With less than a month until our favourite warrior princess makes her highly anticipated solo appearance on the silver screen, all eyes are currently on Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins, but lest we forget the revolution that has taken place in DC’s recent Rebirth shake up of the Themysciran Titan.
Rebirth has been a massive success story for DC, the 2016 relaunch heralded the end of the The New 52 run, returning the DCU to a time prior to the Flashpoint Paradox, whilst still incorporating elements from New 52, mostly its continuity. The principal architect of Rebirth, superstar scribe Geoff Johns described the relaunch as – “Re-laying the groundwork for DC’s future , Whilst also celebrating its past and present. It’s not about throwing anything away, in fact it’s quite the opposite”
Rebirth Wonder Woman finds Diana caught in a dilemma, in that she is no longer able to distinguish between reality and falsehood when it comes to pertaining her past. Is she really the daughter of Zeus or was she formed from clay by her Mother Hippolyta and given life by a pantheon of Greek Gods. These questions and more have been supplicated over the course of the Rebirth issues entitled “The Lies” as Diana searches for the truth behind her existence.
The WW Rebirth series has alternated each issue between her present and past, with a retelling of her canonical origin story in the “Year One” chapters by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott, and the contemporary tale of Diana’s trials to discover the truth behind “The Lies” by Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp.
But, my amazing Amazonian associates, this post isn’t primarily about our illustriously immortal idol, this post is dedicated to the talented artist who has brought Rebirth Diana to glorious life right before our very eyes, for me, Diana’s world has never been more vivid and evocative before Liam Sharp’s awe-inspiring visuals. There have been many astoundingly talented artists who have enamoured me with their take on the Amazon Ambassador over the years – Nicola Scott, Phil Jimenez, Amanda Conner, Brian Bolland, and of course the great George Perez, but Liam’s astonishing eye for detail and composition has catapulted him to the fore for this particular WW fanatic.
British artist Liam Sharp made his debut in another of the Precinct’s very favourite things – science fiction anthology comic – 2000 AD in the 1980’s, his work included Judge Dredd, Finn and the A.B.C Warriors. He has also worked for Marvel on titles such as Death’s Head II, X-Men and DC Comics on issues of Batman and Superman, and the stunning Testament series for Vertigo.
Liam’s current run on Wonder Woman will come to an end, alongside Greg Rucka in issue #25 when writer Shea Fontana and artist Mirka Andolfo take over duties, who recently brought us DC Super Hero Girls. Though we are always happy and willing to give any new team a chance to wow us with their take on the Themysciran Titan, the loss of Liam’s wondrous visuals on the title is a sad thing nonetheless.
With that in mind, just yesterday Liam posted on his Facebook page an exclusive look at his upcoming pencils for issue #23 of WW, and with his kind permission we have brought these astounding masterpieces to you, fellow agents of Precinct1313. Liam, we salute your artistic genius good Sir, and very much look forward to your future endeavours.
Visuals courtesy of Liam Sharp and DC Comics. Wonder Woman is copyright DC Comics.
You may have noticed that we spend a lot of our time here in Precinct1313’s legendary comic crypts discussing the awesome Amazon – Wonder Woman, in fact well over 50% of the articles emanating from these creative catacombs are about the Themysciran Titan, due to the fact that she is, without a shadow of a doubt, our favourite comic-book character.
In the past few days we have received several PM’s from readers asking us for our opinion on the recent news that the venerable Princess of Themyscira is bisexual. Of course our quick answer to this question would be, “Great Hera, where have you been for the past 75 years, this is not new, Diana has always been bisexual”. It may have been implied more often than actually spoken out loud, but the signs were always there, both from her humble beginnings in the 1940’s (where, let’s be honest the allusions were so obvious, you’d have to be blind to miss them) to the actual Greek mythology that she originates from.
If you don’t necessarily closely follow the comic book scene, allow us to enlighten you on recent events that have led up to this, frankly ridiculous furore. DC Comics, that bastion of scintillating superheroes, recently softly rebooted it’s universe of characters with an event known as ‘Rebirth’.
This event has been a huge success for the company, thanks not only to fantastic storylines, great art and a reverence for their characters lengthy history, but also because they had actually listened to their fans, who had been very vocal over the direction the company had been taking the heroes and villains over the years, some missteps had been made, and Rebirth was their attempt to bring their much loved characters back to a time when their popularity soared like the Man of Steel himself.
In fact Rebirth has turned out to be the most popular and profitable event in comics since forever, with DC Comics currently holding a huge market share in the comic book industry and soundly trumping their closest rival Marvel month in and out, they are currently holding 44% share in total comics sold worldwide, with Marvel sitting at 32%.
And one of their biggest hits has been the Rebirth issues of our favourite Hellenic Herald. Wonder Woman: Rebirth has been getting rave reviews each and every issue, the storyline by sensational scribe Greg Rucka has been sublime, alternating each issue between her origin story and modern day adventures, with awe inspiring art from Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott making every issue a majestic masterpiece.
Greg Rucka has recently proclaimed that ‘Yes, Diana has had same sex relationships’, in an interview with Comicosity he stated – “It’s supposed to be paradise (her home island of Themyscira) You’re supposed to be able to live happily, in a context where one can live happily, and part of what an individual needs for that happiness is to have a partner, to have a fulfilling, romantic and sexual relationship, and in this case the only options are women. But an Amazon doesn’t look at another Amazon and say ‘you’re gay’ they don’t know the concept exists”
The link to the full interview is above and if you have the time, it’s an interesting read. The context has always been clear though, Diana, though her origin has changed slightly over the years (child of clay or daughter of Zeus) spent millennia on an isolated island populated by just women. She had never met a man, so it was obvious that she would have had same sex relations with other Amazons, as stated earlier, this was always implied, and in some cases (Grant Morrison’s Wonder Woman: Earth One being the most recent) was actually written about.
In the 1940’s when Wonder Woman was first unleashed onto the world, the suffragette movement was beginning to gain tract and Diana who emerged triumphantly from the mind of her creator William Moulton Marston was at the forefront of this. Marston specifically created a female superhero to counter the dominant male oriented comic book market, as strong and smart as her male counterparts but filled with compassion and love of nature and the world around her, basically a deeper more rounded creation than any of the male superheroes.
It was in fact Marston’s wife Elizabeth, and Olive Byrne (who lived with them, in an extended relationship) that inspired the creation of Diana. Marston was a psychologist as well as a writer, and it was through this that he determined that women overall were more honest than men in certain situations, and could work faster and more accurately.
In an interview in a 1943 issue of ‘The American Scholar’ Marston wrote – “Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender and peace loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of perceived weakness. The answer was to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman, plus the allure of a good and beautiful woman”
Wonder Woman being bisexual doesn’t change the character in any way whatsoever, it has always been part of her make up, it’s her heritage and should have zero bearing on whether people derive enjoyment from her continuing tales of fortitude and heroism. DC Comics are not jumping on a bandwagon, they haven’t all of a sudden decided to make Diana bisexual to be hip and trendy, this is what she has always been. Wonder Woman is an extraordinarily important character, the original female Superhero, THE progenitor in her field, a shining example of inclusivity and empowerment and her sexual orientation should hold no relevance in this.