The Comics That Inspired Wonder Woman’s Big Twist

The rest of the series plays out like an action-packed family drama for the gods. Apollo usurps Zeus’ throne on Olympus but is challenged by the First Born, Zeus’s very first bastard. Hera is forced to get over her petty jealousy and ally with Wonder Woman, who has become dedicated to gathering Zeus’ wayward children and protecting Zeus’s latest offspring who still resides in the womb of a human woman named Zola.

The New 52 Wonder Woman series is arguably the darkest version of Wonder Woman ever told. In order to explain how the Amazon population remains stable, Azzarello drew fro the gritty “history” of Herodotus, who described the Amazons as an all-female tribe of merciless marauders who would rape and murder any man they encountered. In a controversial retcon, Azzarello turned a seafaring version of this history into the lifestyle of DC Comics’ Amazon, who would capture ships who ran afoul of Themiscyra, “have their way with,” and then murder the men and dispose of any male offspring that were born from the encounter.

While the Amazon origin is certainly the darkest in the run, the entire series is full of bloody battles and images and tone more in line with a horror story than an epic fantasy. However, though the tale may be grim, the action gory, and the characters unnerving, Wonder Woman remains a hero throughout. This isn’t Wonder Woman losing her way and snapping someone’s neck as she did in the lead up to Infinite Crisis. This is Wonder Woman having her entire existence and identity upended and building a found family of fellow misfits around her and refusing to back down when that family is threatened.

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