The Amazon Princess (May 2002)
by Tony Wolf
It's proven hard for Wonder Woman
to sustain her own comic book and to keep sales high. However, the
1980s began a new era of potential greatness for our Amazon Princess.
George Perez's now-legendary reboot, following on the heels of John
Byrne's famous Superman reboot, was perhaps the most successful
interpretation of Diana. Incorporating her Greek mythology roots,
addressing her non-superhero nature and instead emphasizing her
frustration at being an ambassador of peace who was frequently forced
to battle evil forces, Perez's run was truly great for about the first
twenty issues or so. Then Perez turned the art over to someone else,
and somehow the writing seemed to stray a bit from there on.
But Perez also gave Diana an intriguing
new supporting cast, full of complex characters (mostly women). He gave
Diana a publicist, the ill-fated and complex Mindi Mayer. He gave her
Julia Kapetilis and her daughter. He showed Diana speaking at the UN,
as well as designing outfits for her that emphasized her regal,
classical status over her swimsuit attire. I think most writers agree
that it's hard to take Wonder Woman seriously when she's wearing a
swimsuit that we all try to accept is supposed to be battle armor.
Perez emphasized the Amazon heritage and showed us the society on Paradise Island. He re-imagined classic WW
villains like Cheetah, Dr. Psycho, the Silver Swan, and introduced
Circe and Ares, the God of War, as primary new adversaries. He gave us
a fun twist on the Steve Trevor/Etta Candy relationship, and gave us
some fascinating reasons why an Amazon warrior's costume would sport
such distinctively American symbols.
But Perez's great run on the book (sales of which were high, if I recall correctly) soon withered, and by the '40s, vol. II of Wonder Woman
had fallen back to its usual status: a book few paid attention to.
Despite some interesting story ideas (one tale featuring Eris, Goddess
of Discord, and her famous apples, was commendable), WW seemed to be mediocre once again.
[ Read more The Amazon Princess ]