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.