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  • Writer's pictureBrad Gullickson

Tom King and Daniel Sampere Return Wonder Woman to Radical

We review the premiere issue of the new Wonder Woman series and find the Amazon speaking truth to power.

Wonder Woman Tom King

Whenever a character survives a few decades or so, we see them morph through various tones, roles, and aesthetics. As a result, readers gravitate toward different versions, and when a creative team dares to stray away from their preferred take on the character...they can get a little mad. There should be no outcry regarding Tom King and Daniel Sampere's new Wonder Woman series. They've returned her to the radical position that works so well for the Amazon.


Lol.


Of course, a few folks will be upset. It's comics. A few folks are always bitter. Don't worry about them. They'll get their favorite Wonder Woman again. They probably already have her in six or seven longboxes, multiple cartoons, and a couple of cinematic appearances. The happy folk, us, we get our confident crusader against injustice again and it feels great. Diana Prince, the warrior who stands before the fearful masses, shines a light on a path beyond their terror and carves a way out.


Wonder Woman #1 opens amidst a bar brawl. Some men put their hands on the wrong woman, and she obliterates them, leaving only female witnesses. News spreads quickly, and America freaks out even faster. Government action ignites, and suddenly, Amazons are no longer welcome on U.S. soil.


A shadowy presence hires Sgt. Steel to lead a task force against the entrenched foreigners. His removal power grants him deadly force, and Themyscirans die. When these agents finally move against our titular hero, the fight goes differently than it did with the others.

Daniel Sampere executes a Wonder Woman attack with the same confidence Diana holds within every panel. Tom King spends most of the first issue constructing America's turn against the Justice Leaguer. His story is anxious, troubling, and excruciatingly familiar. When Sampere unleashes Diana, the action reads briskly, but only if you allow it. I'd recommend sitting on these pages for a bit; the bracelet bullet-bounce blur with star-spangled special effects is as good as ever.


Watching Diana decimate men with guns is as joyful as watching any other favorite character work their magic. Wonder Woman #1 reminds me of Parker doing his thing in the Darwyn Cooke adaptations, or the Ocean's Eleven gang pulling off their Vegas heist. You don't worry she'll stumble and fall. You know she will prevail. You just want to watch how she'll do it.


Wonder Woman stands alone. Her adopted country wants her out. Her homeland wants her back. She cannot accept either until she uncovers the conspiracy that put her in the middle. The powerful act against the people to stuff their pockets, and the people go along willingly because they're scared as hell. Diana confronts transgression and creates an alternative to panic. She inspires the reader so we may find courage away from the panels.


Quickie Review: Tom King and Daniel Sampere drop Diana Prince in the middle of the action, where she's always belonged. Wonder Woman #1 sets the stage for an epic battle, isolating her from the admiration and love she usually receives from the masses. This Amazon won't allow us to succumb to our worries. In her fight, she'll reveal our strength. P.S. Daniel Sampere is a next-level Wonder Woman artist, and every page is a delight, but the ones with punching and the soldiers seeing stars are the best.

 

Wonder Woman #1

Wonder Woman Tom King
Image Credit © 2023 DC Entertainment

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Daniel Sampere

Colorist: Tomeu Morey

Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Publisher: DC

Price: $4.99


On Sale: 10/19


Synopsis: After a mysterious Amazonian is accused of mass murder, Congress passes the Amazon Safety Act, barring all Amazons from U.S. soil. To carry out their plans, the government starts a task force, the Amazon Extradition Entity (A.X.E.), to remove those who don’t comply, by any means necessary. Now, in her search for the truth behind the killing, Wonder Woman finds herself an outlaw in the world she once swore to protect! Writer Tom King (Batman, Mister Miracle, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow) and superstar artist in the making Daniel Sampere (Dark Crisis, Action Comics) join forces for this action-packed relaunch and the beginning of what will undoubtedly become a groundbreaking run on the character.

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