skits around the characters. The Marvel Universe was a part of her family. And they lived Uncanny Ever After.
Until One Day....I was an adult (yeah, that's me) and I lived in Los Angeles and I met people. Different and strange people who looked like me and talked like me, but were actually from an entirely different family; they called this family DC. Ok, an exaggeration. I knew DC existed, but I didn't know people actually liked it!
After years of denial I have decided to come around and properly introduce myself into the world of DC. And what better feminist icon to do that with than the one and only WONDER WOMAN?
Now, where does one even begin?! Such a daunting expedition seeing as though her literature dates all the way back to 1941. Do I search for first appearance or will I even vibe with that? There are so many re-imaginings, which one is most true to the original? WILL I BE LED ASTRAY?! Serious questions to ask and find answers for. My research led me to read the following 5 origin stories as well as a few anthology pieces to bring me up to date with her adventures with Justice League. In no particular order they are:
- Wonder Woman Earth One: Volume One
- Wonder Woman War-Torn: Volume 7
- The New 52! Wonder Woman Volume 5: Blood
- The Legend of Wonder Woman Chapter 1
- Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman (Anthologies)
Now before you get your panties all in a bunch, I KNOW I left out one great source; Greg Rucka's Rebirth series. Even being a Marvel fan, I knew he was 'the guy.' But something told me to hold off until I read these others. That, I will save for another post.
"Ok, blah blah blah, so which one should I read FIRST?" you're asking me. I think it depends on who you are, how you get your kicks and how you want to see yourself in this incredible character. So here is what I got from each take on Diana Prince:
1. EARTH ONE: VOLUME ONE
I loved this Diana so much that I didn't think anything else would compare! The story is told in a non-linear fashion that explains how a grown up Diana betrayed her sisters on Paradise Island by helping Steve Trevor and stepping into 'Man's World.' She finds herself caught between these two worlds and doesn't seem to belong to either one. I loved her feminine maturity combined with her youthful hunger for exploration, evolution and for what she thinks is 'right.' What made this one unique was the element of homosexuality and bondage throughout. I also loved the non-traditional drawing and how strong, curvy, natural and proud Yanick Paquette illustrated these Amazons.
2. WONDER WOMAN VOL. 7: WAR-TORN
And then I read this one with story by Meredith Finch and drawing by David Finch and fell in love with her in a very different way. In this struggle with her indecision to stay and be queen of the Amazons or serve in JL, I found a fully formed woman that is beautiful and flawed. She is like the modern day woman being pulled in many directions and wanting to be the best she can be, but unsure of which direction to choose and unsure of who that woman even is. I may or may not have shed a little tear. We get to see the Amazon brothers make an appearance as well as some witty banter with Batman.
3. THE NEW 52! WONDER WOMAN VOL. 5: BLOOD
The art was much more impressive than the cover leads you to believe. That's a plus. HOWEVER, the origin story changed! I won't give away any spoilers here, but I was a little confused how Azzarello just up and changed that for no apparent reason. That's a minus. HOWEVER, I liked the modern take on all the gods and even though I'm not well-versed in greek mythology, I do remember select characters and I could appreciate their appearance over some other potential Justice Leaguer guest stars. Another Plus.
4. THE LEGEND OF WONDER WOMAN: CHP. 1
We start way back and find out how Hippolyta came to the island of Themyscira by way of Zeus and how the Amazons eventually built their city. We learn of the struggles that Hippolyta faced and how she bore her mortal daughter, Diana. This is a much more PG story than the previous ones, well-suited for kids. No violence or sex, and instead more of the philosophy of these women. The drawings are much more wholesome and simply cuter.
5. SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN
These are lots of short little stories from all over the timeline bouncing back and forth between worlds. New characters are introduced including villains like Ra's Al Ghul and Deadman and sidekicks like Etta Candy. Though I only read three, I'm sure there's something for everyone here. And if there's not, than you must really not like Wonder Woman.
I hope this helps kick off your Wonder Woman adventures! And as I have recently learned, please remember...