My Introduction to Wonder Woman: The New 52
My first brush with comic book fandom was a result of the X-men character Rogue. I remember vividly clutching my hands to my chest watching Rogue and Gambit kiss for the first time (without negative side effects that is) in a season two episode of the 90’s X-men cartoon (pssst it’s streaming on Netflix!). In fact, I still have a Valentines day card from elementary school with Gambit on the front that reads “I get a CHARGE out of you!”
I also loved Poison Ivy from the Batman movies, and even wrote a short play for me and my two younger brothers to act out, where I starred as Poison Ivy and they were Batman and Robin (we ignored the kissing stuff obviously).
However, I deviated from my interest in comic book characters when I discovered other, more female friendly entertainment options such as the Sailor Moon anime, Hayao Miyazaki films, and Xena: The Warrior Princess. I sought out heroines where I could find them, and I wasn’t really finding them in comic books. Now, I’m not saying there were no worthy female characters in comic books (I know there were), but they weren’t obvious to me and they didn’t cater to my demographic, and so I didn’t notice them. I had no expert comic book mentor to lead me to those super heroines and super villains.
Things have changed since then, and I have been full of comic book enthusiasm due to all the recent announcements from DC and Marvel. I started to do some digging around, and decided that I would get started in comic books again by reading the latest run of Wonder Woman.
In 2011 DC re-launched all their monthly superheroes with a big roll out called “The New 52”. Wonder Woman was included in the reboot, and has been released monthly since September 2011.
Why did I choose Wonder Woman? Well, I have several reasons. The first reason is that writer Meredith Finch is going to be taking over Wonder Woman in the fall of this year, and I wanted to read the current story arc to have a basis for comparison when I read Meredith’s comics. I am excited for Meredith’s take on Wonder Woman since she will have a better understanding of the female perspective and the importance of Wonder Woman’s history as a feminist icon.
The second reason I chose Wonder Woman is that I kept hearing and reading that the current Wonder Woman comic is better than any to come out in the last 40 years.
But my main reason for choosing Wonder Woman is that I didn’t know much about her. I knew what she looked like, I knew about her lasso of truth, and I knew a little about how her character had been handled throughout comic book history (that is to say, poorly). I wanted to give her a second chance. I wanted to like Wonder Woman as much as I like, say, Xena (if that’s possible!).
So far I’ve read issues 1-20. It took me about six issues to warm up to the story. I attribute this partially to my unfamiliarity with the comic book reading style. Once I acclimated to the art form, I was soon lost in the mythology of the Greek gods and goddesses. You will have a hard time recognizing some of deities at first. I enjoyed the strangeness of their appearance as well as the familiarity of the traditional mythology.
Diana (aka Wonder Woman) is interesting to read. Part Amazon, part something else (I don’t want to ruin the story), she struggles with her mixed identity. Diana is fiercely loyal as well as protective of the innocent and weak. She enjoys rock music (who knew?) and kicks some serious Greek mythology butt. The artwork is beautiful and I intend on framing some of the cover art at some point.
Overall, I’m surprised at how quickly I’ve fallen in love with the story, with Wonder Woman, and with comic books! I’ve rediscovered a part of myself that I had forgotten existed. It’s a nice feeling to let myself go and enjoy an art form that I had always been interested in. Especially an art form I previously felt unwelcome to enjoy.
The first 23 issues of Wonder Woman can be purchased digitally on the cheap from Comixology.
- Volume 1 – Issues 1-6 Price: $11.99
- Volume 2 – Issues 7-12 Price: $11.99
- Volume 3 – Issues 13-17 Price: $12.99 (also includes #0, which is a special origins issue telling a story of Wonder Woman as a young amazon)
- Volume 4 – 19-23 Price: $14.99 (note: it skips #18 because technically issue #0 is issue #18)
I like Comixology because I can read the comic books off my iPad discretely during my lunch breaks, and there are also free sample comics you can download to try out other series. If you use it on your phone it shows one pane at a time, allowing you to easily flip back and forth, or even zoom across a long pane.
The rest of the issues can be downloaded individually, and cost $1.99 each except where noted differently:
- Issue 24
- Issue 25
- Issue 26
- Issue 27
- Issue 28
- Issue 29
- Issue 30
- Issue 31
- Issue 32 Price $2.99
- Issue 33 Price $2.99
You can also hit up your local comic book store and see what their used prices are. As a super sweet surprise my SO (an avid Green Lantern reader) bought me the first 30 issues of Wonder Woman from a local comic book store, and they were anywhere from $2.99-$3.50 each.
One thing to be aware of when buying hard copies of comic books is something called a variant cover. These copies will cost more because of their unique cover art. If you are near the Twin Cities in Minnesota, I personally recommend checking out The Source. Their staff are helpful and courteous, and they have a wide variety of games, role playing accoutrements, books, manga, and action figures.
Have you read any comics lately? I’d love to hear some recommendations!