Legend Of Wonder Woman

I haven’t discussed the New 52/DC You lately because I don’t care. There may or may not be good stories but as I noted in yesterday’s Art Soundoffs, some of us are tied to what we grew into. I don’t mean that you can’t do something new, although tossing out so much history will tick off whomever came to DC every week for that history under the lie of bringing in new readers. I mean that nothing bears a resemblance to what we know and love, what I call “multiversal continuity”. You know, the little things that make a character who he/she/it (in some cases) who they are. See also the Doctor Doom of the Fantastic Four movies.

Wonder Woman has been a victim of this. Her origin was changed to being another of Zeus’s love children (and Zeus is typically a deadbeat dad whose vengeful wife takes it out on the offspring), her attitude, despite her talk of loving everyone, is closer to the Amazons of myth than the ones of the DC Universe. Her fellow Amazons are even shown killing the men they sleep with to get pregnant by seducing sailors on passing ships. Diana is more like Kratos than the Wonder Woman we know and love.

I don’t know what kind of changes Renae De Liz are planning as far as Wonder Woman’s parentage. However, I’ve been reading through her interview with Jeffery Renaud of Comic Book Resources and I do like what I’m hearing compared to how our heroine is depicted today. She is writing The Legend Of Wonder Woman, yet another digital first series starring Wonder Woman, only this time focusing on her early days growing up on Themyscira. (Anyone remember when it was called Paradise Island? I didn’t have to look THAT spelling up.) And while I don’t know if this takes place in the current DC Universe (neither of the other two digital-first Wonder Woman comics did) I may like her version better.

CBR News: “The Legend of Wonder Woman” will reportedly explore Diana’s origin story over the course of nine issues focusing primarily on Diana’s childhood on Themyscira. How old is Diana when the story begins?

Renae De Liz: The focus of the series is to follow Diana’s story through her rise as Wonder Woman with the first act, the first three issues, set on Themyscira. The other six issues are set elsewhere. I never give her age in the series, but to begin with she’ll be around 10-11.

How old is Diana when it ends?

Approximately 19-20.

She always looked young when we met her, but I always got the impression that she was hundreds of years old at least, like the other Amazons. Just an observation to break the text up rather than a complaint, mind you.

Which characters will be featured in her supporting cast? Are there any suprises? (<–spelling error, CBR!)

A more-to-the-original Etta Candy will be returning, along with her own classic supporting cast, as I feel she was a very important character for Diana’s story. Etta is bold, stylish, confident and fun, and feels it’s her job to draw Diana out of her serious shell and show her the lighter side of life. Etta is pretty critical to Diana’s growth over the series.

The original version of Etta Candy was a jolly, very overweight young woman who was obsessed with two things: candy and helping Wonder Woman. I know there will be a group who wants her to keep the “woo woo”, but I wouldn’t miss it. And while I don’t want to see her on the same diet DC put Amanda Waller on so she’d look like Halley Berry (granted this makes her look friendlier for DC Super Hero Girls but it’s just wrong everywhere else) I don’t want her like the post-Crisis version who was just Etta in name only, or what I just read about Robert Kanigher’s run that took away everything GOOD about the original Etta to make her unhappy and weight-conscious. Because why would we want a FUN sidekick? I bet he’d have a bulimic Santa Claus, too.

The main villain is one from her classic roster, who I felt best paralleled who and what Wonder Woman is. He’s had many different looks over the years, and wasn’t utilized very much. Therefore, I was able to embellish quite a bit in this area. Other classic villains appear here and there, with a hope to pit them against Diana in further stories.

Male villain who “wasn’t utilized very much”? I don’t know enough about Wonder Woman lore so I’m guessing either Doctor Psycho or Egg Fu. I vote for Egg Fu. She also states that other DC heroes will pop up as well as an Amazon people loved from “another series”. My first guess was Artemis, although Nuba (one of the darker skinned Amazons) is a possibility. But they were both from her series. Who am I missing?

Diana’s origin has been told, retold and reimagined over the years by numerous industry luminaries. Is this a new origin story for Diana? And did you read or re-read any other classic interpretations of Diana’s origin in preparation for this project?

I would say it’s a mixture of both new and old. I picked out elements from other retellings that I felt were important to Wonder Woman, and built on the rest. I read up quite a bit, especially her older stories, which inspired me quite a bit. The story of Wonder Woman is so rich across the board, I felt little need to input completely new ideas, and my focus was to create a story that best portrayed the core of Wonder Woman, rather than a new version. I feel my delivery of the story is what will mostly make it feel different than others. The pacing, artwork and focus are all quite different from most other superhero books.

I’m not sure how I feel about this one. I guess I’m neutral. There’s nothing here to really judge. Renaud then asked about drawing the comic. De Liz is also the penciler, with her husband Ray Dillon serving as inker and colorist. She seems to be returning to a variation of the classic costume rather than the not-Wonder Woman current version. They’re adding their own spin, as you can see on the image at the top of this article.

As for untouchables in her design, of course the usual bracers, belt, chest-plate, tiara and lasso are all there, but their rules have changed a bit — and apologies, but her bracers are now gold. I never liked the silver/gold combination in her attire. She still has the red, white and blue with stars theme, all focused on a more classic approach. I felt her main costume shouldn’t change much from the one she’s had over the majority of years. It just doesn’t feel like Wonder Woman otherwise.

I did get rid of weapons. I really love the visual of Wonder Woman with a shield and sword, like a traditional Amazon, but in reality, it never made sense to me. She’s supposed to be the icon of light and truth, and you can’t really be that if you’re out slicing necks, or stabbing people to death. Her strength, instincts and lasso are all she truly needs to handle most situations.

There may be fans who get nitpicky about the gold bracelets but seeing the image above it fits their design well enough that I can let it slide. At least it looks like a Wonder Woman costume while keeping the modern obsession with darker shades. That actually looks like Wonder Woman, something the digital-first Wonder Woman stories get right. (Although the one based on the Linda Carter series I still really want to read kind of has no choice.) Besides, we lost the sword and shield. I don’t mind spray painting the bracelets if it means she just has her fighting skills and magic lasso otherwise. It’s still an improvement.

Delivering this series as a digital-first, did you have to make any concessions or changes to your process as a writer and/or an artist?

Yes, on both counts. For writing, I had to pace everything in 10-page chunks. This usually worked out, as each issue essentially has three acts, but there were many spots where I felt it would have been a better story without that constraint. A few places had to be condensed too much to fit in the 10-page section, and other places were a bit more drawn out than I would have liked. Overall, I overcame it, and the series feels like one smooth story, but I would have liked not to have that rule.

With art, every page is essentially cut in half, meaning I could not draw panels in the middle of the page, 3/4 page panels, or splash pages very easily. However, I tried hard to get around this rule when the need arose, and tried a few different methods, even trying to utilize the half-page limitations for storytelling. I feel it was mostly successful, but again I would have preferred to not have those limitations.

That one’s for the benefit of the Art Soundoff challenge. It’s a quick look at working in a different format.

Wonder Woman stands alongside Superman and Batman as arguably the most iconic superheroes in the history of the genre. Beyond the fact that she is a woman, what distinguishes Diana from her peers and makes her a character that writers and artists have continued to explore for 75 years? 

Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are viewed by most as the spearhead of the DC Universe. To me, on one side is Batman, the dark, serious one. On the other side is Superman, the noble, more innocent one. Wonder Woman would be the point between the two, drawing everything together with strength and truth, and unwavering duty. I would view her as a leader more than the others — but that’s just me. There are not many characters that encompass that feeling, which to me sets her apart regardless of her gender.

YES! That is how Wonder Woman should work in the trinity.

While Batman and Superman’s origins are basically set in concrete, Diana’s still needed to be completely set, and along with her richly inspiring background, it’s extremely intriguing to explore for artists and writers. I feel very glad at the chance to be one who gets to do it.

NO! Diana’s origins were just fine the way they were. Clay brought to life by the gods is far more interesting than another of Zeus’ failures to keep it in his toga.

The interview ends mentioning a character called Lady Powerpunch, and Jerzy Drozd is now sad he didn’t come up with the name first. From what I gathered from the answer she isn’t your usual thin superheroine but just by that name I want to know more. Overall I can’t really judge since I haven’t read the comic but from the interview it sounds like Renae De Liz knows more about Wonder Woman than the current DC writers. Maybe if this series go over well they’ll put her and her husband on that title. Because I like to see a good team stay together, after all. The series is available through DC’s or ComiXology’s digital comic service, which is good if you have income and I do not. So let me know if it’s any good, would you?

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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