The New ‘Wonder Woman’ Comic Run Is a Disaster

Reading Time: 5 minutes
Wonder Woman #38 cover.
The Amazon princess deserves a better story. image copyright DC Comics

The signs that this current Wonder Woman run, written by James Robinson, would be a disaster of epic proportions were all there at the beginning.

It began with two throwaway concepts from The Darkseid War, written by Geoff Johns: Wonder Woman had a hidden twin brother, Jason, and Darkseid had a daughter, Grail, with an Amazon.

Because I read all the DC Comics for review, I read all of Darkseid War, and while my co-reviewer, Ray Goldfield, liked it well enough, I felt it was one long, pointless story done only to stoke sales. The only highlight was the single issue Green Lantern solo story.

But Darkseid War ended, the next event happened, and I shrugged, figuring it would be mostly forgotten, as these things are in comics.

Wonder Woman by Nicola Scott, from the Wonder Woman: Year One storyline by Scott and Greg Rucka
Bullets and Bracelets for the first time. Image copyright DC Comics

But… waitaminute….

After Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott, and Liam Sharp ended their acclaimed run on Wonder Woman that began as part of DC’s Rebirth, Wonder Woman needed a new creative team. At first, all seemed well, as the DC SuperheroGirls team of writer Shae Fontana and artist Mirka Andolfo, came next (though David Messina replaced Andolfo for the last few issues of Fontana’s run). But Fontana was only aboard for a single storyline.

DC announced the new creative team would be… James Robinson, best known for Starman and Leave It To Chance. That raised eyebrows as an odd choice, as Robinson has done little DC work lately. But Emanuela Lupacchino would be on art, and that’s a plus.

But… waitaminute… there’s more…

Robinson’s Wonder Woman arc would focus on her twin brother. No word of Diana’s other siblings who have been absent for some time, Donna Troy and Cassie Sandsmark. Just the brother, Jason. Oh-kay.

Note: It is likely not a coincidence that Geoff Johns, President and Chief Creative Officer for DC Comics, co-created both Grail and Jason.

But… waitaminute… there’s more…

The run would begin with a fake-out that wanted us to believe the hermit seen in the Pacific Northwest was Jason, only for it to be Hercules, who is murdered by Grail, to feed her father, Darkseid, so he’d grow up fast. (He was left as a baby at the end of Darkseid War because… um, because.) Very little of Wonder Woman.

But… waitaminute… there’s more…

The run would continue with an issue entirely devoted to Grail and her love of her father, who, of course, being Darkseid, would offer no praise.

But… waitaminute… there’s more…

Another issue would be entirely devoted to Jason’s backstory of being raised by a kindly immortal and then trained by other immortals in use of his power. We were supposed to sympathize with Jason, who felt left out while his sister got all the acclaim.

But… waitaminute… yes, even more…

Jason, having explained how slighted he feels, betrays Diana to Grail. Because, of course, he did. Diana expresses her anger by explaining to him how good he’s had his life. That’s better. But then the cavalry shows up at the end in the person of Zeus, Reborn, ready to defeat Darkseid for his kids.

But… waitaminute… and it gets worse…

The next issue focuses on the Zeus/Darkseid fight with Wonder Woman again in the background saving civilians, only for Zeus to get punked by Darkseid, which leaves readers to wonder why the heck we needed him in the first place.

Eventually, Diana and Jason team-up, Darkseid escapes, but all is well for the moment, even though Diana is righteously angry at Jason’s betrayal.

Whew, end of Jason in the comic, right? Maybe the next arc would get better, right? Because Robinson has proven by past work that he’s a fine writer and because the art is excellent.

But… waitaminute… the moment the run turns into an epic disaster…

Wonder Woman #38 page 4
Look at that amazing art by Emanuela Lupacchino that is wasted in support of the story. From Wonder Woman #38, copyright DC Comics

The most recent issue, Wonder Woman #38, opens with dudebro Jason having thrown a kegger in Diana’s home and apologizing that he doesn’t know her “ways”? The dude was raised in Greece, not a convent. Despite Jason having nothing to recommend him as a character, I guess he’s going to continue to be in the book. Lovely. But maybe the new storyline will be better…

Oh, heck, no.

And there’s more even in this issue.

Not only does DC reintroduce a prominent Wonder Woman supporting character, Silver Swan, by making her blame Wonder Woman for her disability (an embittered disabled person, what now?), it also kills off her mother, also once a prominent WW supporting character.

To quote from Ray Goldfield’s GeekDad review of the issue:

“But she at first seems to keep a good attitude, and then gets the ability to walk back thanks to nanites. Diana is by her supporting her—but then her mother (Julia Kapetalis, an important Wonder Woman supporting character who doesn’t get a single line here) is killed off-screen, Diana is otherwise occupied, and Vanessa suddenly becomes embittered to the point of being murderous and starts killing the people Diana saves with her new nanite powers. This is just so many bad stock plots thrown into one, and the last thing disabled readers need in the way of representation.”

So, what’s left of the current Wonder Woman run is this:

  • A new Silver Swan with lousy motivation and origin
  • DudeBro Jason
  • None of Diana’s two actual sisters
  • And a failure to even make anything in this run about Wonder Woman

Will This Disastrous Wonder Woman Run Get Worse?

Could this get worse? Well, currently over in Titans, DC has Wonder Woman telling Donna Troy that she’s too dangerous and needs to be locked up because the current Donna origin concerns her being created as a weapon of war by evil man-hating Amazons.

For a character that just had the best received and most beloved DC cinematic movie of the new wave of DC movies, Wonder Woman, a movie that focused on Diana, her feminism, and her heroism, this comic run not only wastes an opportunity to build a bigger audience on that goodwill but it doubles down by making her own series not about her at all.

Why were these choices made? Jason and Grail’s involvement can be tied directly to Geoff Johns. But the rest? I have no idea.

But it can get worse. It can always get worse.