WONDER WOMAN ORIGIN

The compelling tale of Wonder Woman, princess of the Amazons, is now officially 75 years old. The story that has been constantly, yet uniquely, retold over the years has become timeless. However, DC has decided to yet again retell the story through the WONDER WOMAN: “Year One” arcThis clever decision by DC serves many different purposes for new and old fans of the iconic character. And with a movie on the way, it is imperative we revisit the origin story once more.

WONDER WOMAN ORIGIN

TO RE-TEACH

When DC decided to reboot its franchise back in 2011, many parts of each characters’ history had been altered. Wonder Woman, arguably, suffered some of the New 52’s most noticeable changes. No longer iconically made from clay, Diana was now the product of a love affair between Hippolyta and Zeus. While it’s hard to imagine someone not knowing the original story, anyone picking up her comic for the first time would be confused. New readers of DC would never see Diana as she was intended.

READ: Wonder Woman’s origin began in WONDER WOMAN #2, and we reviewed it here!

However, starting the series with “Year One” helps correct the mistakes made with her origin. WONDER WOMAN: REBIRTH #1 (the one shot that preceded the series) shows that Diana is starting to remember her pre-new 52 history. She actively seeks the truth as the two conflicting stories of her birth battle in her mind. This storyline proves that DC is trying to restore fragments of the previous continuity. This makes the series easily accessible to new readers because there are no longer any continuity issues. You don’t need any previous knowledge of the character or series. 

“Year One” simultaneously teaches new readers of Diana’s true history while satisfying older fans of the hero. More specifically, those who were not pleased with the New 52 changes.

WONDER WOMAN ORIGIN

TO REMIND

As with any superhero, knowing the origin of a character means you know the motivation and drive behind their actions. It’s important to look at a character’s past to remember why they do what they do. As Rebirth retells Diana’s origin, we are not just reminded of the “how” but also of the reason “why” she decided to become Wonder Woman.
Diana’s hope for freedom is arguably her most important motivation for becoming Wonder Woman. Although she may live in Paradise, Diana yearns to see the outside world as she’s never left the island. She is the only Amazon that has never been beyond the shores of Themyscira. This is important because it is that same desire to know “the world of man” that motivates Diana to leave and eventually become Wonder Woman.

READ: Not sure what Wonder Woman stories to read? Here’s our list of essential Wonder Woman stories every fan should check out

Rebirth also reintroduces certain characters into Wonder Woman’s story. The emphasis on their importance reminds us of other factors in Diana’s decision that we may have forgotten. For example, Steve Trevor is the first  to prove to Diana that not all men are evil. She takes him as a sign that there are more to men than what her mother and sisters tell her. Diana eventually meets long life friends, Etta Candy and Barbara Minerva, who also help her assimilate into the new world. These supporting characters, who are often forgotten, effectively paint a complete picture of who Wonder Woman actually is. They remind us of her loyalty, compassion, and reasons she chooses to fight for the good in man’s world.

WONDER WOMAN ORIGIN

TO REIMAGINE

For the most part, Rebirth has remained true to Wonder Woman’s history. However, Greg Rucka has taken the opportunity to enrich the story with new and innovative details. We are shown a fresh take on some of Diana’s most important moments, such as the instant she receives her gifts from the gods. In this retelling, Diana is powerless and confined to a jail cell when she is visited by the gods. At night, they bestow her with the powerful gift of strength, speed and others yet to be revealed. In a quick panel, we also learn the new origin of the famous invisible jet.  

Rucka has also taken the time to delve more into the backstory of Wonder Woman’s supporting characters. We learn about Steve and his induction into the army. He is shown to have a life-long friend, Nick, who is killed in the plane crash on Paradise Island. Trevor then takes on the responsibility to support Nick’s widow and newborn daughter.

READ: Before she was Cheetah, she was Barbara Ann Minerva! Read our review of her origin in WONDER WOMAN #8

Barbara Ann Minerva is also given a very detailed history in WONDER WOMAN #8. A rebellious and ambitious archaeologist, Barbara Ann eagerly seeks proof that the Amazons are real. Barbara is the first person able to speak and translate Diana’s language to Steve and Etta. Eventually, she falls under the Cheetah curse and is saved by Wonder Woman. Etta has yet to be given a backstory, however she is now depicted as an African American military Commander. These added details help deeply augment the story of Wonder Woman without taking anything away from the original Golden Age run.

WONDER WOMAN ORIGIN

UPCOMING WONDER WOMAN MOVIE

With an upcoming movie and designation as an ambassador, Wonder Woman has been given the most publicity she’s ever received in 75 years. Therefore, with all this exposure, DC has chosen the most opportune time to reintroduce the character to the masses. Wonder Woman has undergone many changes over the years that not many people are aware of. The “Year One” arc informs audiences and helps set the stage for what moviegoers should expect to see on the big screen. As DC simultaneously releases her movie and explores her origins, Diana Prince has never been more accessible to the public. Wonder Woman can finally get the recognition she deserves.

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