All year long, DC’s iconic heroes have gotten fresh starts as part of the Dawn of DC storytelling initiative—and this September, Wonder Woman gets in on the fun courtesy of a new #1 from multiple Eisner Award-winning writer Tom King and superstar artist Daniel Sampere, last seen illustrating the Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths event in grand fashion.
While this is all great news for DC fans, it’s not so fortunate for Diana herself. Thanks to a startling and bloody event depicted in the opening pages of Wonder Woman #1, Amazons are being pursued by the American government—tasked with extraditing them from U.S. soil by any means necessary. This puts Wonder Woman in the unusual position of outlaw in the world she swore to protect.
DC Nation checked in with King to learn more about his plans for the series, how George Pérez inspired this run, collaborating with Sampere, and the Lex Luthor/The Joker-level villain introduced in the final scene of Wonder Woman #1.
What does it mean to you to be relaunching the Wonder Woman ongoing series?
At George Pérez’s funeral, they played a video George had recorded before his death. In it he said his greatest accomplishment was doing something incredible and interesting with Wonder Woman, that she was a hard character to get right, and he had gotten her right. I remember watching that and feeling so intimidated, and also so challenged.
Wonder Woman is an absolute icon who deserves thrilling, compelling stories. Stories that are as smart and tough as the people who love her. George is right, it’s hard as hell to get her right. But it can be done and it has to be done, and Daniel and I are going to do it.
Where do we find Diana when this new Wonder Woman series begins?
She’s where she belongs, in a place that distinguishes her from Superman and Batman: she’s the rebel.
On some level, many DC heroes enforce the status quo: they punish law breakers and bring order to anarchy. That’s not Wonder Woman. From her creation 80 years ago, through a thousand iterations and interpretations, she is the iconoclast, the force outside of the system that seeks to find a new, better way, a new, better world.
In this book we will see how the system reacts to that rebellion and what happens to those in power who to try to put Wonder Woman down.
How do the new adversaries introduced in this series pose a threat to the Amazons?
Wonder Woman is extremely powerful. She’s the greatest warrior in a world of warriors. She’s myth in flesh. This is not someone you can defeat with a big monster or a shiny rock. The new villain we’re introducing in Wonder Woman #1—a villain on par with Lex Luthor or the Joker—is well aware of this reality. He has a plan to strike at the heart of our hero. How Wonder Woman responds, how she takes this incredible blow and keeps fighting is the story of this book.
What kind of tone are you bringing that is unique to this story?
I write a lot of comics (comics I love) that are about sad dudes being sad—sort of kind of deconstructions of superhero and genre tropes. This is not that. This is the other kind of comic I love to write, what I tried to do in Superman: Up in the Sky and Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow. This is a story where every panel, every page points back to Wonder Woman, seeks to show the reader why Wonder Woman is awesome, how she kicks ass in a unique and compelling way.
There will be huge stakes and emotional consequences, but at the end of the day, my job in every issue and arc is to convince the reader that they're reading the essential superhero of the DC Universe
What is series artist Daniel Sampere bringing to Wonder Woman?
In one word: Epic. Daniel goes big. He has that Jim Lee doing Hush energy to his art, the kind of pencils and inks that throw you into the story and make you stand up at the end and applaud. He's a modern-day George Perez, an artist built for events. And this comic, every month aims with each issue to be an event, to have huge moments that will stick around for a while. Daniel makes that possible.
What has the fan reaction to introduction of Trinity been like for you, and what can fans expect from her?
It's been crazy and amazing and overwhelming and so damn cool. We sold out a huge order on her first appearance, which doesn't happen often with Wonder Woman comics—but is about to be the standard.
The first thing you can expect from Trinity is her story. Our Wonder Woman book is her tale, where she comes from, where she's going. When we start the series, Trinity has not yet been born. And that's a hell of a myth to put together—the birth of a new Wonder—and it's going to be a ride. As for The Trinity of the future, her adventures with Jon and Damian... let's just say we're working on something, and it's going to be so fun.
Do you have a favorite scene thus far from this Wonder Woman series you can tease to fans?
Building on an idea that Daniel had, we did something in a later issue where in the midst of a world of chaos and anger, Wonder Woman takes some time to help a kid who needs it. I love that she's not just reacting to what's coming at her and then saving people who are in danger because she's being attacked; Wonder Woman always has a moment for those in need.
Wonder Woman #1 by Tom King, Daniel Sampere, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles is on sale now in print and as a digital comic book.