Justice League: Gods and Monsters – Wonder Woman #1 Prequel Comic Premieres Today


The massive ramp up to the upcoming animated film Justice League: Gods and Monsters continues with a new line of prequel comics. We’ve already had some animated shorts, but it seems like those were meant to give us a taste of the movie’s present. The comics take us into the past, setting up these new versions of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.

Justice League: Gods and Monsters – Wonder Woman #1 debuted today on all of the digital outlets. Three part stories for Batman and Superman have already been released, and Wonder Woman will get two more digital issues over the next two days. The full Wonder Woman book will also be released as a single issue in print form on August 5.

This new Wonder Woman is Bekka of the New Gods, the granddaughter of Highfather, and this first issue reveals that she was transported to Earth via boom tube in the early 1960s. It seems a lot of versions of Wonder Woman are picking up on this idea of her as a hero that’s been around for while; there are rumours that this is the direction Batman v Superman is taking with her as well, a sort of immortal demigod wandering the Earth situation. I like it a lot better in this alternate version of the character than as allegedly the definitive film version.

I won’t spoil the comic, but it starts out with a rad fight with a giant lizard monster so if that’s your jam, and of course it is because everyone loves giant lizard monster battles, then this is the book for you. The story itself is interesting because it starts out hopeful and slowly veers into disillusionment. I’m curious to see where things go over the next couple of issues, and how much of this hope Wonder Woman can retain or restore. The Justice League: Gods and Monsters universe has seemed pretty dark thus far, but the Wonder Woman short was a lot more fun than the Batman or Superman ones, a huge romp of a fight instead of some sort of dark twist. I’m hoping that Wonder Woman will be the more hopeful, fun member of the team.

The comic also touches on something I didn’t love about the short, the sexual focus on the character. It’s such a tricky thing in this medium because while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a woman who likes sex, it’s been done so terribly so many times in the superhero world, ending up far more exploitive than empowering. I’m hoping they can strike a good balance with it, because it’s an interesting characteristic in the boldly taking what she wants sort of way they’ve been playing it. In the comic, it was one quick moment rather than something regularly referenced as it was in the short, and it made for an amusing scene in the comic that also informed the character. It’s a hard line to walk, and hopefully the film and the show that’s set to follow it will do so well.

Overall, it’s a decent comic, nicely written by J.M. DeMatteis and Bruce Timm with some enjoyable art by Rick Leonardi and Dan Green. Also, the cover by Jae Lee and June Chung is pretty dang gorgeous. It’s going to look fantastic on the comic racks, for sure. You can read it digitally now and over the next couple of days, wait for the print issue in August, or just watch the movie cold, I suppose.

Published by Tim Hanley

Tim Hanley is a comic book historian and the author of Wonder Woman Unbound, Investigating Lois Lane, The Many Lives of Catwoman, and Betty and Veronica: The Leading Ladies of Riverdale.

6 thoughts on “Justice League: Gods and Monsters – Wonder Woman #1 Prequel Comic Premieres Today

  1. Well I think the sexuality was represented well on the issues I read:
    it is not exploitative
    it is part of the character journey that seeks love and adventure
    it is Bekka that takes the attitude.
    Dematteis know enough to not make this for dudebros, it fel very natural.

    1. I agree. They’re doing a much better job with it in the comic than the animated short. Which is somewhat troubling seeing that the animated short people were more involved with the actual movie. Still, decent comic!

  2. I’ve read the first 2 issues, and I was pleasantly surprised! Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much, but I enjoyed this version of Wonder Woman. Even though she’s not Diana, she’s very Diana-like. The only problem for me is the art, which I felt was very weak. There was the beautiful Jae Lee cover, followed by the amazing Darwyn Cooke providing art on the title page, only for the art in the actual comic to be incredibly underwhelming. How much better would this comic be with a decent artist bringing it to life?

    As for Bekka’s sexuality in this comic versus her portrayal in the animated short, it’s a bit incongruous. I was turned off by Steve’s casual sexism, and the whole battle of the sexes crap in the cartoon. But it’s clear that the Bekka that appears in this comic would have also been turned off by it, so I once again fail to see what she sees in this version of Steve.

    1. I’m enjoying it so far as well. I don’t mind the art as much as you do, though I enjoyed it in the first issue a lot more than the second. And yeah, as I said in a previous comment above, the comic is doing a good job of treating Bekka’s sexuality in a non-exploitive way. It’s a fun little book!

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