Reimagining the Golden Age in Wonder Woman: Earth One

When it involves comics historical past, there aren’t many issues stranger than the tales that exist for heroes that obtained their begins in the 1930s and ’40s. There are clearly lots of causes for this—comics have been a model new medium and superheroes have been a brand-new idea, issues like continuity and shared universes did not exist—you get the concept.

The “classic” tales for the first era of superheroes are all slightly wild, however the wildest of the bunch all are likely to have one thing to do with Wonder Woman. Diana has a selected predilection for the unusual and weird, whether or not it got here in the type of repurposed historic mythology or implausible, vaguely outlined pulp sci-fi know-how. The additional again you go in Diana’s historical past, the extra topsy-turvy issues begin to get.

Now, trendy comics do a reasonably good job dealing with this kind of factor. After all, there’s sure to be some adaptation and a few streamlining over the eighty-some-odd years since the daybreak of the Golden Age, proper? Superhero tales are all the time altering and evolving, that is a part of what makes them timeless and enjoyable. But typically, in sure instances, there may be actual worth in wanting again at these previous, loopy, bizarre, fantastic tales.


Free of the constraints of any previous or future continuity, set far outdoors of the common DC Universe, the Earth One tales are capable of take superheroes you could or might not already know by coronary heart and provides them a bit of little bit of a remix. In Diana’s case, meaning making an attempt to see if and the place all the disparate elements of her historical past match collectively, and the result’s a Wonder Woman like we have by no means seen earlier than.

Among the most distinct variations is the Amazons’ degree of technological development. In this world, Themyscira is a tradition that has gone leaps and bounds previous their conventional historic Greek origins and began creating tech that explains all types of various legacies from the Wonder Woman canon. The invisible jet is not a campy holdover from SENSATION COMICS #1 right here, and as an alternative is an virtually alien-flavored, absolutely weaponized spaceship. The purple ray know-how is again, however taken to an entire new degree, crafted right into a feat of Amazonian engineering and medical science and developed over hundreds of years. What’s extra, it does not work on Steve Trevor the means it famously did again in his introduction in the ’40s.

The Amazons journey armored kangaroos into battle, one thing that was initially launched all the method again in 1942 and since developed into an on-again-off-again operating joke. They’re undoubtedly not a joke right here—in reality, they’re truly fairly terrifying. The Holiday Girls are a sorority as soon as extra with Etta Candy as their de facto chief, a task she hasn’t taken on in no less than a few many years. You get the concept. The dream of the Golden and Silver Ages is alive and properly right here on Earth One.

Now clearly, there’s extra to telling an attractive Earth One story than simply digging up previous items of lengthy forgotten continuity. These remixes and revivals come hand-in-hand with a couple of main penalties. With Themyscira’s lifestyle much more rigidly outlined and with the island’s society rather more superior, Diana’s arrival in Man’s World is…nicely, multifaceted to say the least. For one, the tradition shock is perhaps much more intense than it ever has been earlier than, as a result of the guidelines of the Amazonian society are that rather more strictly established. But it goes nicely past that. For the individuals of Man’s World, this can be a Diana that is somewhat more durable to simply accept.

This is not a wide-eyed, curious, utterly altruistic Wonder Woman. This is a Wonder Woman who has a fully-formed opinion on the means the world is meant to work, and by her estimation, the world of Men is doing issues flawed.

Of course, simply because she believes the remainder of the world to be incorrect doesn’t suggest she is totally sure that Themyscira is in the proper, both. Despite all their know-how and altogether peaceable lifestyle, Diana is deeply unconvinced by her mom’s staunch traditionalism. This is the place it is potential to see the coronary heart of Diana’s character, Earth One variation or in any other case.

No matter how modified, reconfigured, or pulled from a number of sources her historical past turns into in any given story—regardless of which Golden Age threads get picked up and woven into the tapestry—at the finish of the day, the drive that drives Diana is all the time stemming from the similar place: the stalwart have to do what’s proper for everybody, not simply the individuals she believes to be most in want of assist.

Wonder Woman: Earth One may really feel a bit of bit like falling down the rabbit gap in case your concept of how Diana ought to work is constructed solely from trendy tales, positive. But when you’re in the temper to take a deep dive into a few of the weirder corners of comics historical past, that is undoubtedly the place to go.

Meg Downey writes about the DC Universe for and covers DC’s Legends of Tomorrow for the #DCTV Couch Club. Look for her on Twitter at @rustypolished.

WONDER WOMAN: EARTH ONE VOL. 1 by Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette is obtainable in print or as a digital download. Look for the latest Earth One graphic novel, GREEN LANTERN: EARTH ONE, now in comedian outlets.

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