New 52 Review – “Wonder Woman #1”

That last of the September 21 release “New 52” reviews is here, with the latest relaunch of one of the medium’s best known icons. The final review will be up a week from tonight, followed by a wrap up column looking at all 52 together.

General Information

Title: Wonder Woman #1

Author: Brian Azzarello

Illustrator(s): Cliff Chiang (art) and Matthew Wilson (colorist)

Cover Date: November 2011

Cover Price: $2.99

Buy the digital edition.


The characters from Greek mythology are alive and well, and their squabbles have reached Earth. In particular, a woman is being attacked by centaur assassins for reasons she cannot guess, and Diana (whom the intended victim recognzies as Wonder Woman) is thrown in to protect her.

High Point

In combat, Diana is very much treated as a warrior, and does not hold back in battle.

Low Point

It seems Wonder Woman’s status quo has changed considerably, but we don’t know exactly what it’s been changed to. She appears right before the call to action.

The Scores

This feels original to me, but I openly admit my knowledge of Wonder Woman is limited. The creators hit the horror story feel they promised, and that’s a first among these first 39 released titles. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork has great layouts, though the final linework isn’t as detailed as I personally like. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story throws us right in, but the main character feels like the intended assassination victim rather than Diana herself. Things are moving very quickly, and the explanations come as quick expository comments when things are being explained to the victim. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization of Wonder Woman has always been my biggest complaint and confusion. I’ve had a hard time identifying with the character because I find that, outside of battle, she’s not a well defined character. I know what to expect from her when people are trying to kill herself, her friends, or random innocents, but I can’t get a feel for her outside of battle. In this, she spends a grand total of three pages outside of battle, and she spends one of those thinking she’s being attacked, so it does nothing to fill in what seems to be a character gap to me. The character in battle is exactly the way I like her, though. I give it 3 out of 6.

The emotional response is good. I’m not a fan of horror comics or movies, and don’t intend to pick up subsequent issues, but I can recognize that this is a well made superhero/horror hybrid title that would appeal to fans of both genres. I give it 4 out of 6.

The flow is excellent. As with Supergirl, the title doesn’t break from the opening scene, and the story just flies from point to point. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this entry in the line is a well crafted title that deserves to find an audience. That audience just doesn’t include me. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Wonder Woman #1 receives 31 out of 42.

The New 52

Here are handy links for the reviews of all 52 new #1 issues:

  1. Action Comics
  2. All-Star Western
  3. Animal Man
  4. Aquaman
  5. Batgirl
  6. Batman
  7. Batman and Robin
  8. Batman: The Dark Knight
  9. Batwing
  10. Batwoman
  11. Birds of Prey
  12. Blackhawks
  13. Blue Beetle
  14. Captain Atom
  15. Catwoman
  16. DC Universe Presents
  17. Deathstroke
  18. Demon Knights
  19. Detective Comics
  20. The Flash
  21. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  22. The Fury of Firestorm
  23. Green Arrow
  24. Green Lantern
  25. Green Lantern Corps
  26. Green Lantern: New Guardians
  27. Grifter
  28. Hawk and Dove
  29. I, Vampire
  30. Justice League
  31. Justice League Dark
  32. Justice League International
  33. Legion Lost
  34. Legion of Super-Heroes
  35. Men of War
  36. Mister Terrific
  37. Nightwing
  38. O.M.A.C.
  39. Red Hood and the Outlaws
  40. Red Lanterns
  41. Resurrection Man
  42. The Savage Hawkman
  43. Static Shock
  44. Stormwatch
  45. Suicide Squad
  46. Superboy
  47. Supergirl
  48. Superman
  49. Swamp Thing
  50. Teen Titans
  51. Voodoo
  52. Wonder Woman