Can Wonder Woman survive another reboot?

Few other characters, if any, have been rebooted, redesigned or re-imagined as much as Wonder Woman.

Sometimes simple, sometimes dramatic, Diana has gone through no fewer than 10 different incarnations since her first appearance in 1942.

All Star Comics #8 introduced us to Diana of Themyscira, who became Wonder Woman when she donned the red, white and blue outfit. The original costume was emblazoned with an eagle crest and featured a billowing blue skirt covered in stars. This quickly changed into the hip-hugging design after just a few issues. Wonder Woman changed her outfit before we even knew who she was. Why? How long does it take to draw a flowing skirt versus a body fitting bottom? Wonder Woman’s first redesign came out of necessity. Drawing a skin tight bottom instead of the original skirt probably saved many hours per page. Redesign in the name of efficiency.

Wonder Woman went on to a long career with minor changes. It took several years before she was transformed again. Her shorts grew gradually smaller as America changed it’s views of what was acceptable for a woman to show. The Golden Age of comics gave way to the years now known as the Silver Age. Comics were growing up with their audience. The eagle was changed into a stylized double ‘W’ on her chest.


Her boots shifted frequently, but nothing major took place until Denny Miller in the 60’s. Sales of the book were lagging and a directive was given to re-vitalize Wonder Woman, make her more relative to the current era. Enter the brief, but dramatic time when she lost her powers and donned the white jump suit with a yoda-like mentor named “I-ching”. Women’s lib was changing the way the country thought of female power, and Wonder Woman changed with the times. Thankfully this was short lived.

The de-powering of one of the greatest super-heroes, not the empowerment of women.

The decision to strip Diana of her powers and give her an ancient mentor went against the message the character was supposed to bring: Love, Power, Family and Sharing, and this change only lasted a brief time.

Wonder Woman was thankfully brought back to power. She continued her uneventful run in the late 70s to the mid 90s.  DC rebooted. Batman: Year One, Superman: Man of Steel, and George Perez at the hands of Wonder Woman, now reintroduced to her mythological roots deeper than ever. Perez generated a deep, if not wordy, new version of Wonder Woman. After a long and brilliant run it was time to reinvent Diana again. A new team, a new Princess.

Artemis was introduced with the sexy art of Mike Deadato. The Contest took place, and Wonder Woman’s role as the ambassador from Themyscira was taken over by the new red haired vixen. Diana, dismantled, continued her fight for justice in an all black costume. Biker shorts and a black jacket. Sound familiar? After a few issues Diana was rightfully restored to her place as Wonder Woman, one again wearing the red, white and blue colors.

It was then decided that the multiple earths should be brought back, and now Golden Age Wonder Woman was played by Diana’s mother Hippolyta. Donna Troy took the mantle of Wonder Woman, growing from her position as Wonder Girl of the Teen Titans. There will be no mention of John Byrne’s issues in this article.

Who is Wonder Woman? A cover boldly asked this question of the readers. No one knew anymore. Diana? Artemis? Hippolyta? Donna? Cassie?  The answer from DC? Reboot! The brilliant team of the Dodson’s were given the book, which incorporated her 60’s iChing outfit with a modern spy touch. A well done re-invention of the character, but any history seemed to be ignored and redone.

Soon Gail Simone took over and characters that could have been great villains were turned into servants. Wonder Woman now had a minotaur serving her food, instead of battling her. Dialogue ruled over action once again. What time is it? Time to reboot?

Diana? Artemis? Hippolyta? Donna? Cassie?  The answer from DC? Reboot!

The book was renumbered at 600 and a new new new Wonder Woman was launched. But which Wonder Woman was she? A new one, clad in black soon again, illustrated by the brilliantly detailed Don Kramer written by J. Michael Straczynski. Success? Now this classic, female, intrepid, strong character was again re-imagined into an unknown moden world.

DC Comics recent announcement of yet another retooling of the Princess, as well as the rest of the universe, represents the latest change to this beloved character.

I trust them.

I know for a fact that people that care about these characters are making decisions. As fans, we demand a lot. Keep the character exactly as I remember her, but change her, but I don’t like change. Whats a profit minded company to do? Reboot. Again. Again. Now, what if we like the new versions better? Does that devalue your collection? Or make it even more desirable, because we can look back and laugh at what was.

I have been through many reincarnations of Wonder Woman. Another one is actually welcome. If you don’t like it, I suggest you start writing, and if your stories are good enough, they might just become the new legacy.

Josh Hamman

Can Wonder Woman survive another reboot?