In the course of talking to comic creators this year, I started to think about their unique talents and what I think they would be best suited to. Inspired by all kinds of wonderful ideas I’ve seen online and heard from creators, I’ve put together my New 52. These are the 52 books I would publish if DC’s offerings were up to me and, as my friends and I have had a good time discussing them, I thought I would share them with you.

I tried to consider the actual feasibility of these titles, not only in the sense of immediate sales but in their ability to expand DC’s brand long-term. I also recognize that this is a dramatically simplified version of what DC actually has to do. As such, I made a couple of rules for myself.

First, as I don’t have the same knowledge of the creators’ availability and timeliness as an actual editor, I decided that I would allow myself access to any writer currently working in comics, but that I could only assign a creator to one book. Second, I tried not to put a writer on the same book that they’ve already worked on, though some were moved to similar concepts or allowed to expand short work they’ve already done. Finally, while an actual relaunch might do well to include some new books, I limited myself to preexisting titles and IPs for this project.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, on why I’m right, why I clearly screwed up, who should be illustrating the series, etc. But, regardless, I hope you enjoy.

While it largely alienated the existing fan base, if there’s one thing Brian Azzerello’s Wonder Woman did, it’s that it made Wonder Woman a major seller for DC again. Alongside books like Animal Man and Batman, Wonder Woman was one of the consistent stand outs of the New 52 for many. In considering how I would relaunch DC’s titles, I couldn’t help but think that I had to repeat that success, even if I should like to appeal a little more to long-time fans.

We need a Wonder Woman who can appeal to a mass audience while retaining what makes her unique, and we need a writer with both the skill and the reputation to ensure its success. If Wonder Woman is going to stand up with the heavy hitters of the New Year’s 52, we’re going to need a show of force.

 

WONDER WOMAN BY G. WILLOW WILSON

Like her fellow Trinity-members, in the New Year’s 52 Diana is already starring in two other books, Sensation Comics and Wonder Woman/Aquaman. The former looks at Wonder Woman as a diplomat, the latter at Wonder Woman as a legend. For the core Wonder Woman title, I want to look at Diana as a hero.

Wonder Woman: Hero since 1941.

Sensation will feature Wonder Woman’s staff at the Themysciran embassy and Wonder Woman/Aquaman would likely put an emphasis on the Olympian gods. For Wonder Woman, I think we’re best off looking at Diana’s friends and family. This would be the book where we see Diana being an Amazon or spending time with ordinary humans (like she often did during the Perez years). I also see the kinds of challenges Diana faces in this title being a little more varied than the others. She may well deal with tyrants and dictators as well as mythical beasts, but, while I think she should engage those threats in this title as well, this is the book where we get the chance to see Wonder Woman being a superhero. Villains like the Cheetah and Dr. Psycho could show up here and we could introduce new enemies for the Amazon Princess.

Through it all I want this to be the inspirational Wonder Woman book. Obviously I want those great West Wing kind of inspiring moments in Sensation and I think WW/A’s ability to deconstruct negative ideas of the heroes could be inspiring, but this is where Wonder Woman gets grounded. As such, I think it would be nice if the stories were a little more welcoming to younger readers. I don’t see this as part of the All-Ages subline, but it’s the kind of book that if a tween girl or well-meaning parent picked up, it wouldn’t scar anyone for life.

Another thing about Wonder Woman that I want to attack in all three books is the idea of her being distant and unrelatable. She doesn’t get this nearly as much as Superman, but the popular perception is still far from the reality. Strange as it sounds, I honestly think one of the greatest choices of Greg Rucka’s run was putting Diana in a t-shirt. There’s something about the juxtaposition of casual dress and the bearing of Wonder Woman that is not only beautiful to look at but to read and process. It made I want a Wonder Woman who is personal, the kind of hero who doesn’t just rescue the city from a monster but helps a child find their parents in the aftermath. I want a Wonder Woman with interests (even if she’s too busy for hobbies), someone who you talk to and walk away loving, whether you’re a teacher or a construction worker or a member of the Klan. This is the book where those winged sandals hit the ground.

Weird Diana is the best Diana.

It was easy to link G. Willow Wilson to this title, she’s one of the biggest feminist success stories of the last year. Ms. Marvel is a runaway hit and Wilson’s assured characterization has ensured Kamala Khan’s success long after the novelty of the series has faded. It’s a fantastic comic that demonstrates not only Wilson’s talents but that there’s a huge place for female characters and women readers in comics if you’re just willing to treat both with respect.

Wilson is fantastic at appealing to pathos without getting cheesy and her off-beat way of looking at the world would be interesting for Wonder Woman.

Nevertheless, while Wilson was the obvious choice from a marketing perspective, once I started thinking about what I actually wanted from this title, it became clear that she would be the right choice even if she were an unknown, indie creator. Wilson is superb at mixing the fantastic and the mundane into exiting, adorable stories. I wanted to focus on Wonder Woman as a relatable character and Wilson has proven that she can project the awe of heroes without losing the core of their being in books like Ms. Marvel, Superman, and Vixen: Return of the Lion. Wilson also demonstrated a wild imagination worthy of an Amazon Princess in Air, a strange and wonderful series combining acrophobia, fears of terrorism, dimensional travel, Quetzalcoatl, and Amelia Earhart. Clearly she’s capable of working with legendary Greek hero fighting robot swan women and size-changing scientist/gorilla/circus strongwomen in the middle of Boston.

 

There is another small thing that I think would be interesting if Wilson wrote Wonder Woman. Though I kind of hate bringing it up because it receives way more attention than I think it should, Wilson converted to Islam in college and observes hijab. Wilson has been honest that the results of this decision have been interesting at times, and that clearly marking herself as a white Muslim woman has been an odd reality to navigate, for herself, other white people, and even some Muslims.

“I wasn’t born Kamala. I was born as a Zoe.” – G. Willow Wilson

The reason I bring it up is that she’s not the only one who wears a visible marker of her faith. As an Amazonian Hellenist, Diana, at all times, wears silver bracers to remind of the enslavement of her people. Particularly as I would like to portray Wonder Woman as a person of Mediterranean descent rather than the generic caucasian appearance she usually possesses, I think Wilson’s experiences in this regard could make for some really interesting stories.

The Amazons’ bracers remind them both of their time of servitude and their promise to live free and in harmony with the gods’ creation.

 

Wilson is one of the industry’s rising stars. Her joy, her creativity, and her honest kindness all mark her as someone who would be a fantastic match for Wonder Woman, especially as I would want the line to portray her. Since I made this selection, Wilson announced an exclusive contract with Marvel, but I think she’s one of the writers who could help make Wonder Woman a respected, powerful character in the modern environment. It would be awesome. Tell me it wouldn’t…

Tomorrow… Don’t call him Kid…

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