The Rebirth of the DC universe is underway, and it is a breath of fresh air. From a gritty atmosphere, the company has re-emerged into a lighter envisioning of its front-running characters. One of the best re-emergences has been Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman: Rebirth delivers two hefty doses of hard-hitting action per month, dealt by arguably the strongest woman in the comics industry. She doesn’t look down on her readers, however. At a fundamental level, Diana feels knowable and familiar. She is a superhero that is identifiable, while still being admirable.
Issue One of Wonder Woman: Rebirth places you deep in the rainforest, where Diana’s wanderings mirror the central idea of “finding her way” that permeates the whole storyline. She is confident, conquering obstacles in her own way, even while lacking the direction she needs to take control of her life.
She might be deep within the unknown, but Wonder Woman hasn’t lost any of her confidence. She is my unwavering role model in that sense. If you can imagine realising that your world was not what you expected, but you still face it head-on, then you can imagine Diana facing the shadowy fear inside us all.
Also in this issue (and eminently worth mentioning) is the dreamy, rugged love interest of Steve Trevor. He has been moulded by his life as a warrior, much as Diana has, and he is up to the challenge of serving as her counterpart. He is a soldier who is shown to face his missions with the same surety and determination that Diana demonstrates in her own wanderings. And he’s more than a pretty face, too.
Issue two delves into the Year One storyline of Diana’s formative years. This pattern of releases – one issue delving into current debacles and one issue looking back on Wonder Woman’s past- will be continuing into the future. The two storylines do share the common theme of Diana finding her way in the world.
This issue establishes the relationship between Steve and Diana. It opens with Steve looking to the stars, bringing to mind the idea of destiny and “star cross’d lovers.” Then it flashes to Diana, who is yearning to explore the wider world, feeling trapped by her paradise of eternal life, Themyscira. The growing up and growing together trope is emphasised as panels continue to flash between Diana and Steve, and the perfectly-pitched tension between the two builds.
They seem almost idealised, as embodied by one particular panel with a gnarled tree enveloped by a snake. Diana seems as naïve as Eve herself, with Steve playing her Adam. She knows that her future will be changed by her choices. She knows that she has everything she could ever need in her own personal Eden. But it’s not even an option to her. Her walled garden is relentlessly suffocating, and she will be free, whatever the consequences.
I am in love with Diana and Steve as the power couple of the rebirth of DC. Steve fulfils all my expectations as the burly and resourceful yang to Diana’s yin. I am looking forward to the unfolding of their paths as they discover each other, and I am fully onboard with this very human Diana. She is all of us, finding our way, making mistakes, forging forward into the unknown.
Need more Wonder Woman? Check out the trailer for her first film, out next year: