With Wonder Woman, the DECU has completely revitalized their movie franchise. The Amazing Amazon is having one of her best years ever, seeing a huge surge of popularity and respect from new and old fans alike. Diana’s stock might be been on the rise recently on the big screen, but she’s been on an upswing for at least a few years in the comics.
Thanks to DC Comics’ Rebirth event, Diana has comfortably risen back up to one of the premiere heroes, female or otherwise, on the page. Like it’s done for so many characters, DC Rebirth has both gotten Wonder Woman back in touch with her roots and given her a (metaphorical) facelift for readers. Rebirth has recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, and as such, there are a plethora of fantastic Wonder Woman moments to praise.
From the return of Cheetah and Veronica Cale to reconnecting with Steve Trevor, Wonder Woman has been on quite a journey in DC Rebirth. Diana has been forced to question herself like never before, and readers have been given moments that are downright unforgettable. Here are Wonder Woman’s 15 Best Moments So Far in DC Rebirth.
15. Leaving Themyscira to Stop Ares
Wonder Woman might have more origin stories than any major superhero around, but the idea of her leaving the paradise of Themyscria to save the world beyond is still a classic element. Diana forsaking her personal safety to protect others is one the key tenants of her being a hero, and it’s why it’s included in so many of her many origin stories. So it’s not surprising that in the second of Greg Rucka’s simultaneous Wonder Woman Rebirth arcs, “Year One,” Diana was shown leaving Themsyrcira once again. The thing that is surprising about this particular exit is how emotional and beautiful it was despite being well-worn territory.
In Rebirth, Diana doesn’t have to sneak away or trick her mother into allowing to enter man’s world. Instead, Diana is sent off to fight Ares in a beautiful and touching ceremony by the all Amazons. It’s a mission given to Diana, not taken by her. The issue in which happens, Wonder Woman #4, has some of the best artwork from “Year One” artist Nicola Scott, but the moment of Diana being crowned as Wonder Woman is particularly gorgeous.
14. Convincing Batman to Meet the “New” Superman
Before DC Rebirth got extra weird with the Pre-Flashpoint Superman and essentially combined him with the previous New 52 version, he was a complete stranger to Wonder Woman and Batman. As we know, the Dark Knight doesn’t deal particularly well with strangers. So in Francis Manapul’s Trinity series, it was up to Diana to convince Bruce to meet with the new Clark Kent.
Even though Wonder Woman is a warrior, some of her greatest moments have come as a peacemaker, and she stepped in to make sure Bruce made nice with Clark in Trinity #1. Facilitating a meeting between Batman and Superman not only proved Wonder Woman’s special role in the trio’s relationship, but was a surprising moment of bravery on her part.
Before it was later retconned out of existence, Diana had been in a relationship with the Superman who had just died. By going to meet the new(ish) Man of Steel, Diana was visiting a version of the man she loved who was married to another woman and had a child with her. It’s the kind of rough situation that only comic book characters can find themselves in, but Wonder Woman still pulled it off with grace, kindness, and humility. Diana was more concerned about making sure that Bruce behaved himself than thinking about her own feelings.
13. Trying to Tame, Not Kill, a Loose Chimera
Before DC Rebirth, Diana tended to be more aggressive than peaceful. All over her new solo series scribe, Greg Rucka showed Diana’s softer side, and one of the more powerful moments came when Diana was drawn into confronting the monster known as a chimera. The chimera was being manipulated by Ares’ sons Deimos and Phobos to attack innocents. Though it wasn’t in control, it was aggressively attacking the people around it, and Diana had no idea why it was happening.
Even the most compassionate people would probably look to take down a rabid animal, not soothe it, especially when that animal has two grisly heads. Diana of Themyscira is not most people. Rather than try to kill or even fight the creature, Diana tried to soothe the savage beast.
Wonder Woman’s affinity with animals is one of her oldest powers. Yet it has been often overlooked for her flashier and more murderous skills. Rucka brought it back in a big way for Rebirth with several other moments besides this one, but the composure Diana shows with the chimera is truly special.
12. Accepting Her Memories Were a Lie
Wonder Woman’s New 52 adventures were not poorly told, at least not while Brian Azzarello was writing them. Yet that take on Diana and her origins were undoubtedly controversial, and it took away many special elements that make the character who she is. Greg Rucka’s decision to make his Rebirth arc a concerted effort to retcon that story was one of the smartest decisions coming out of DC Comics.
Diana confronting that her memories, basically all her solo adventures, were false came to head in Wonder Woman #11. In the final pages of the issue, which are hauntingly rendered by Liam Scott, Diana realizes that she has never truly been home. Diana breaks down in tears with no one but a bewildered and concerned Steve Trevor to comfort her.
It’s a revelation that readers were aware of for months; Rucka was very clear about wiping the slate clean for the Amazon. Yet the pain and sorrow is so perfectly captured on the page that it’s one of the most heartbreaking and memorable moments ever from Wonder Woman’s adventures.
11. Working with Cheetah
Cheetah has always been one of Diana’s most formidable foes. Mostly though, Cheetah has been written as a poor man’s Catwoman. A Catwoman that really loves to murder people. Cheetah has mostly been presented as much more animal than human, and it’s been disappointing. With Rebirth, Barbara Ann was completely revamped into an incredibly compelling and tragic character.
It all started with Diana seeking Cheetah out and managing to secure her help in Wonder Woman #1. Cheetah, Diana believed, was the only one who could sort out her memories, and she was right. While Wonder Woman and Cheetah’s history was be retold throughout the “Year One” storyline, there is so much sense of history and pain between them in their first Rebirth encounter. There is a lot of animosity, most of it coming from Cheetah, but also a lot of love, most of it coming from Diana.
Rebirth firmly established that regardless of the past, when done well, Cheetah is one of Wonder Woman’s best foes. It might be easy to write Cheetah off just another sexy cat lady — because comic book has a disturbing fetish when it comes to feline-themed characters — but Rebirth made her so much more than that.
10. Preventing a Terrorist Attack at a Shopping Mall
Wonder Woman #10 of DC Rebirth was certainly not the first time that comics have pulled from real-life tragedies for fictional stories. There was something disturbingly effective about Wonder Woman being present when a terrorist group opens fire on a shopping mall and leaping into action to stop it. The attack takes place shortly into Diana’s tenure in man’s world, and it’s a perfect exhibit of her strength and compassion.
Artist Nicola Scott does a fantastic job of showing Diana leaping into action to save innocent civilians. The action is superbly drawn and plotted; it’s both hectic and perfectly understandable. The attack is also the first time in Rebirth that Wonder Woman showed off how excellently Steve Trevor complements Diana in a fight.
As much as Rebirth is a return to the classic elements of the DC Universe, it’s also an updated look. It’s a tragic reality, but there may be no better way for modern day audiences to understand Wonder Woman than by seeing how she would respond to a terrorist attack/mass shooting.
9. The Real First Meeting with Batman and Superman
Like most things in DC Rebirth, it’s not worth trying to place this event on a concrete timeline. To try is only going to give the average fan an aneurysm at worst and a nosebleed at best. It doesn’t make sense how Wonder Woman met Batman and Superman shortly after she left Themsycria, but no one seems to remember it when the Justice League was formed a few years later.
Regardless of complicated comic book continuity, Diana meeting Bruce and Clark for the first time in Wonder Woman Annual #1 is downright adorable. There is a surprising amount of tenderness and nervousness between the three grown adults. The boys are trying to suss out Diana’s intentions, while Diana is perplexed how anyone could be so mistrusting.
The way that Diana diffuses the tension by taking out her famed Lasso of Truth and having each of them grab a hold to introduce themselves is superb. Wonder Woman might be the stranger in the meeting, but she is wholly in control of the situation. Yet it is not in aggressive manner but a loving way. The encounter is full of compassion and honesty, which are the two main pillars of Wonder Woman’s character.
8. Trying to Stop Circe from Killing Soldiers
Wonder Woman will save virtually anyone if the odds are not in their favor. Regardless of motivations, previous sins, or personal feelings, Diana always protects those who can’t protect themselves. In Wonder Woman #20, this truism is elegantly displayed when Wonder Woman has to go from fighting soldiers who are firing into a unarmed crowd to protecting those same men when they are attacked by an evil sorceress.
Wonder Woman #20 is the first appearance of the classic villain, Circe, in a very long time. Circe never showed up in the New 52 and had been absent for years in the Pre-Flashpoint era. Circe and Diana’s tussle lasts far too briefly, but it’s still a great demonstration of how the two opposing forces differ. Circe has no regard for anyone but herself, while Diana cares for everyone around her.
Rebirth bringing Circe officially back into continuity is enough of a fantastic moment. The fact that it allows Wonder Woman to show off her amazing capability for compassion and forgiveness is what elevates it to an outright extraordinary scene.
7. Forgiving Veronica Cale
Thankfully, Circe wasn’t the only classic villain that Rebirth brought back into fold. With the exception of Cheetah, the main villain for Wonder Woman’s DC Rebirth run (thus far) has been the terrifying, but tragic, Veronica Cale. Rebirth established that Veronica has been messing with the Amazonian princess for years in the shadows. It wasn’t until halfway through Rucka’s run that Diana caught on, but the truly remarkable thing is what came after the revelation.
When Veronica revealed herself and her plan to Diana, there was no hatred or even anger from Wonder Woman. Diana simply understood Veronica’s actions and learned to pity her. Even in the face of Veronica saying terribly cliched lines like, “We’ll never be friends,” Diana forgave her.
It’s true that Veronica did lose her first match with Wonder Woman. It’s easy for the Amazon to forgive Veronica because Veronica is miserable and Diana is truly happy with her life. Still, throughout Rucka’s return to Wonder Woman comics, Veronica committed acts that can’t be taken back and shouldn’t be forgiven so easily. Diana’s standards are much more compassionate than your average human, or even superhero, however. Veronica might be her enemy, but Diana still loves her as a sister.
6. Getting Back Together with Steve Trevor
Wonder Woman and Superman are not the worst comic book couple that has ever been created. There are very legitimate reasons that people love them together, even if Clark’s one true love will always be a certain acerbic reporter for the Daily Planet. One of the smartest decisions of DC Rebirth was breaking them up and consequently putting them back in old romances. For Superman, it means he’s married to Lois Lane again, and for Wonder Woman, she’s back to macking on Steve Trevor.
As anyone who watched Patty Jenkins’ movie and saw Chris Pine’s performance in it will know, there are few people better suited for Diana than Steve. Steve might be nothing more than an (incredibly) handsome human, but he is Diana’s perfect romantic partner. Steve backs Diana up, he’s her connection to humanity, and he’s always ready to believe her when no one else will listen. Steve is everything that Wonder Woman needs in her personal life.
It’s been decades since Steve and Diana were in a real committed relationship in the comics. So their kiss in Wonder Woman #9 is a long overdue moment of fan service, and the culmination of overwhelming sexual tension. Wonder Woman’s first love will always be her best love, and DC Rebirth has proved that time and time again.
5. Not Giving Into Anger After Facing Ares’ Forces
Wonder Woman is a character who walks a delicate balance. Diana is a solider, and she will kill if necessary, but ultimately, she looks always looks for a peaceful solution. In DC Rebirth, months before the movie would present roughly the same scenario, Diana’s calm demeanor in the face of destruction was challenged.
Infected by “Ares,” later to be revealed as his sons Deimos and Phobos in disguise, Diana nearly went on the warpath after taking out her foe’s forces. Diana grows spiteful and angry, spinning literally out of control. It’s a small but scary moment as Diana truly loses herself in bloodlust. Diana is only able to regain her composure by using her Lasso of Truth on herself, which reminds her of who she is and of her mission.
The scene is a perfect reminder that Wonder Woman would be nothing without her heart. She might be powerful, but without direction and purpose, Diana would be a mindless killing machine. Diana wouldn’t be one of the most iconic female heroes ever created if she didn’t care so much about others.
4. Supplicating Herself to “Ares” to Save Humanity
It did eventually turn out to be an elaborate deception, but Diana didn’t know that at the time. When Wonder Woman first met Ares in man’s world, she didn’t know that he was really his sons in disguise. She thought she was really meeting the god of war.
When Diana first encounters “Ares”, she doesn’t immediately go to war with him, though. Instead, Wonder Woman begs Ares to understand her position and show sympathy. When that doesn’t work, Diana puts herself at the feet of the fake god and asks to sacrifice herself in the place of humanity. It’s a beautiful moment, because in the previous installment, she had just seen the worst of humanity with the aforementioned terrorist attack at the mall. But Diana still sees enough good and love in the world to let herself suffer in the place of others.
This moment of heroism is not uncommon for heroes, but it usually happens at the end of a story after much build up. Diana’s supplication of “Ares” occurs relatively early in the saga of “Year One.” Diana is not just a unconventional hero, she is a selfless one.
3. Convincing Cheetah to Let Veronica Cale Live
Diana’s supplication of “Ares” is emotional, but in Greg Rucka’s penultimate Rebirth issue Wonder Woman #24, Diana showed her true strength and restraint. Barbara Ann Minerva has been turned back into Cheetah after being manipulated by Veronica Cale. Wanting to make Veronica pay, Cheetah goes after Cale, determined to kill her. Wonder Woman manages to step in and literally hug Cheetah into submission. (In fairness, it might be a chokehold, but it looks an awful lot like a hug to us!)
This moment is the culmination of Diana and Barbara Ann’s entire relationship up to that point. Barbara Ann has completely given up on ever being human again, and she just wants to embrace the beast that has he has become. Diana refuses to give up on anyone, but especially Barbara Ann. Wonder Woman knows that fighting her friend is not the answer — the only way to save Cheetah is with love.
It’s a demonstration of how mercy is far from a weakness. Though Diana never tries to do anything but subdue Cheetah until she wraps her arms around her, but she is completely dominant. Cheetah’s tears as she breaks down are absolutely heartbreaking. There is something incredible about Diana’s strength of will and desire for peace. The showdown is one of the best fight scenes to ever grace the pages of Wonder Woman.
2. Helping Barbara Ann Defeat Urzkartaga
In the first real action scene of the Greg Rucka’s run, everything that needs to be known about Wonder Woman is laid out for the reader. The new partnership of Wonder Woman and Cheetah finds its way into the lair of the god that cursed Barbara Ann to her current form, Urzkartaga. Together, the women unite to destroy this force of darkness.
Diana and Cheetah discover that Urzkartaga hasn’t just victimized Barbara Ann. There are a whole group of young women who have become Urzkartaga’s playthings and prisoners. Wonder Woman convinces Cheetah to work with these women, and together, they show a united front of strength. Since Urzkartaga preys on weakness, this display of power is enough to annihilate him completely and restore Cheetah to her human form.
It’s the cheesy “power of friendship” nonsense that sounds like it belongs in the most cliched of animes. Girl power literally saves the world. Yet it is not only an incredibly sincere a moment, but a powerful one too. It sounds silly and over-the-top, but in practice, it is a completely believable and inspiring display.
1. Defeating Demios and Phobos with Love
An ancient god being defeated by women holding hands is nothing compared to two ancient gods being defeated because a pretty lady tells them she loves them. The first is slightly silly, the latter is just bonkers. Yet in a completely earnest moment, the latter is exactly how Wonder Woman defeated her biggest threat yet in DC Rebirth.
When Diana meets Ares for the first time, she learns that he is the reason that she can’t return to Themyscira. Ares is being kept in a prison that separates Paradise Island from the world of man. Against his will, Ares’ sons, who represent and desire chaos, want to free their father from his cell. If they are not stopped, war will reign. With no way to conventionally defeat them, Diana walks out to Phobos and Demios armed with nothing but her lasso. Unable to lie, Diana tells Phobos and Deimos that she loves them both and forgives them. She refuses to fight them at all. It’s too much for either god to handle and they collapse into weeping messes.
It’s something that sounds unbelievably cheap, but the a moment is filled with beauty, grace, and hope. Diana’s defeat of the two gods is one of the best moments from Wonder Woman ever, and certainly of her entire DC Rebirth run thus far.
What is your favorite Wonder Woman moment from DC Rebirth? Sound off in the comments section!
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