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Committed: Perez’ Wonder Woman – The Gold Standard

062613_ww_coverPeople often ask me why I like Wonder Woman, and while I can talk at length about iconic superheroes and female symbols of power, I think the bulk of my affection is due to the incredible skill of George Perez, Len Wein, and Greg Potter. Their relaunch of the character in 1987 had such an enormous impact on my perception of her, and more than that, on my understanding of her important role in the world.

Like so many of us, most of my childhood back issues are still stashed in my parents house (I dread the day they move and I have to pay the insane shipping charges to bring them back from the UK). Last month, while exploring the back issue bins in a new local comic book store, I discovered a couple of issues of the old 1987 Wonder Woman. After snapping them up, my appetite was whet for more and I borrowed a copy of the compilation of the first 7 issues of Perez’ ’87 run; “Gods and Mortals”. Two things jumped out at me; First of all, the subject matter is as wonderfully loving and clever as I remember it. Secondly, the density and composition of the physical book was outrageously rich, packing at least twice as much content onto a single page than any current comic book I can think of.

Addressing Perez, Potter, and Wein’s approach to Wonder Woman is fascinating, as they managed to combine many of the original story elements and weave them into a relevant, potent, all-ages story. With their work, they (re)created a female superhero who truly embodies the genre. As soon as the story begins, the tone is set when the Amazons are born from the spirits of the first women violently killed by men. Their negative experiences clearly stem from a nasty combination of meddling Ares and our own, all-too-human inability to communicate and trust each other, it is a highly moral story for us, even if it is simply a couple of pages of backstory. Later, Diana alone is created from the spirit of an unborn child, who’s mother was killed and is set apart from her sisters, as less fearful and more suited to become the bridge to “man’s world”. Gifted very specifically by each of the gods who births her, she has elements of a sort of Captain Marvel origin, which I loved when I read it the first time, labeling and understanding her powers. When she used those powers, Perez and Wein call out the god who gave them to her, i.e. “With the extraordinary speed that is her birthright, a gift from the noble Hermes, Diana becomes a blur of motion…” There is a kind of respect in that, and an understanding that her heritage is an essential part of who she is. This is confirmed when the first person Wonder Woman is guided to contact is in Harvard, Professor Julia Kapatelis, who helps her learn English and understand the modern world. By making this her first friend in our realm, there are hints at the importance of knowledge and learning. With the professor, her teen daughter Vanessa, Colonel Steve Trevor, and his friends Colonel Matthew Michaelis and Lieutenant Etta Candy, Wonder Woman battles Ares’ sons, his brainwashed human servants, and finally Ares himself. Because of the kind of book it is, we are allowed to hear Wonder Woman’s thoughts as she marvels at the “frail nobility” of her new friends, never having seen such physical diversity on the island she grew up on. The learning she is experiencing is printed for us in her thought bubble and narrative dialogue boxes (both almost entirely a thing of the past, unfortunately) and through her eyes we are given a new perspective on our own humanity.

062613_wwIt might seem cheesy now to say that I like this comic book because it is moral and has a positive message, but that is who I see Wonder Woman as; a profoundly moral character. Someone almost on the level of Superman, but with more proverbial teeth, and a little less of the Boy Scout about her (and I mean that in the old school be-prepared or very-helpful sense of the words, not in the current ways that are so unfortunately in the news). It’s a big, bleak world out there and to my mind, what we need is a LOT more of the Perez-type of Wonder Woman.

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So the story is hopeful and positive, but what of the book? How is so much packed in and why did it take me more than twice as long to read than a current trade paperback would? When I began looking at the pages, I realized that while most contemporary comic book pages are generally broken up into 4 or 5 panels (sometimes more, sometimes less), most of Perez’ pages comprise of 10 or more panels. It is absolutely insane that he not only packs in more sequential story telling, but he also doesn’t skimp on detail, nor does he EVER make the story feel crowded or squeezed. Somehow, I’m able to very happily read a page with 14 panels and not feel in the least bit confused about where my eye needs to go next, nor do I feel confused or overwhelmed by content. In fact, my early consumption of so many of Perez’ stories could explain why nowadays, I often feel so cheated by the lack of content in comic books – I was spoiled!

Back in 1987, George Perez masterminded a relaunch of Wonder Woman which cemented her as a powerful icon, for men and women alike. When I first read it 26 years ago, it changed the way I saw the character, and impacted my appreciation of what I’d previously seen as a rather tired old warrior. Rereading “Gods and Mortals”, I was amazed at how far we have come from a time when the best entertainment offered a vision of a young woman battling to end war and to enlighten us to the end result of constant, escalating destruction.

062613_ww6Time have changed, we no longer live under the simple threat of impending nuclear destruction, and while wars rage all around the world, the threats to our environment and our resources are more pressing. Perhaps this is why our media offers us increasing visions of death and destruction, every new film climaxing with increasingly plausible wrecked cities. Do we so fear this that we need to see it? Or is it that we cannot cope with the work required to combat such problems, and so it is easier to simply try to inure ourselves to societies ultimate collapse? Whatever the reason, Perez’ Wonder Woman was a much-needed breath of fresh air, proving herself by defeating the ultimate threat of Ares, the god of war, not by killing him, but by wrapping him in her lasso forged from the stuff of life, Gaia, the earth, and letting him see that the end result of escalating destruction would be no winner. The entertainment media of the ’80’s seem so sweet and naive now, all War Games and tic-tac-toe, but there truly are no winners and Wonder Woman was about showing the world how essential our unity is for our continued survival. He created an icon suitable for all-ages, aspirational and always learning, we could do with something so sweet and naive now.

George Perez was always a master of detail, drawing every cloud of smoke, every window on each building, every extremely curly hair on Wonder Woman’s head. It isn’t until now, looking back at his work, that I realize he was also incredibly good at creating a dynamic, fast-pace with his panels. Every page is different, every time there is a unique rhythm, speaking volumes and added tons to the accompanying words. Combine this with a skillfully crafted, soulful story and you have an icon for the ages. Perez, Potter, and Wein gave me a great gift when I was growing up, they gave me a woman to look up to, to aspire to, and to learn with and from. On top of that, they gave me a type of storytelling which altered the way I read and the way I communicate my own thoughts. Perez’ vision of Wonder Woman is the gold standard of superhero comic books which all others should aspire to, both in content and in execution. I still hope that one day, from the roots of this story someone will create something even better for a new age, but I have yet to see it.


Eh, I’ve always found WW kind of bland, but that’s me. I know a lot of people love this run though, so more power to ya!

well…Perez can draw but his writing was here not much above average all in all.

nah, if you want to read GOOD Wonder Woman comics you read the Golden Age stuff.

also too way too much greek gods, not enough mythology of her own. (thats the one mistake WW writers always make)

But WW is focused on Greek mythology. I’d definitely expect to see it referenced in that title like Thor or Hercules.


Greek mythology in Thor? Really? lol

I’m just busting your chops, I knew you meant mythology overall being important to those titles, but iirc Stan Lee made a lot of the mythological stuff up too in addition to using actual old myths. Then Simonson did the same when he took over Thor. IDK, I always like WW best in Morrison’s JLA run, when she was a spectacle of bad assery. That said, you can’t get a lot of characterization or dramatic mileage out of just “she’s a warrior bad-ass” so I can see why Perez relied on the Greek mythology.

Patrick Bayard

June 26, 2013 at 11:45 am

The Greek mythology aspect of Wonder Woman has got to go! I think they can easily weave elements or allusions of it into her story but her back story drastically needs to be updated. Wonder Woman is a literary frustration for me because I think there is more than enough history and enough possibility to make her an incredible character that can rival any in the industry. But writer after writer keeps her trapped in this suffocating setting of her fighting “gods” and dealing with magic beings. Most of the other heroes (DC and Marvel) deal with science fiction and cosmic issues -at least the most popular ones. Diana appears foreign as a result when she enters their world and vice versa. One CAN make a much more accessible, cogent and realistic character that I think would be instantly iconic. I have already seen it done in one writer’s personal interpretation. But thus far writers of Wonder Woman continue the tired practice of trying to promote hero who runs around in a star spangled bathing suit as somehow relevant. She can be far more relevant if people follow proven formulas for iconic heroes like Superman and Batman. Until that happens I think Wonder Woman as a character is going to be mired in mediocrity.

Why can’t DC throw Wonder Woman into the “Dark” series of titles for awhile? If there is such magical and mythological baggage to WW, then have her slumming with the like of Constantine and company for awhile. It could be good for her character as well. They could have some of the nitty gritty of the urban magical world rub off on her more.
So I guess I’m saying…less Goddess and more magical warrior.

Karen Berger edited this book, and it shows. I was recently reading lots of that era DC superhero comics and Wonder Woman sticks like a sore thumb. It didn’t feel like a superhero book at all, it was something between that and a Vertigo comic, especially the issue full of press aricles and book excerpts. Tone was much more serious and mature (in a good way). Perez even admitted that Karen was big influence on him and he was learning from her proper scriptwriting.

Also, I LOVED Perez’s depiction of Wonder Woman. She was a beautiful , but not overtly sexual. She was kind and gentle, but also strong (both physically and in character). She just felt like a real person to me.

Great pick Sonia! I think Perez’s Wonder Woman is still a high-water mark for the character. For me modern interpretations within the past 15 years have skewed too much toward the “warrior” side of Diana, making her into an almost pale Xena imitation. While Warrior Diana has her origins with Perez, he really adds all sorts of shadings as well, making her unworldly at the same time. I miss that aspect. Camody sums it up well: gentle but strong and real.

I also loved the modernization of Wonder Woman’s origin, which did something different but kept the same basic story, so it was both revisionist and retro at the same time.

PS: Sonia – I found an e-mail from you from a while back in my junk folder a couple of weeks ago. I’m so embarrassed!

Agree 100% with Sonia!

Perez Wonder Woman is just about the only Wonder Woman I’ve read. It’s pretty darn good though. I agree with what Graeme Burk said. Diana needs to tone down the warrior badass thing a bit. I’m really not interested in yet another chick that likes to stab stuff.

My wife got a sketch from Mr. Perez at the Motor City con last month. He said she was the only person requesting Wonder Woman. He was quite happy that somebody asked for her.


June 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Very nice article. Except for the fact that Ares is the god of war and Aries is an astrological sign and a constellation. Other than that, I agree with pretty much everything you said.

Bernard the Poet

June 27, 2013 at 4:33 am

“Secondly, the density and composition of the physical book was outrageously rich, packing at least twice as much content onto a single page than any current comic book I can think of.”

Well I agree it was dense. Sadly, that meant that I personally found it a little boring. Opening story-arc has a strong story hook – Ares trying to start World War 3 – but it gets lost in all the detail.

I’m not sure what DC should do about Wonder Woman. She sells too many lunch-boxes for them to give up on her, but at the same time she doesn’t really work in the 21st Century. There are just too many contradictions. She was created by a man to appeal to male audience – hence the chains and the itsy-bitsy costume- but she was taken up by the Feminist movement. She’s a Greek goddess, who wears the US flag as a costume. A peace ambassador, who does a awful lot of fighting.

There is a lot of talk of Warner Bros producing a Justice League movie, and the assumption is that Wonder Woman must play a role in it. How is that going to work? She is far too silly to fit into the grim ‘n’ gritty world of Man of Steel/Dark Knight.

This is the best that Wonder Woman has EVER been, easily.

When I see the comments that say she needs to ditch the greek mythology, I just shake my head. The incredibly rich, detailed world that Perez created should be the envy of most books. Turn her into a run-of-the-mill superheroine? Attempts to do so is what has stopped WW from being a top character all the way through! (Let’s have her be a spy! Let’s have her have gorillas for roommates!)

The current run realizes how important her unique supporting world is for the character. The real flaw of the current run is that they are going on two years for the first story arc.

I adore this run. The definitive version of WW, to my mind.

Les Fontenelle

June 27, 2013 at 8:02 am

I personally prefer Rucka’s Wonder Woman – that televised battle with Medusa is the single best WW story I have ever read – but the Perez run is solid too.

@ Bernard the Poet

Actually, you’re way off on her original audience. The reason her creator created her was because he thought there should be a female role model for girls the way boys had Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, etc. during the Golden Age. She was created with a female audience in mind, not male.

Christopher Church

June 27, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Bravo! I always thought the George Perez era of Wonder Woman was the best ever (or should I say the Karen Berger era?). Anyone who wants to make Wonder Woman into a live-action film or TV series could do a lot worse than look to Perez’s material for inspiration. Every time I hear people talking about how silly and outdated the character is, I want to cringe, for surely there’s a place in modern fiction for a brave, heroic, loving woman who has mastered the arts of war yet believes wholeheartedly in the ideals of peace and justice. There’s a place in the 21st Century for the George Perez incarnation of Wonder Woman, so long as we have the willingness to look for it.

I found it lackluster at the time and on re-reading 20 years later, utterly boring and sold off the entire run on eBay.

Not to mention he added the whole rape angle….

If you want to do a Wonder Woman movie right look no further then the first seven issues of this run. And for sequels just look at his take on Circe, the Cheetah, and the Challenge of the Gods. One of my favorite comic book runs EVER!

I think Perez is definitely the zenith of the WW creators – so visually rich and yet coherent- he managed to make her unique, and actually have the disparate elements of the personality (flag outfit + Greek mythology) all harmonize well. I’ve never seen better, and I think Sonia’s right on the money.

Perez got way too wordy at times, but yup, it was about the only good run of Wonder Woman!

As some other reader here I think the script for a Wonder Woman movie should be based in the Perez Run, with today technology the Olimpus visual or the attacks of Decay would look outstanding

Perez’s world-building and character work on WW was a high-benchmark for the industry. (along with Miller/Daredevil, Simonson/Thor and Claremont/X-Men) And I completely agree about Sonia’s opinion of Perez as a storyteller. He’s the main reason “Crisis” was such an amazing read that still holds up!

I not only agree with the opinion about the character, but about comics in general. It’s like we get one plot point advancement, maybe two if we’re lucky, in a single issue nowadays.

“proving herself by defeating the ultimate threat of Ares, the god of war, not by killing him, but by wrapping him in her lasso forged from the stuff of life”

Perez’ Wonder Woman had no problems killing. Case in point: she decapitates one of Ares’ sons with her tiara when his snakes were wrapped around her. Probably not the point you are making (yours was more about destruction) but I wouldn’t want anyone to think that your comment also meant that she didn’t kill. Because she has – even in Perez’ run.

What does feminism have to do with “unborn” children? Oh, wait…

Read the first six issues of his run, and man was that boring as hell. The other two runs of her book that I’ve read (Simone’s & Azzarello’s current run) are so much more entertaining.

This article speaks my mind beautifully. After the recent and sorely disappointing Wonder Woman relaunches, I’ve managed to revisit the entire Perez run on the book twice. As a little queer kid in a rural and violently homophobic community, Perez’s smart, compassionate, honest, just, and brave Wonder Woman allowed me to imagine a better world for myself. This character – particularly this incarnation – means a great deal to me. Thanks for this article.

i agree with you about perez’s wonder woman being such a kind, good person and miss that person (though azarrello’s (not John’s) isnt a far cry from that).

i’m probably the same age as you, but my memory 9f hollywood and comics from the late 80s is different from yours ;) writers like perez and wolfman wrote gentler heros, but that era was also the era that punisher, wolverine,and a gritty batman went big. japanese comics were indeed about nuclear holocaust (akira), but american indies featured mercenaries and hitmen. hollywood was full of ultra violent and ultra bleak Sly Stallone and Arnold movies.

perez was an exception to the times then as he would be now.

“Greek mythology in Thor? Really? lol

I’m just busting your chops, I knew you meant mythology overall being important to those titles”

I take it you haven’t read much Thor then? Or were you not aware that Hercules, Zeus, etc. have been characters in Thor on and off since the sixties?

Perez’s Wonder Woman is awesome! When it first came out, I couldn’t dig it. I was such a big WW fan and so used to pre-Crisis WW that some of the changes blew my young mind. I mean, Steve Trevor as an older dude and involved with Etta? WTF!?!? But I tried it again, a few years after the relaunch, and fell in love with her all over again. So many cool concepts and interesting characters. You could tell that Perez not only liked Diana but that he got her. I’ve enjoyed a lot of WW runs but Perez remains one of my tops. This is definitely the perfect source material for any movie or series.

Perez run is so much better then JMS or the current run. So much better understands the characters and their roles story. Doesn’t wonder woman into nasty character that stupidly zues daughter. It sticks to what made the character be around for as long she has. Why people were interested in the character first place. Creators of new 52 and all of dc could take look post criris books like this as the way new 52 wish as it was good as it.

I agree with Ms Harris’ piece on Perez Wonder Woman run, I have tried to read the books on and off over the 25 years that I have been reading the books and while I have liked the odd story arc I did get bored with the character after my short stints of flirting with the books.

I was not until I dowloaded the first 7 issues of the Perez run that I found a new liking for the character. I do remember watching Wonder Woman with my mother during the 1970s (no I am not gay) and enjoyed that as well. I am unlikely to read Wonder Woman beyond the Perez run but yeah I liked it. She was a good blend of love and power.

Jose' DeArmas

June 27, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Adored the Perez run. LOVE the mythological aspects of her character. Denigrating the character for being different from the other big two? She’s a woman guys. Of COURSE she’s different! My favorite post-Perez run is Greg Rucka’s. Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia is one of my favorite comic stories of all time. Beautiful art, amazing story PLUS she kicks Batman’s ass! Check it out.

Sonia your article is spot on. Perez’ Wonder Woman is the best version by far. I’ll go a step further and say DC needs to bring his version back. This current WW is too dark for me and has lost a lot of elements that made her endearing IMHO. There use to be a good balance between the warrior and pacifist sides of her nature. Now Diana has become a generic warrior princess.

Johnni Stanton

June 27, 2013 at 11:40 pm

George’s relaunch of Wonder Woman, with his and the subsequent interpretation since the then, is FAR superior to the garbage Azarello is punping out now … to say nothing of the poor art!

It didn’t occur to me until now, but this is probably why I couldn’t get into the Azarello run of Wonder Woman, even though everyone I talked with seemed to be digging it. I read the Perez run when it came out, and I really liked it. I think that version of the character became fixed in my mind as the “real” Wonder Woman. When I read the Azarello version, it seemed “off” to me somehow and I couldn’t figure out why. This article has solved the mystery!

George Perez is a great artist and one of the most personable industry people at cons BUT he’s not the best writer and I had problems with his Wonder Woman run…
As much as I liked his redesigns and the more classic Greco-Roman look the problem was that he threw away too many conceits and traits of the past Wonder Woman — no secret ID, no boyfriend/love interest, no job or life outside of being a superhero/Amazon representative, very little connection to humanity out of the costume. The comic felt cold at times, the Princess was unapproachable, and bit too naive for being “the world’s greatest warrior.” Oh, and the whole virginia thing went on a bit too long in my opinion and it became a question of was she or wasn’t she a member of an alternate church and some other nonsense where there should have been no question based on the character’s past history.
I don’t care for what Azzarello or Rucka did with the character although I will be the first to admit I never followed Wonder Woman for very long regardless of who was writing and penciling the book… I will say that I think it was one of the worst decisions to jettison the classic Wonder Woman origin story in favor of making her a daughter of Zeus. That’s worse than the worst of Perez’s changes and the most recent pre-52 WW story trainwrecks including the whole Maxwell Lord storyline.

Stick to the classic versions of the characters, DC! You F’up more and more as you move away from what people remembered them for being and your half-hearted attempts to sex them up, change ethnicities or sexual orientation of 50+ year-old characters, and so forth instead of creating new characters for new publishing lines…
I frankly don’t care about the excuses and hype about sales… I just have never seen such a lame excuse for a revamped character line-up in my lifetime of following comics as I have DC’s after September 2011. It made leaving monthly comics for good all the easier!!! —- And that is saying something in light of the Mayhem at Marvel since the mid-1990s, too. They’ve only wrecked 2-3 classic characters at time in general — not the entire line like DC has managed to multiple times in the past.

It’s great to see so much love for Perez’s run. This is definitely one of my all-time favourite comic runs ever. And I for one loved his use of mythology. Considering Diana’s origins are so closely tied into mythology it seems a waste not to include it.
I’ll never part with these comics, and I’ll always measure future runs against it.

Thanks for this. I agree 100% Back in 1987, DC has just undergone its first “crisis” and was rebooting its entire universe. I had never been a WW fan, but I enjoyed George Perez’s work, so I picked up the first issue of WW. It was fantastic! And, like you, it ended up defining, for me, exactly who and what Diana is. The special attention and affection that Perez gave to the Amazons was a major element of the story, which makes what Azzarello has done now that much more disappointing. There is no doubt in my mind that Perez’s WW was one of the great series of the 1980s, and that was a golden age for mainstream comics, an era that has been unmatched before or since.

Also, I really have to agree with your observations about the lack of content in today’s comics. When I pay my three or four dollars for each issue of a comic and it takes five minutes to read, I feel cheated. I remember well when content and story mattered far more and when putting as much story into a single issue was a major concern. We got a lot more bang for our buck back in the “old days.” I also appreciated the thought balloons.

Finally, I should point out that Perez’s WW came out a time when the threats to the survival of the world were much more common and real than they are today. Back then, there was a real threat of a nuclear war that could destroy the world; there is no comparable threat today. Ironically, however, Americans are probably more afraid now than they were then. I think that there is a lot of room for hopeful, moral characters. We need more characters who are mature in their attitudes and beliefs and not just “adult.”

Jarrod Egerton

June 28, 2013 at 3:43 am

One of my favourite runs in all comics. Loved Phil Jimenez’s WW stuff too. The Trade Paperbacks of the Perez stuff really makes the work shine more than the crap paper and printing used on the original comics.

Before Crisis, I was praying for DC to put WW out of her misery. They did. We were so lucky to have the Perez crew around for so long, providing a positive, coherent direction for her that the rest of the DCU couldn’t ignore. I have issues with the run—that WW was reborn by getting her powers on a silver platter instead of utilizing WW’s basic theme of empowerment and gaining them through years of Amazon Training; that the Amazons were spotlit so often, requiring them not to have such a perfect society and thus somewhat negating the strong foundation they gave Diana; etc—but on the whole it was entertaining and inspiring. AND the crew did away with the possibility of Stevie as a boyfriend, which gives them a gold star no matter what else they might do.

cliff chiang>george perez

Perez’ run was marked by doing away with anything that made her unique– ie, all the “embarrassing” Marston stuff– and replacing it with a muddled Edith Hamilton tourists’ guide to mythology. He stripped Diana of any personal motivation, turning her into a dull girl with no sexual understanding whatsoever, who took no pleasure in anything except flying by herself. He essentially created the condescending preachy Diana we’ve been dealing with for years now.

Combine that with the weird sexual politics– women (including the goddesses) are good and well intentioned, and any beautiful girl was always taken advantage of by men, whereas men were either shlubs or good-looking Louses. Diana, who used to be about helping and transforming women’s lives, oversaw the death of two females deemed “too gentle to live in this world” (Victorian view if women), and Etta candy, her best pal from the golden age onwards, was so jealous of Diana, she even broke off her engagement with Steve. You’ve come a long way, baby. “Remember your power, little sister” was just lip service to her former feminist self.

I’m Grateful she’s back to what she was meant to be– an emissary of love, not the generic Olympian champion, helping women and transforming their lives, instead of standing idly by.

The first George Perez arc was Gods and Mortals, not monsters. (My FAVE of all time) I love that it was so applicable to the world back then (still is really) and its sad that we as a race still haven’t figured out how to live peacefully.

I agree with you 100% Sonia! The New 52 Wonder Woman has removed nearly all the elements that have made Wonder Woman iconic for over 72 years! The character has suffered from fan backlash and harsh criticism. I really am disappointed with this new Wonder Woman. She’s my absolute favorite superhero but the New 52 take and costume are the worst takes on Diana since she was stripped of her powers and costume in the 1960s! Bring back the preNew 52 Wonder Woman!!!! Most Wonder Woman fans agree with everything you’ve said about George Perez’s work. Too many people want to change her costume nad remove the mythology part or make her too involved with Greek mythology. They want to turn her into Xena or Kratos. No fan of Wonder Woman would ever question her costume, warrior nature, or the need for the mythology aspect of her work. Diana didn’t need to change in the reboot that much. DC needed to resect her more and advertise her more. She needs to be taken seriously and as of the New 52 she isn’t being taken as a serious character at all. You don’t see all the changes and debates going on with Superman and Batman. Honestly if she was a brutal killer and a male, none of the New 52 changes or any of the debate over her costume and the mythology aspects of the story would be debated. Sexism is still alive and well in the world of comics and the very character created to fight against it has been taken away and changed into c character submissive to all the men around her. She’s always rushing into battle without thinking and then needing to be saved by Orin or her new “brothers”. Wonder Woman needs to go back to the George Perez days and DC needs to take her very seriously. We fans can’t take much more of this!


June 28, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Sonia,you & I are definitely “Kindred Spirits”:^)!! George Perez’s WW run is one of the absolute best in the characters long history in my opinion. It was epic in every sense of the word. I’ve been rereading my trades from that era ALOT lately. I don’t have much choice these days since BA sent me running from the current book(and DC Comics in general) in sheer disgust. That abomination he pulled out of his arse is not WW. No matter how many stars & tiaras you slap on her costume.
It definitely didn’t require much creative thinking to make Diana a bastard child of Zeus(Gee,theres not enough of those running around) & her people sex pirates & murderers. It’s obvious he’s going for the lowest common denominator when it comes to her once unique world. But I guess if it makes all the straight boys feel a little less icky reading a comic about a girl,it will all be worth it it in the end. I’m holding out for the next editorial tsunami that will wash all of this explosive diarrhea crap out of the book forever.

Scott Ruscitto

June 28, 2013 at 7:35 pm

I disagree, I am a life long Wonder Woman fan, my collection is pretty vast. I strongly feel that Perez’ run backed wonder woman into a dull boring corner. (it was leaps and bounds better than what they did with her in the 70’s though.) Honestly for me the greatest interpretations of Wonder Woman were the Originals by Marston, Gail Simone, Gre Rucka, and Brian Azzerello. I honestly felt Gail captured her better than anyone, and her being taken off the book to give it to JMS was a crime. (Though truth be told upon re-reading Odyssey it holds up much better than the initial read.)

I also really love the foundation Brian Azzerello is laying down for Diana. While I wish we could get more into her and less into her supporting cast, i think the world and mythos he is recreating is possibly the most interesting and personally I’m hoping beyond hope that Gail Simone can come in when “Azz” is done to finish the more personal touches she started on her previous Wonder Woman run, this time with a Wonder Woman that hasn’t been tainted by the George Perez run.

Mind you I do not hate that run, but I honestly feel it is over hyped and the way they tried to make her and carried her for the years after is what put her into the boring rut and dragging sales. Perez took to much of the Warrior out of her in my humble opinion and made her far to much of a delegate., which is something Simone and Rucka (Though Rucka was still stone walled by the Perez stuff and I would love to see what he could do with the current WW.) added back.

Thank-you Sonia! No one can remove or destroy the GLORY that George Perez, with the help of a few great people like Karen Berger, brought to Wonder Woman’s world. And THANK-YOU to ALL of you here who left a comment about how much you appreciate George Perez’s talent. And I’ll be laughing for the rest of my life whenever I think of your post TwirlingKanga, LOVE IT!!!

An amazing run. I loved the characterisation of WW in George’s run on the comic. And the art – wowwwww!

I am a fan of the current WW and was fond of Rucka’s take, so I once tried to read some of the Perez run… figuring that I should familiarize myself with some of the history of the character and was…. bored-to-tears. It just wasn’t for me at all. The character just seemed ever so precious, and the amazons were stiff and the writing was overwrought and too wordy and preachy to my mind. I didn’t see the appeal, but I know this run has it’s fans, and they are welcome to it- obviously a lot of effort went into crafting the run- not denying that- and the art was good, but all of the effort that went into crafting the character was nothing that appealed to me. Perez created a character that, to me, seemed stiff and naive and precious and… just really uncool. Azz’s WW in comparison, while sharing similar qualities, seems more comfortable with herself, and the world around her I’m WAY more comfortable with (it’s dark and weird as opposed to whatever the hell it was that Perez had created… Mind you I didn’t read much of it as I had a viceral -nah-ah reaction and couldn’t make myself buy the damn thing after reading a portion of it)

Honestly, George Perez spoiled us all … I’ve loved his work on Teen TItans . . . *sighs*

And hopeful comics are a thing of the past. At least so long as crime writers keep writing superheroes.

The crime novel hero is always dark and down and out, and their stories are noirish by nature. Superheroes are more in the realm of hopeful science fiction and until Marvel and DC start hiring scifi writers like Hickman then we are not going to get our bright shiny MORAL heroes back . . . instead, we’ll just have Batman and Watchmen lite ad nauseum.

I will most definitely be checking this book out, I love Wonder Woman but I hate reboots so I’ve never really given it much pause or consideration for reading. That however has changed. Thanks for the insightful article.

I wonder after Azz is done with his God’s tale what can any other writer build on?There is nothing much. No real city. No regular cast. No mission but fighting. Do we really only want to see WW playing around with Gods only?

Bill Messner-Loebs had a great run. And Deodato’s WW was very sexy, but still seemed strong and powerful.

I too felt Perez’s WW was TOO mired in Greek mythology, but I certainly appreciated the detail of her life and origin, even if I didn’t truly connect with it. I also liked that she was “profoundly moral.” The problem with that is that bad writers don’t know how to make that interesting. This is proven over and over, most recently with the new MoS movie. To me, the Superman in that movie is NOT out of character when he [spoilers, folks (but is it really at this point?] kills Zod — this is a character w/out a moral compass from very early on: He steals clothes from poor people, he destroys a guy’s livelihood b/c the guy (an a-hole to be sure) poured his drink on his head.

In today’s world of mediocre writers who’ve not read much and have not lived a life of any depth, this is the only way to make a character interesting and deep. And so it goes.

Like his version of Dianas Wonder Woman the best he made her powerful yet vulnerable to relationships George perez made her more human and real than any other artist writer out there ever did..Most other artist made her out to be some overly breasted big boned hussy with giving men something else to fantasize and fetishized over..but i did also like Mike Deodatos run also hes also good ..i dont know the current ones after the War on the gods i kinda lost interest

People who called the Perez run on WW “boring” ought to be pimpslapped for being knuckledragging morons who probably think Rob Liefeld comics are aaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeessssssssooooooooooommmmmme!

Yeah, Perez’s Wonder Woman is awesome. He just distilled everything that is great in Wonder Woman in one beautiful package. And he made it seem so easy. Just the right mix of mythology and real world stuff and none of the “silly” things.

The way I see it, people who write Wonder Woman can fall into several traps.

The first is done by people who don’t really like or get WW, and want to make her more like Batman or Superman. Either making her too dark and gritty and tragical, or making her too superhero-y. No, she works better as DC’s version of Thor, a mythological heroine

The second trap is mistaking some silly old elements that really don’t work for essential parts of her character. Like the invisible jet, mental radios and other science fantasy elements, and the Diana Prince identity that absolutely does not work and just makes her a Superman knock-off. Perez rightfully got rif of all his baggage

Third trap, gettng writers that are anti-feminist (The. Amazons. Are. Genocidal. Murderers!!!) or too scholarly feminists with Diana giving lectures on the fine print of feminism. Perez’s Wonder Woman was feminist in a potent and simple way, more inspirational, really.

I just re-read Wonder Woman #1 by Potter & Perez. It actually *has* improved with age, probably because (in comparison) today’s comics are so decompressed they have as much content as one *segment* of a TV Show.

I do wonder how the quality keeps up after Greg Potter leaves though. I don’t remember enjoying Perez’ scripts on this run, or anywhere else. Apparently Mindy Newell came aboard later, so I would like to check that out.

While I do like much of what Perez and Co. did for WW, I disagree with Rene’s comment above about the ‘silly old elements’ from the Golden Age. As we have seen with Grant Morrison & Yanick Paquette’s Wonder Woman: Earth One (not to mention Alan Moore’s take on Glory from Awesome Comics), those elements are *crucial* to making Wonder Woman stand out from the modern generic ‘warrior woman’ archetype.

The Invisible Robot Jet, mental radios, Amazon concentration, Purple Healing Ray, Kangas, bondage — where else you can find that in genre film and television today ? I hope the upcoming movie embraces as much of that as possible (though based on Warner Bros’ track record, I highly doubt it).


Michael –

Except perhaps for the bondage aspect, the rest of older Wonder Woman elements are all standard for science fantasy of the period, that John Carter of Mars stuff. I don’t think this stuff has aged particularly well. I don’t see lots of people clamoring for science fantasy in their movies (there is one possible MAJOR exception in Star Wars, but Star Wars became almost its own genre). I really prefer my Wonder Woman set squarely into fantasy with no superscience airplanes, radios or rays.

Alan Moore and Grant Morrison are always mentioned when someone laments the passing of the older science fantasy elements in Superman and Wonder Woman. My answer to that is: Alan Moore and Grant Morrison are geniuses that can make a good story out of anything. Yes, I admit that, in the right hands, the old-fashioned elements can be made into something magical and charming and amazing.

Unfortunately, there are few Alan Moores and Grant Morrisons in the world. In mediocre hands, the sillier, nonsensical aspects will be just silly and nonsensical.

Remember war of the gods? Millions would have died in that conflict! The amazons should have abandoned the gods after that disaster. Under john byrne they re embraced them , that disturbed me greatly , as it gave me the impression that the amazons didn’t care about the suffering the Olympians caused.

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