THIS WEEK: A star-studded creative team delivers a new Wonder Woman #1 that feels like an intense and powerful start for a fresh Diana Prince story in 2023.

Note: the review below contains spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comics in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdict.

Wonder Woman #1Wonder Woman #1

Writer: Tom King
Artist: Daniel Sampere
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

I saw writer Tom King on a panel at Baltimore Comic-Con recently about what it’s like to write established characters. It was an interesting panel with a lot of fun anecdotes, and then it wrapped up with a question about which is the hardest character to write. One of King’s answer was…Wonder Woman, a character for whom which he was about to takeover the ongoing title (you know, the one that is out this week and the subject of this very review). 

Among King’s list of reasons why writing her was tough was that Wonder Woman has had a sort of fluid continuity wherein her origin has changed often and it’s tough to pin down some of her foundational elements. Well, if King struggled in scripting this first issue, it’s certainly not evident from the quality of the book. This week’s Wonder Woman #1 is a thoughtful and intense read, one with a smart premise that enables the creative team to explore the character on a micro level as well as the implications of the Amazons existing in the world of 2023 on a marco scale. And I thought the execution of the strong premise was just about perfect.

The premise here is that a rogue Amazon who was being harassed at a bar in Montana started brawling with her attackers, ultimately leaving all the men in the bar dead. This, of course, becomes a national news story about a powerful Amazon murdering men. There’s national and political backlash as a result, and the government makes some questionable choices. The book in part follows Sgt. Steel, who is tasked with essentially rounding up and deporting all Amazons under federal mandate established amid the panicked backlash to the incident in Montana. 

Using Steel in this way enables the book to play out the public, political and law enforcement reaction to all of it in a seamless and coherent way throughout the span of one oversized #1 comic. What results is a thoughtful book that is evocative of so much energy in the national climate of 2023, with shades of how politicized immigration and crime and gender have all become in our country. Again, it’s all written very thoughtfully, to the point it left me thinking about this comic for days after reading, while also planning to do a re-read before Wonder Woman’s second issue. 

Wonder Woman #1

If that wasn’t enough though, the script also enables Sampere to cut loose with the art on some truly excellent action set pieces. The first is a federal hit squad using what are essentially new Amazon-piercing bullets in the field. The second, meanwhile, is one that wise readers likely expected from the start — Sgt. Steel and his cronies coming into conflict with Diana Prince. The whole book expertly builds to a splash page, revealing our hero’s first appearance in this run within the new anti-Amazon normal, and man is it satisfying.

The action is all crisp, the characters well-written, and the use of Wonder Woman’s lasso in particular clever. From there we get a quick chat with Steve Trevor, and the last page reveal of who is presumably the big bad for this run (or at least for this first story arc). All told, I think this was just an excellent debut issue, one that’s right up there with last week’s Birds of Prey #1 or February’s Superman #1 for the best relaunch of a major DC title this year.

Wonder Woman #1

Verdict: BUY

The Round-Up

  • For the first time in recent memory, the Green Lantern family of comics gets a second ongoing title with the debut of this month’s Green Lantern – War Journal #1, which focuses on John Stewart (the main book is currently featuring Hal Jordan). And it’s a great start. The creative team here is writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson, artist Montos, colorist Adriana Lucas, and letterer Dave Sharpe. This is a serious book that starts a storyline around an old (and very scary cosmic threat) while the character focus is very much on John back on Earth. I thought the art in this issue was especially outstanding, gelling with the book’s other elements well and really elevating the tone of the whole thing. It does what any good first issue should, piquing my interest to follow this story through what’s to come.
  • We continue go get a sort of WildStorm-esque take on new character creation in 2023 from The Vigil #5, and it’s excellent. This book is from the creative team of writer Ram V., artists Sid Kotian and Dev Pramanik, colorist Rain Beredo, and letterer Dave Sharpe. There’s been an interesting build in this book where we haven’t quite found out what’s going on with the members of this team. We’ve got enough info to follow the action and plenty of intriguing tidbits, but there’s been a sense (to me at least) that there was more going on here. Well, in this issue we get the more going on here, and it’s pretty intriguing. This book is definitely a must-read for fans of comics like WildStorm and Checkmate, a group to which I count myself a member. This one is slated to end next month, but hey, who knows, maybe we’ll see more of this story and these characters down the line. I hope we do.
  • This week’s Harley Quinn – Black White Redder #3 is the best type of anthology comic — one where you can’t quite pinpoint which the best story is because they’re all pretty great. It opens with Deeply Strange Adventures from writer Gail Simone, artist David Baldeon, and letterer Ferran Delgado, which asks (and subsequently answers) the question — what would happen if Harley Quinn knocked Adam Strange out of the way and got Hoovered up by his Zeta Beam. I thought the buildup narration by Strange was hilarious, but the whole thing was good. The next story is Stacked Deck by writer Christopher Condon and artist Jacob Phillips (with letterer Steve Wands), a fast-rising team in comics, and it’s a good read too, one that takes the psychiatrist side of Harley more seriously, while giving Phillips a chance to draw characters like Captain Cold and The Joker, too. Finally, we end with The Rebound from writers Aditya Bidikar and Juni Ba, which is drawn by Ba and lettered by Bidikar. Ba is one of the most stylish artists in comics and a singular talent, and teaming with Bidikar and going nuts with Harley serves his aesthetic well. It all adds up to a really satisfying set of stories in one book.

Miss any of our earlier reviews? Check out our full archive!


  1. Wow. Diana’s blonde now???? LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. Or is it not Diana at all?! Is it a blonde wig?! Anywho, I’m trying this comic for sure.

  2. I had a hard time with the first issue of this “new direction” for a number of reasons.

    1) It’s ground that has been tread before: see the Amazons Attack! series from 2007. It is even referenced. So why would the US government get more outraged over a few deaths in Montana than they did over a full-scale invasion back then? There is an internal consistency that doesn’t make sense.

    2) I have a very hard time believing that such a bill could get passed by Congress, let alone so fast. The bureaucracy of Washington is almost a work of art in how slowly everything moves. The meetings, the committees, the testimonies, the floor debates, the whipping, the deals for support, the actual vote… Something like this would be a long and torturous process. (And that isn’t even getting into political parties. It would be politicized all the livelong day! There is no way it wouldn’t. I’m sure there would be filibusters and objections and riders attached and more. All of that would only lengthen the process.)

    3) We see mass shootings almost daily here in the US. It’s disgusting, but it’s true. Due to that level of violence, the general public has become desensitized to it. I just don’t think there would be that much outrage over nineteen men in a bar fight in a small town in Montana. I’m sure it would get a bit of attention, but then the next mass shooting would happen and the spotlight would shift.

    4) Sarge Steel behaved totally out of character from other comics I’ve seen him portrayed in. Steel has always been shown as a government man, but not one without a conscience. He has been shown to ignore orders he doesn’t believe in. I don’t think he’s ever been portrayed as someone who is so cavalier and flippant about killing people as he is here. And he’s never been shown this blatantly sexist. Also, he has held Cabinet-level positions before. What would he be doing out in the field? What agency does he work for that he can go from doing foreign counterintelligence and espionage to domestic enforcement so easily?

    5) The police/feds murdering people who were resisting? Taking children away from their parents? How was that none of it captured on a phone and shared on social media instantly? There would be more than “reports” as the anchorman suggests. There would be proof. I can’t tell if those are supposed to be videos from the TV or just a montage of images being shown to the reader with the voiceover. But I have a hard time believing the protests would be so soft and fall away so quickly.

    6) I don’t know what governmental agencies would be at play here. I’m guessing DHS and ICE would be involved – given the work, that is the department/agency AXE would fall under, but it’s never really made clear. It seems like AXE is its own thing, which doesn’t make sense. I don’t know what kind of time, money and resources it would take to round up the Amazons who didn’t go voluntarily (is it ever indicated exactly how many ARE in the US?), but given how long DHS and ICE take to deport people in our world, I can’t imagine it would be a quick, cheap, or effortless affair.

    7) The unprecedented nature of the Act is a little mind-boggling. Before it even started, I’m sure there would be all kinds of lawsuits brought to determine the actual constitutionality of such a bill. And we as a country have never forcefully deported an entire group of people from our soil in modern times (though I know there are plenty of close-minded idiots who would love it if we did). The closest we came were the internment camps of Japanese-Americans during WWII (and that constitutionality was finally overturned in 2018).

    So yes. This issue did tap into a lot of the social and political anxieties in the US today. But I don’t think it really did those issues service.There are nuances at play that just weren’t conveyed properly. The fact that all these elements kept pulling me out of the story signifies, to me, it wasn’t successful in its goal to entertain and engross.

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