If you haven’t been paying attention, Wonder Woman has been doing something pretty cool for the last month and a half. Greg Rucka, the writer and genius behind Wonder Woman, has been jumping back and forth between a present-day Wonder Woman story (with art by Liam Sharp) and a retelling of her origin story (featuring the talents of Nicola Scott). Considering that the New 52 messed so much up with Wonder Woman’s origin, I’m really loving Rebirth’s revised take on this.
My favorite part in this issue is that Diana has trouble communicating with basically everyone. Whenever an origin story is told, Diana is magically able to communicate with Steve Trevor and the other Americans in perfect English, despite the fact that English didn’t exist when the Amazons separated from the rest of the world. Without any connection to the outside world, how would she know English?
Rucka solves that problem in Rebirth’s Wonder Woman and, in my opinion, makes the narrative all the better for it. Old characters are excellently repurposed in this retelling. Steve is a Navy SEAL, sent on a scouting mission only to crash-land on Themyscira. Etta Candy is his boss, Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva is a retired archaeologist and professor, and Diana is a fleshed out Amazon/human being who actually has personality! It’s a revelation, and I’m loving it.
Best of all, Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott do gorgeous work with the art. No offense to Sharp, but I have to say that I love Scott’s work so much more. There’s something about her art in this book that I can’t stop admiring. When Scott draws Diana, she injects such life and humanity that I don’t need Rucka’s words to see who this person is. I can feel that Diana is a person with emotions and desires. I know who she is.
One of my biggest problems with Wonder Woman media over the years is that she rarely has a defined personality. With many other heroes, both male and female, you can tell who they are by the way they speak or how they act. Wonder Woman, however, is often a nebulous character with a wavering personality and set of behaviors. Is she a hardened warrior bent on bloodshed at any moment or is she an inherent pacifist with the skill of a trained fighter? Does she look down on men as inferior or does she respect them as equals to women? And my favorite question: What would Wonder Woman do?
Nicola Scott, Greg Rucka, and Liam Sharp are on their way to showing us who this woman is, and I really hope they are finally able to answer these questions. It’s not something that will happen easily or quickly, but I have a feeling this team might actually accomplish what we haven’t seen in five volumes of Wonder Woman comics so far. I don’t know about you, but I’m eager to find out.