The world is a much more troubling place than it was yesterday. I was looking forward to reviewing the new Wonder Woman comic the day after Hillary Clinton became the first female president in American history; it would have been joyous. But that didn’t happen. The pollsters were wrong, white America is a callous, cowardly group, and Donald Trump is going to be the next President of the United States. Even though I watched it happen last night in real time, it still felt unfathomable when I woke up this morning. I’m lucky to live in Canada, where we’ve got a government that respects and supports all of its citizens, but I’m worried for all of my American friends, especially the people of colour, LGBTQ+ folks, members of different religions, and those who need access to solid healthcare. They’re frightened, and rightfully so. The next four years could be very difficult for them.
It is, oddly enough, even more appropriate to read the new Wonder Woman today, in this dark environment. We need heroes to inspire us, and a queer immigrant woman who fights tirelessly on behalf of others is exactly the kind of heroine this day calls for. For those likely to face persecution and the revocation of their rights, Wonder Woman’s resilience and strength can be a beacon of hope. For those who might be broadly unaffected but want to stand with, support, and fight for those who are, Wonder Woman’s relentless compassion for others is an ideal model. Wonder Woman is the hero we need right now. America, if you can’t have a Wonder Woman in the Oval Office, at least you can have a legion of Wonder Women in the streets standing up for what’s right.
Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott have delivered a delightful issue that highlights the unique heroism of Wonder Woman, and I’m excited to talk about it, but first:
I am about to reveal everything that happens in this issue!
Do yourself a personal favour and go read it first!
It will cheer you up! It’s so dang good!
When last we left “Year One” way back in September, Wonder Woman was given powers from the gods and easily busted her way out of the military brig she was being held in. Now, with the military’s inability to hold her obvious to all, Steve Trevor talks his boss into letting her go out for a day trip. Diana, Steve, Etta Candy, and Barbara Ann Minerva go to the mall to expose Diana to the wider world. She is shocked by the noise and the crowds and how the air tastes different, but she loves it all. Diana even makes some new young friends, despite her limited language capabilities. It’s all very cute and enjoyable.
Just when the gang discovers that they’re all able to communicate with Diana if they hold the golden lasso, their fun day out gets interrupted by a shooting at the mall. This is the scene that we need most today: Wonder Woman’s powers are new to her, and she doesn’t actually know what they are, but she leaps into action nonetheless, without a thought for her own safety. In a moment spectacularly illustrated by Scott, she sees a terrorist about to shoot at her new, young friends and she rushes toward them. With speed she didn’t know she had, she arrives just in time to stop the bullets, deflecting them with her bracelets in a gorgeous double page spread.
Now, we can’t deflect bullets. We’re not superheroes, nor are we blessed with powers from the gods. But when we see something bad happening, when we see someone threatened, we can step in and try to help. And, just like Wonder Woman, when we do, we might discover powers and abilities that we never knew we had. We don’t know what we can do until we try, until we put our beliefs and our values and our heart to the test, and the next several years might require a lot of that.
The action continues for the rest of the issue, with Wonder Woman and Steve stopping the attackers and ending their assault. We also get an interesting reveal at the end of the issue: The terrorists are part of the Sear Group, which Steve has been tracking, and they are marked with the black tree that poisoned Diana back on Themyscira in Wonder Woman #2 and that Barbara saw on her travels last month in Wonder Woman #8. Something bigger is clearly afoot, and it ties into the Amazons and perhaps the gods. It seems that Steve’s arrival on Themyscira and Diana’s journey to the world of men was not just a chance turn of events.
As the issue closes, we’ve got a mystery to be solved over the next two issues, and I’m curious to see who is behind all of this. Even better than that, the story gave us a break from the world around us, hopefully one that encourages and fortifies its readers. Things look bad today and they feel even worse, and reading a comic book might seem like a silly thing to do when the world is on fire. But there’s a reason superheroes have been around for 75 years. There’s a reason Captain America punched Hitler in the face and Wonder Woman left Paradise Island to battle the Axis before America even declared war on Germany. Superheroes can do the things that we can’t, and they inspire us to do the things that we can. Stand up for yourself and for those around you, work together to stay safe, and believe that the future can be better if you fight to make it so. Don’t stand on the sidelines. Be a Wonder Woman.