No More Wonder Woman for JMS

Geek Culture

Well, that was fast.

That was my first reaction to the news that J. Michael Straczynski was leaving his much-publicized runs on DC’s Wonder Woman and Superman early to concentrate on a sequel to the successful Superman: Earth-One graphic novel.

I’m not the only one have this reaction. This mock t-shirt is courtesy of dcwomenkickiingass on Tumbler and was much passed around last week.

JMS’s takeover and reworking of the Amazon was announced to fanfare in June and now it’s over after five issues.

JMS outlined the reason he and DC made the change in an interview over at Comic Book Resources.

It’s not that I resent or have any personal anger at this decision. It’s understandable and makes business sense, as outlined.

It’s just hard not to be frustrated at the sequence of events.

When the new direction for Wonder Woman was announced, I was disappointed because I was enjoying the stories being told by Gail Simone on the title. But DC wanted a high-profile writer and to give the character a big push. The Amazon princess doesn’t sell as well as Superman and Batman, DC’s other big two characters. Getting a writer well-known and respected not only in the comic industry but also to the general public made perfect sense, especially when trying to make the character relevant for the current century.

But JMS won’t be around to see the conclusion of his story. DC announced that Phil Hester will take over and finish the plot arc outlined by JMS. Hester is an excellent writer but without the big name creator, staying on the character, it’s hard not to wonder if this reboot will fall to the wayside like several others.

Greg Rucka had an acclaimed run from 2003-2006 that was completely set aside for a big new thing by television writer Allan Heinberg. Alas, Heinberg left after only a few issues, not even finishing out his storyline until much later. DC then brought in New York Times Bestselling author Jodi Picoult to write Wonder Woman. That looked like a great decision until they saddled Picoult with a editorial-conceived crossover called Amazons Attack which was, well, terrible.

When Gail Simone came on board in 2007, the titled settled down again as the new writer picked up the bits of pieces of the various relaunches and started to rebuild Wonder Woman’s world.

Then DC went to JMS earlier this year.

It’s no wonder readers have whiplash. And this is symptomatic of what can make following monthly comics so problematic. A reader becomes invested in the way a character is written or to a particular plotline and..BOOM…all gone and everything is shifted to another direction. It’s a reason why I tend to read trade paperback collections so I know I’m getting a full story. (Most of the time, at least.)

I wish Hester and his team luck and good writing as they take over the title. But I totally agree with the sentiments of the t-shirt.

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