I know I’ve already commented on “Wonder Woman” and her success but I fell it can’t be overstated. To look back at issue one and compare it to the current issue, twenty five, you’d think there’d be some drop off in quality but the thing is that “Wonder Woman” seems to have adapted to this new template of Tabula Rasa that “The New 52” has instigated. Whereas other titles have double downed on terrible decisions, “Wonder Woman” has the advantage that the creative team made some brilliant first steps and now get to really flesh out the world that they have created. Comic book fans may point to the “Year Zero” event happening with Batman and his compatriots and say something like, “That’s what they’re doing too. Now we get to see Bruce becoming Batman.” Yeah but I already know he becomes Batman, you kinda spoiled that one Scott Snyder. All you’re doing right now is showing me Bruce while he’s learning how to be a functioning psychopath and that Bruce is a real prick. Instead, be like Wonder Woman and show me why I should care about this universe.
I think the best thing that Brian Azzarello did in determining the creative direction of his book was that he told all crossovers to F&%$ off. Diana Prince is now allowed to build on this foundation of lore that shows character development. This issue deals with the current conflict with the death of War, and how Wonder Woman has now inherited the mantle. So now she’s a God and a murderer. Look back to the first issue where she was simply an Amazon, which is a ton of development for a character. She is having her motivations, desires, and fears all flushed out for the reader to see. We now get to feel the boiling tension as Strife, Diana’s sister, plots her revenge (I’ll give you a hint, it looks like murder). The best part about this is that this world is so well established that not only do we get to see Diana’s progression and consequences but we also get to see this for all of the secondary characters as well.
At the start of this series, Hera was the primary antagonist for Diana. Her motivation was clear, get back at her cheating husband Zeus. Now, she’s a mortal who is under Diana’s protection. Yeah, there’s twenty four issues in between that explain the incredible arc, get caught up because it’s a good read. All of these conflicts are there throughout the entire series and the best part is that because a majority of the characters are immortal Gods, none of them die. All of these issues that these characters have with each other get to build on each other and evolve. Compare that to schizophrenic books where it’s a different problem every few issues. Not that that is a bad thing but it’s nice just to keep reading the same thing and not have to worry about continuity surprising you like a drunk uncle dressed as a clown hidden in your closet on Valentine’s day 1998.
I suppose the main question is what makes “Wonder Woman” consistently good. The answer seems to be “loyalty.” Because the book has established a definite tone, it follows very similar stories that are very compelling. At no time does Diana drop what she is doing to battle a space ship or solve a murder. Her conflict is central and ever escalating. Do I think this series will run out of gas? No, because “Wonder Woman” has a direct benefit of pulling from two locations: comic mythos and actual Greek myths. There will always be conflict to be found.
One advantage that “Invincible” has over “Wonder Woman” is that Mark Grayson is ageing as a person. He is constantly dealing with new problems as any person does who ages and finds new stresses to worry about. There was a time in the books where he had a principle breathing down his neck, calling him a delinquent. Diana Prince has a taste of that as her role is ever evolving but not to the same extent as Mark. True, she went from Amazon to Demi-God to God, each with its own advantages and peril. But Mark has had to learn the pitfalls of being a teenager, a college student, unemployed, husband, and now he will have to deal with being a father. All of this on top of his duties as a defender of Earth. Diana Prince’s private life is a bit more tame—well as tame as family murder can be. But she just doesn’t have it as rough as Mark. Her story is good, incredible even and you should definitely pick up this week’s issue for the cover alone.