Panelology is a weekly podcast about comics. We talk about current books, what we're looking forward to, and how to get into reading comics in the first place.

Wonder Woman: Earth One (DC Comics, 2016; OGN)

Of the Earth One titles I’ve read so far, I suspect Wonder Woman will be the least shocking with respect to changes to Diana’s story. That might have something to do with the same history of shifting origins Rucka has focused on in his Rebirth run, but that’s a conversation for another day.

You’ll recognize the main beats of this version of Wonder Woman’s origin. Steve Trevor crashes on the Amazons’ island. Wonder Woman finds him. She tends to his injuries. She helps him return to his world. The biggest difference is that Diana tends to him in secret, and she openly defies Hippolyta to spirit Steve to safety. At the book’s start, Diana is on trial in Paradise Island for her crimes.

As with other Earth One titles, while the first volume’s story is interesting for an origin book, the art steals the show. Yanick Paquette’s designs for Paradise Island bring ‘70s sci-fi gloss to the Amazons’ traditional, idyllic landscape. The result is something glimmering and utopian, a world that does not feel out of time as much as it feels like an alien society. It even evoke’s the era’s passive weirdness—Amazon warriors ride armored kangaroos into battle. And the lack of explanation serves to normalize these elements. Embracing that smooth, glossy finish, Nathan Fairbairn’s colors are clean, with subtle textures.

I’m seeing a recurring pattern in DC’s Earth One books.  Don’t expect a lot of new story or forward motion in the first volume of a title. Expect a shift in status quo that paves the way for the next chapter of the story. Be prepared for changes to traditional elements of origins, but don’t worry—the core of the character will be there by the first chapter’s end. And expect astounding visuals. As long as you’re cool with that general formula and in the mood for a retelling of Wonder Woman’s origin, then you’ll find something to like about this book. It’s a solid-enough first chapter, but I’m more interested in seeing how Wonder Woman: Earth One develops going forward.

Oh, and if you haven't gone to see the movie...what's wrong with you?  It's fantastic.

Collected in

  • Wonder Woman: Earth One, Vol. 1 (OGN)


Writer: Grant Morrison | Artist: Yanick Paquette | Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn | Letterer: Todd Klein

Daredevil: Chinatown (Marvel Comics, 2015; #1-5)

Manifest Destiny: Flora & Fauna (Image Comics, 2013; #1-6)