Wonder Woman #52 Review: Finally, It’s Over


It’s finally here, you guys. We made it to the end. This is the Finches’ last issue of Wonder Woman, and Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp, and Nicola Scott are waiting in the wings to relaunch the title. Arguably the worst run in the history of Wonder Woman is now over, and we can move on, embrace the new creative team, and never ever speak of this era again. Not just the Finches, but any of it, really. Wonder Woman’s romance with Superman, her becoming the god of war, the rapist and murderous Amazons, the death of Hippolyta; all signs point to these horrible story choices going out in the window in favour of a new run much more in keeping with a traditional, heroic, inspiring Wonder Woman.

For those of you who, like me, stuck it out through all 52 issues of this series, what were we thinking? Why did we do this to ourselves? It’s been awful. The first few years of Wonder Woman were decent overall, largely because Cliff Chiang is like unto a god, but there were some ROUGH moments. Plus Wonder Woman was not well written anywhere else in the DC universe (RIP Superman/Wonder Woman, mercifully ending today as well, thank goodness). And then Meredith and David Finch took over Wonder Woman and turned the series into one of the worst comics on the stand for the past year and a half. Why did we keep reading it? I know I write about Wonder Woman professionally so I probably needed to keep abreast of current events, but I could’ve just waited, got trades from the library, and just not supported a book that I loathed reading each month. Valuable lesson learned, I suppose. If you don’t like a book, don’t read it even if it’s your very favourite character. That’s how I’m going to roll from now on. I predict a far happier life for myself moving forward.

However, since I’ve made it through this hellacious marathon all the way to the very last issue, I suppose I should say a few words about it. But first:


I am about to reveal everything that happened in this grand finale!

None of it is particularly good and/or interesting!

But still, if you don’t want it spoiled for you, look away!

So, this issue was a mess. It leaves everyone in an unpleasant spot, and undoes some of the good things about this era. First, shocking twist, Hera is the actual big bad. She’s been the one trying to kill Zeke, wanting to off him before he grows up to become Zeus again so that she can remain the Queen of Olympus and keep all of her new power. Hera’s evolution was one of the best things about the Azzarello/Chiang era; her friendship with Zola helped her grow as a person and learn compassion, and she went from the book’s villain to a key ally for Wonder Woman. It was all really beautifully done, an impressively orchestrated turn around that took three years of solid writing and art. And now that’s totally undone and Hera’s the bad guy again, so that’s irksome.

This made Hecate only a semi-villain, and her motivations were cringeworthy. She hooked up with Zeus way back and he’s the only one who saw the beauty beneath her frightening exterior, blah blah blah, so she tried to kidnap Zeke and return him to his original form so that they could be together again. It was all very clichéd and lame, and rather juvenile, “He’s the only one who understands me!” is a pretty weak motivation for a powerful witch and goddess who’s been around for millennia. Give the gal some depth, please.

The very best part of the early years of the new Wonder Woman was Zola, the gal who got caught up in the chaos of the gods after Zeus seduced her and essentially impregnated her with himself. She was hilarious and fun and tough, and always called everyone on their foolishness. Zola was a great character to have in the midst of all of these powerful beings. During the Finches’ tenure, she’s barely been featured, and as the book ends she’s still alive (last issue’s ending was a fake out) but ultimately devastated by the loss of her baby after Zeus returns, a move that snuffs out the light of what had been the series’ brightest character for some time.

As for Wonder Woman, well, she got duped again. This has been the hallmark of the New 52 era; Wonder Woman will fall for anyone’s lies and go along with any dumb plan that plays on her heart strings, and then have to deal with the fallout when she is inevitably betrayed. She’s been a wholly reactive, passive character for five years now, bounced around by the whims and machinations of others instead of driving the action herself. And this finale is no different. Hecate betrayed her a couple issues back, and Hera betrays her in this one, leaving her to protect Zeke all by herself as a temple comes crashing down around her. Plus, in the end she doesn’t save Zeke; Zeke turns into Zeus and saves her, because the power of her love or whatever causes him to return to his original form and save her from the rubble.

The issue ends with Wonder Woman weeping over the loss of Zeke, who she calls “the closest I may come to a child of my own.” First, why? If she wants to have kids, she can have kids. Right now she’s focusing on her superhero career, but if she decides that she wants to be a mother at some point there’s no reason that she can’t do so. Second, ugh. Another dang cliché. To slot Wonder Woman into this maternal role when she’s basically just been a Cool Aunt feels so forced. I get her loving the kid, but this whole baby she’ll never have angle is both dumb and hacky.

And so it ends. Zeus is back on the throne of Olympus, order is restored, and please dear god let us move on from all of this with the greatest of haste. I’m hoping that the upcoming “Rebirth” special explains how and why everything is about to take a sharp left turn, and when Wonder Woman relaunches a couple of weeks later we can just jump right in with some cool new stories. The sooner we forget this era, the better. All I want to remember from the past five years is the pretty Cliff Chiang art, how rad Hermes looked, and maybe keep Zola around because she’s delightful. Pitch the rest of it and move on, please.

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.

15 thoughts on “Wonder Woman #52 Review: Finally, It’s Over

  1. pitch it all. Start over fresh. Give Wonder Woman some actual villains, not gods. Ditch the swords and the bracelets that shoot weapons. Ditch everything.. just burn it all for the love of god (or Gods in this case?). Let’s just pretend this is the Diana Prince Era all over again.. and never mention it again.. Just.. be done.

  2. So not only does did this run pretty much undo all the good aspects of the Azzarello run, it ends as the New 52 run began, revolving around Zeus’ wang… *sigh*

    For all of its issues, I still enjoy the Azzarello/Chiang run… But viewing it from the perspective of a standalone Elseworlds…

    Thank goodness for the existence of Sensation Comics and Legend of Wonder Woman to guide us through this storm…

  3. “First, why? If she wants to have kids, she can have kids.”

    yeah, never on new 52 Wonder woman even showed she wanted any kids.
    and not every woman want or has to be a mother, right?

    glad this run filled with sexist cliches is over. The last 16 issues has been like hell for wonder woman fans

  4. If Rucka begins the next issue of Wonder Woman with her awakening in bed, saying “By Hera! What I terrible nightmare I just had! there was a baby who was Zeus, I became the God of War, my mother died and I wasn’t made of clay!” then I would buy every copy of that issue I could find and wallpaper my entire house with it. Inside and outside. There would be no possible greater or more welcome opening page to Rucka’s return that depicting the entire New 52 run as a terrible nightmare. 🙂

  5. I’m excited for Rucka’s run as anyone else, but honestly, the Finches did fine. Sure it wasn’t very good and at times it was boring, but Wonder Woman was at the very least treated with respect. She was a caring good person who loved those around her. I’ll take a “meh” and cliche run of Wonder Woman over a rage inducing insulting run any day.

    You were pretty harsh on them for most of your reviews 😛 When really all that the Finches did was take over what was given to them. Just think of the limitations after Azzarello’s run and the fact that rebirth was just going to change everything back again anyways.

    That’s my two cents. Can’t wait for the new team to show us what they got 🙂 Now that Rucka’s taken over, I’m hoping and guessing that the limitations will be for the most part none existent.

    1. This review is almost illiterate and devoid of any sensibility for the subject. Thank God IronBerserk’s opinion is in the vast minority.

    2. Are you kidding?! They turned the Amazons into misandrist rapists and murderers. The Amazons are supposed to be complex, badass heroes, the whole point of Diana’s orgin should be that she came from a good home. The Finches destroyed that. No he wasn’t too harsh because the Finches missed a lot of key stuff about the character and her mythos. The damage they have done to the Amazons reputation is irreversible and fans have every right to be upset about it.

  6. “Arguably the worst run in the history of Wonder Woman is now over.” Ouch. That is pretty harsh criticism coming from someone who has actually read every Wonder Woman comic ever. Having only read the first issue of the Finchs’s run I am kind of morbidly curious to read it all, but I am not going to indulge in said impulse until I can do so for free or at a minimum expense. I am looking forward to reading a (hopefully) great Wonder Woman comic twice every month now.

  7. I’ve stood by this run from the beginning, after falling in love with Chiang’s artwork and Azzarello’s fresh take on the Olympians. I didn’t mind the change of the amazons, as in mythology they’ve been baby-killers for some time. But the uneven pace just turned to a total mess under the Finches – the artwork felt completely incongruous to the character, the writing was cliche and worst of all Wonder Woman became a hysterical, unbalanced mess who broke down every time she was duped (which was every other issue). Overall, I will look back fondly at the Azzarello/Chiang run but I can’t wait to forget all about the rest.

  8. Yes, finally, it is over. 52 issues of complete and utter nonsense, finally over. The entire 52-issue arc can now be consigned to the dustbin of comic-book history, never to be spoken of again. And Brian Azzarello will forever more be a cursed name to me. May all his future comic-book endeavours fail, for the horrendous heresy and lies he heaped upon Diana, Princess of Themyscira, the Spirit of Truth. As for the Finches, may all their future endeavours fail as well, for the indignities they heaped upon Donna Troy, that purest of hearts. Long may all their names be cursed amongst the legions of true Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl fans. I can’t express how much contempt I have for issue 52. Why would Diana be crying over a dead baby when the said dead baby isn’t really a baby, isn’t dead, and is back to being her dear old dad again? UGH! UGH!! UGH!!! Stupid can’t even begin to describe the issue, and the entire 52-issue run. Cursed be all the names of everyone involved in producing the last 52 issues forever more.

    1. Unfortunately, this run has done irreversible damage not just to Wonder Woman, but the Amazons reputation and legacy. Many incels have been intentionally spreading misinformation saying that the Amazons were always child killers and rapists (even though they weren’t to this run) and many mainstream fans are being fed this misinformation. It’s up to us true fans to spread the truth about these characters.

  9. This has definitely been the WORST Wonder Woman run and I am SO GLAD it’s over! Unfortunately the damage has been done. Because of this run, many incels have been purposely spreading misinformation saying that the Amazons were always rapists and murderers. The Finches should be ashamed of the irreversible damage they have done to Wonder Woman, the Amazons, and her legacy.

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