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Monday, October 10, 2011 

More on the darkening of WW's relaunched series

The Nashua Telegraph fawned over Brian Azzarello's relaunch of Wonder Woman, with the writer and editor claiming it's not a horror story, yet there's plenty to indicate it's not exactly something a wide audience could warm to either:
Early buzz labeled the new “Wonder Woman” as a horror book, but Azzarello disagreed with that assessment.

“You need the good to define the bad,” he said. “And that’s where she comes in.”

DC Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras also rejected the label in a recent interview, saying the presence of horror elements just means “there’s more at stake.”

And there’s no question that the first issue is a shocker.

We see Diana – that’s what she asks to be called – in a bloody battle with a mythological twist. Meanwhile, a Greco-Roman god is impaled on a spear. Another uses human sacrifice to achieve his aims.
Even when George Perez, Greg Potter and Len Wein rebooted WW in 1987, they didn't resort to that kind of gross bloodletting. Yes, there were darker elements involved, but they still didn't go out of their way to write it all for shock's sake.
We learn very little about Diana in the first issue. Azzarello did warn that Wonder Woman’s usual romantic interest, Steve Trevor, won’t play any role in his version. There will be a Paradise Island, he said, but hinted darkly, “It’s paradise only in name. … It’s not a happy place.”
And it very likely won't be an enjoyable book to read. They also got something inaccurate by today's standards: Steve Trevor hasn't been WW's official boyfriend since Crisis on Infinite Earths and the reboot of the Amazon princess' series in 1987. Rather, he became more of a father/uncle figure for her, and Etta Candy, reinvented as a USAF officer, became Steve's ladyfriend and later wife. If neither he nor any of the other established cast of characters for WW's supporting cast are present - not even Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis - then what's the point of this relaunch? Supporting and recurring characters like them are what make for human drama, something DC supposedly wants to do, and without Steve or even the rest of the cast, I'm not sure they'll have that potential. And focusing the series on gore galore doesn't make for a wide audience draw either.

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