Release: September 2016
Writer: Greg Rucka
Pencils & Inks: Nicola Scott
As I said in the write up for issue one, for now Wonder Woman is a biweekly book where the even numbered issues deal with Wonder Woman’s new origin, ideally synthesized from all the various origins that have existed in the past. So we’re going to be treading pretty standard ground here. Diana lives on Themyscira with the Amazons, Steve Trevor is a US military man, and by the end of the book Steve’s going to crash on the island. That’s literally it, so let’s instead talk about the texture that Rucka brings to this now well-trod ground.
First off, Themyscira is beautiful. It’s not just full of classical architecture, but also wide sweeping vistas of a mythically pristine nature that the Amazons seem to live in harmony with. It’s an island inhabited by eternal superwomen, and they seem perfectly at home in such a unique place, spending their time in games of sport but also learning science and literature, a place where they worship and play and love freely. I love the image we see twice of Amazons atop a high tower, doing actual modern astronomy with tools that look ancient. It really drives home this idea of technology and knowledge being very divorced, and the Amazons able to have the former without the latter. It really, truly seems like a Paradise Island.
This origin seems to build off of the reality of the Vol 2 one, where the Amazons are reincarnated from the spirits of women who were chosen by the gods to populate this civilization. This is relayed to us by a woman who is seen hanging off of Diana’s arm, chiding the princess that her head is in the proverbial clouds at all times, when it should be here with her family. The two share a casual kiss. And there you have it. Actual Diana being actually goddamn gay on goddamn Themyscira, which we all knew but is great to see just offered casually to us.
We’re given a span of time that seems like actual years that are spent on Paradise Island, contrasted with Steve Trevor joining the military and making a best friend, attending that friend’s wedding, becomes godfather to their child. Steve is portrayed as a total boy scout, a nice guy who knows nice people and generally seems real swell. When you contrast it with the panels of Diana on Themyscira, though, the reality comes smashing home: Steve Trevor is trapped in hetero-normative hell, and Diana is living a true gay dream. It’s amazing how sharp the divide is even with a handful of scenes.
Anyway, there isn’t a whole lot more to the issue than this, but it’s a delightfully peaceful time to just see Diana at home, being happy and enjoying life with her mother and her girlfriends and mentors and everything else. It’s especially nice given that the present day comic we covered last time is a really dark book, full of fear and confusion. Seeing this rolling out before us as a contrast fills up Diana’s world with so much more color and life. We understand why she would try so desperately to get back to this, but also a bit of why the Princess of the Amazons might have spent her time looking to the horizon during her idyllic pre-heroism days.