Wonder Woman is so close to release that it’s hard not to be giddy about the heroine’s first solo film. The first female superhero deserves a great movie, and hopefully this will be a smash hit. I’ve been excited for her movie since she appeared in Batman V. Superman and can’t wait to see her own movie. Patty Jenkins (director of Wonder Woman) has stated that this movie will be Diana Prince’s origin. So what better way to get pumped for the series than by reading the best interpretations of her beginnings? These are the five best versions of Wonder Woman’s famous origin story.
Wonder Woman Earth One
Of all the reimaginings, this one is definitely the most mature. It also has a very unique perspective on the Amazon Princess. Writer Grant Morrison decides to focus on how Wonder Woman’s sexuality clashes with Man’s world. This doesn’t quite have the epic scope as some of the other stories have, but it’s more character driven and has a good sense of humor. Plus, Yanick Paquette’s artwork is just stunning. I’ve written a detailed review of Wonder Woman Earth One (shameless plug) that you can check out for yourself. Morrison and Paquette’s time with Diana is a strong start to this list.
Wonder Woman Year One
At the beginning of DC Rebirth, Greg Rucka was tasked to write Wonder Woman. He split the biweekly series into two storylines: “The Lies/The Truth” with Liam Sharp (which is a fantastic examination of Wonder Woman’s mythology), and “Year One” with Nicola Scott. “Year One” goes through the same standard beats that most comic fans would expect. However, Rucka smartly focuses on the relationships between all the characters. It’s as much an origin story for Steve Trevor and Etta Candy as it is for Diana Prince. And we get to see all the characters grow together and build on these unique connections as the series continues. If you haven’t been picking this series up, you owe to yourself to jump on board.
The Legend of Wonder Woman
Writer and artist, Renee De Liz, along with her husband, inker and colorist Ray Dillon, created what can best be described as an epic fantasy tale for Wonder Woman. De Liz seamlessly blends large scale mythological elements with Diana Prince’s origin and the scale of DC’s history. The comic contains gorgeous art, and heartfelt, funny writing that makes it the perfect all-ages book on this list. I’ve also written an extensive review on the series (another shameless plug) that you can check out. This series has a little bit for everybody: continuity porn for the hardcore DC fans, an accessible narrative for new comers, beautiful artwork, and an emphasis on all ages storytelling. An absolute must for any fan, both old and new.
Wonder Woman (1987)
George Perez defined the Diana of Themyscira origin story in 1987. His version is often considered to be the pinnacle of Diana’s modern origin. It’s the one referenced the most in continuity, and the pedestal to compare all Wonder Woman origin stories against. And you know what? It still really holds up. It is the reimagining that gave Wonder Woman much more depth and complexity that lingered on later in her history. You can see Perez’s influence in all the stories mentioned before. And of course, since it George Perez, it’s beautifully drawn. They’re collecting the series in trade paperback format just in time for the movie.
Wonder Woman: The True Amazon
Writer and artist Jill Thompson takes the traditional Wonder Woman origin and completely flips it on its head. Rather than hitting the same beats that fans usually know (Diana grows up on Themyscira, she’s told not to trust Mankind, Steve Trevor lands on the island, Diana feels that she needs to help mankind, so she goes with him, super heroics ensue), Thompson instead decides to make Wonder Woman’s origin more akin to a Greek fable. Diana is not portrayed as immediately kind and compassionate, but rather spoiled and a little bratty. Still a very likable character, but handled very differently. It’s a very internal story that has real character development and growth. It also has some of the best art in recent years. The comic is watercolored, and that gives a mystical aesthetic to the story. It’s a wonderful comic to read that handles the origin story in a vastly different way. The absolute must buy for all comic fans.