Friday, September 7, 2018

Retro Review: Wonder Woman #1 (1987) - "The Princess and the Power!"

Wonder Where to Start? 

Written by: George Perez and Greg Potter
Art by: George Perez
Pencils by: George Perez
Inks by: Bruce Patterson
Colors by: Tajana Wood
Letters by: John Costanza
Editor: Karen Berger
Print release date: 1 February 1987
Published by: DC Comics    

Anyone who came to DC Comics afresh during either New 52 or Rebirth probably has some questions about Wonder Woman’s origins. I know I do even though my love affair with DC comics pre-dates those points. Greg Rucka’s run on the title at the start of Rebirth gave us a potential blend of origins, and after Superman Reborn the dial reset button could potentially have been changed again. A nice way of playing historian for this reader was to begin with Wonder Woman Volume 2 #1, with George Perez art always acting as a good incentive. 

This issue centers around the Greek mythological roots of the character. With open with debate raging among the Olympians. Zeus is being implored to agree to the creation of the Amazonian race. Ares disputes it, Zeus washes his hands of the matter and the resultant action within the issue tells of the establishment of that warrior race. The action kicks in with the arrival of Heracles and much battle drenched fun ensues. The book is steeped in mythological roots, not least in the matter of Diana’s birth myth. 

The nature of the artwork is strong and beautiful. For me, George Perez art and Wonder Woman go hand in hand, and Patterson's inking here compliments it beautifully. I think that the art style is elegant without being too heavy or leaden. The scenes of Paradise Island are very classical in tone. This forms the classical archetype for the Wonder Woman we get in the current run, as opposed to the more surreal version, for example, in Brian Azzarello's run on the book at the start of the New 52. 
Bits and Pieces:

A great first issue, a clear origin story for this point in DC History, and some really spectacular and iconic work for the time period. There is enough seriousness to this book but there is a sense of lightness to proceedings in parts. A little sense of humor goes a long way to lighten the tone, and the colors from Tajana Wood also reflects this in the artwork. A great starting point for this era’s depiction of Wonder Woman, and perhaps the best origin story I have read for the character. 



  1. One of my favourite comics of all time. The notion of the Amazons being reincarnated spirits of women who had suffered violence and death at the hands of men is an awesome idea - powerful and beautiful without being preachy or patronising. Plus, Diana is so *young*. There's a touching innocence and joy to her in these early Perez issues. It's awesome. And the art is magnificent.

  2. George Perez's early run was fantastic and still stands up today, in fact I always judge every new incarnation of Diana against it. You can see the love and thought he put into his definition of Wonder Woman.