Wonder Woman is still cleaning up at the box office, with many fans returning for repeat views. If you are anything like the scores of those who can’t get enough of this movie, you probably left the theatre feeling awestruck, inspired, and driven to learn more about Diana and her incredible journey. Thankfully, despite her short silver screen resume, Diana of Themyscira has enjoyed a lengthy career in comics. She even celebrated her 75th anniversary last year.
We may have to wait longer than we’d like for the film’s sequel (unless you have a TARDIS, in which case please pick me up), there are a ton of graphic novels and story arcs available. For someone new to the character, or new to comics in general, 75 years of backstory can feel a bit daunting. To help welcome you to the comics world (HI, by the way!), here are a few suggestions on how you can start exploring more of Wonder Woman’s fascinating history.
The Legend Of Wonder Woman
Creators: Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon
In The Legend of Wonder Woman, creators Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon took on the near-impossible task of retelling Diana’s entire story. The volume covers her time on Thymesceria to her journey to “Man’s World” to her becoming the superhero she is today. The book dives into Diana’s relationship with her mom, and brings up deep topics such as parental expectations vs. personal desires. Despite the seemingly heavy themes, this work is geared towards readers of all ages, children and adults alike. If you are longing to learn more about Amazonian culture, and Diana’s relationships with her fellow Amazons, this is definitely the book for you. This particular book is appropriate for all ages, so you can share it with your younger cousins and your older relatives alike.
Wonder Woman: The Circle
Creators: Gail Simone, Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson, and Bernard Chang
This is also an incredible story to dive into if you long for more time with Diana and the Amazons on Themysecia. The Circle explores Amazonian society while also offering a multifaceted look at Diana’s character. Gail Simone is one of my person favourite comic writers, and was one of the reasons I became as huge of a Wonder Woman fan as I am. Embarrassingly enough, I found many of portrayals, especially in group books, to be too good, too perfect, without flaws or depth. After reading Simone’s Wonder Woman run and Greg Rucka’s The Hiketeia, I quickly changed my mind. Simone is skilled with wit and banter, and her scripts are filled with light moments to balance out heavier themes. The artwork is another great reason to pick up this book. Some artists seem to have a hard time drawing women who look different from one another. With the amount of time spent on Themyscira, a skilled hand is crucial. Thankfully, Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson and Bernard Chang are talented artists who bring Themyscria to life beautifully. Also, Wonder Woman punches a nazi. It’s amazing.
Rebirth: The Lies/Rebirth: Year One
Creators: Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp, and Nicola Scott
These two works explore very different points in Diana’s life. In single issue form, the storyline alternated between Diana’s search for her own truth in the present and her first encounter with the human world in the past. The Lies is surprisingly meta, recognizing that Diana’s origins have changed so much over the past 75 years even she has no idea what really happened int he past. As Diana struggles to learn the truth about who she is and where she came from, we learn more about her friends and foes. Cheetah, one of Wonder Woman’s most infamous foes, is one of the series’ most fascinating characters. The art, by Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott, pulls you in to Diana’s world in a way that will make you want to linger. Year One puts a slightly new take on Diana’s origin story, weaving it into Cheetah’s in a clever, tragic, and captivating way. It’s worth picking up each of the 25 issues, which will hopefully see release as an Omnibus at some point soon. In the meantime, you can pick up the first few trades now, and preorder the others at your local comic book store.
The series began with a story by Gail Simone, in which Diana is called in to take on Gotham City’s worst. Throughout the series, which ran from 2014 to 2016, a variety of writers and artists take on small stories that showcase various aspects of Diana’s character. In some she is a leader, in others a student, in others still a dutiful daughter. The series is perfect for those who want to see Diana in a variety of roles and contexts. This is also a great way to find a new favourite writer or artist, to help you explore other comic titles you may enjoy.
Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia
Creators: Greg Rucka, J.G. Jones, Wade Von Gawbadger, and Dave Stewart
Forget who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman, the real question is who would win in a fight between Batman and Wonder Woman? This is an amazing graphic novel that forces Diana into a moral dilemma unlike any she’s faced before. A young woman with a questionable past seeks Diana’s protection using an ancient Amazonian ritual. Diana then must protect her from anyone seeking to do her harm. As she wrestles with questions of honour and justice, she finds herself up against Batman. As expected, Rucka does an amazing job diving into Diana’s character while also giving readers a plot-driven, compelling story. Also, seriously, check out that cover. How can you not want to pick up this book?!
Bonus: DC Comics Bombshells
Creators: Marguerite Bennett, and a variety of amazing artists, including Marguerite Sauvage, Ming Doyle, Laura Braga, and more
This incredible series takes place in an alternate reality. In this universe, the female heroes came first. Amanda Waller recruits a number of our favourite DC super heroines to help in the fight against the nazis in World War II. Bennett does an absolutely amazing job giving these women compelling backstories, some drastically different from their traditional comic origins. The series is available in a number of trades, starting with Vol 1: Enlisted. I personally cannot recommend this series enough. The story is fascinating and the art is stunning. The heroes in each issue are bombshells for sure, each one in a pin-up ready costume. However, much like the Wonder Woman movie, no one is there just to entice the male gaze. The artists on this work prove that even the sexiest of costumes can be drawn in a way that respects, and reflects, the character without resorting to hypersexualization.
Awesome Deal: Wonder Woman – A Celebration Of 75 Years
Creators: George Perez, Len Wein, Greg Potter, Greg Rucka, Drew Johnson, Gail Simone, Bernard Chang, Brian Azzarello, and Cliff Chiang
This is a great way to get a bunch of Wonder Woman stories in one reasonably priced volume. It includes one of the earliest recommended stories, Gods and Mortals. It also includes Blood, the first volume from Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s run that drastically reimagined her origins, while still remaining true to her fierce yet compassionate nature.
Includes the following stories:
- Gods and Mortals by George Perez, Len Wein, and Greg Potter
- Down to Earth by Greg Rucka and Drew Johnson
- The Circle by Gail Simone and Bernard Chang
- Blood by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang
Ashley is a freelance writer and office manager, who enjoys reading, crafting, and archery. She collects comic books, stationary, and empty journals that for some reason never see a pen. Ashley spends her free time enjoying bright lights in the dark, counting down the months until new Doctor Who, and watching Daily Show alumni on late night TV