When it was first announced (a while ago) that writer Gail Simone was going take over Wonder Woman, I’ve gotta admit that I got excited. I was hoping that the lady who turned the once-mediocre Birds of Prey into a must-read could turn around a book starring one of DC’s flagship characters — a book whose quality fluctuated wildly over the years and various creative teams.
But once the first few issues of Simone’s stint hit the stand, I read the comics and thought they were decent, but nothing mind-blowing. Checking out the latest issue (No. 30), however, its seems that she’s finally found her footing.
So what’s working now and what didn’t work before?
In interviews done before she started writing Wonder Woman, Simone promised to finally prove that Diana was the world’s greatest warrior. But if you look at the writer’s initial story arcs, she really didn’t show DC’s favorite Amazon doing anything all that “great.” On top of that, she surrounded her with supporting characters — like a group of talking gorilla’s and the super-spy Nemesis — who seemed to hog the page more than the star of the comic.
Issue 30, on the other hand, shows Diana sans any sidekicks, talking tough and doing things you’d expect a warrior to do (I don’t really know any warriors, but you get the point). There’s a scene in the issue where Wonder Woman goes all Jack Bauer on the Cheetah and later she stomps members of the Secret Society — both instances show the character in a whole new light, without betraying the core fundamentals of the classic hero.
Simone has also succeeded in finally creating some villains tough enough to stand up to Wonder Woman … and we all know that villains make a superhero. One bad lady by the name of Genocide sports an awful costume, but her back story and powers present a unique foil to the Amazon Princess.
All in all, I’d say Simone is at last living up to her own promises — and also to the inherent potential that has always existed in the character of Wonder Woman. Here’s hoping they don’t fire the writer and replace her with some fly-by-night dude like Kevin Smith.