For those of you that have seen Wonder Woman, most are probably only familiar with her animated counterparts in the DCAU or Animated New 52 movies. Wonder Woman is one of the only heroes that had a continuous comic book run since her creation in 1941; in fact, only the Trinity of DC managed to really survive the 1950s until, of course, the Age of Marvel began in the 1960s. There has been a ton of Wonder Woman comics for fans to enjoy from over the years; there’s also ones that no one wants to remember. So, I am going to give you a short run-down of the best Wonder Woman comics to start with if you want to learn more about the Amazonian warrior!
Where to start
First, Wonder Woman Chronicles Volume 1 by William Moulton Marston, art by H.G. Peter, is a great place to start with Wonder Woman’s Golden Age comics. By the original creator himself, it is great fun—lots of crazy shenanigans that marked the Golden Age comic books and tons of bondage scenes. This is one for those interested in seeing the original Wonder Woman in action and see the changes made to the character over the years.
Fast forward in time, skipping the cringe-worthy Silver Age Wonder Woman comics, we have Wonder Woman Volume 1 by George Perez. He retold the story of Wonder Woman, changing a few things here and there. He changed the name of the island that Diana grew up on from Paradise Island to Themyscria, he expanded the Amazons, and the artwork is phenomenal and epic—it totally stands the test of time.
The next couple are some great retellings and re-imaginings for Diana. Wonder Woman: Paradise Lost by Phil Jimenez is just one of the great runs of Wonder Woman from the 1990s and 2000s.
The New Frontier
Now, Justice League: The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke is one of my favourite comic books. I love that it canonically started with the creation dates of the heroes and aged them. The heroes had to go through the Second World War and then deal with the new age of heroism in the 1950s. Wonder Woman is amazing in this—she confronts Superman! She also assembles an army of Vietnamese women, who she taught to fight back. and she is the driving force against the Centre in the final battle.
I don’t care for the New 52 run of Wonder Woman, however, there were some stellar comics outside of that mess of continuity. If you want to read some short Wonder Woman comics, check out the whole run for Sensation Comics by various artists and writers. It was a digital first deal—some stories are one issue and some last three or four issues. Each has different takes of the character and what she means to the world at large.
Next, my favourite after Justice League: The New Frontier is hands-down DC Bombshells by Marguerite Bennett and others. Seriously, for fans of female superheroes, this is your story. Set in an alternate World War II, there’s nary a male hero in sight. Occasionally, Superman, Aquaman, a Robin (Tim and Jason) appear, but it’s all female heroes. Some of the heroes are Batwoman, Wonder Woman, Mera, Supergirl and Stargirl. Also, there is the Batgirls of Gotham, Zatanna, Harley Quinn, Catwoman and others are featured. It’s definitely alternate history, especially since many characters are in open relationships with other women without it being a problem in that era. I am waiting for an animated movie DC, I would buy it immediately.
If you really like Diana’s interactions with the “modern” world in the movie, or just want to see more of Etta Candy, The Legend of Wonder Woman by Renae de Liz with Ray Dillon is another take on her origin story—the art is amazing and the story is great. Etta really shines in this book as a great friend to Wonder Woman.
Of course, most recently DC graced us with Rebirth and Wonder Woman got a new creative team, thank the gods. The story was “The Lies/The Truth” and it alternated between the past and comic book present every other issue. It was all done by Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott, Liam Sharp and others and the run was great. It fixed a lot of issues with the New 52 run of Wonder Woman and lasted 25 issues.
With the success of Wonder Woman, I’m sure we’re going to get some great content from DC. In the autumn, there’s a new DC Bombshells comic called DC Bombshells United. It will feature Wonder Woman trying to help young women named Donna Troy and Cassie Sandsmark in 1943! The Wonder Family are back together properly after years of pretending that Wonder Woman doesn’t have her own superhero-themed family. Check out all these comics and more of Wonder Woman by some amazing writers and artists.