Not only did Wonder Woman debut a new costume in this week's Wonder Woman #41, but the creative team kicked off a new story arc that has her going up against a revamped villain while working toward the redemption of Donna Troy.
Writer Meredith Finch was only a few issues into her run on Wonder Woman when the book took a two-month break for Convergence. While the Wonder Woman Annual wrapped up the last storyline, this week's issue begins a new era for the character under Finch's pen (and the pencils of her husband, artist David Finch).
Newsarama talked about the new costume to Meredith Finch (who admitted distaste for the old "bathing suit" look), and we found out what's coming up in the comic, including the identity of the new villain that showed up in #41 (hint: he's not really brand new).
SPOILERS Ahead for Wonder Woman #41.
Newsarama: Meredith, I know you've had a few issues under your belt already, but Wonder Woman #41 feels like it's the start of a new direction. What did this issue feel like for you as writer?
Meredith Finch: This issue definitely, for me, felt like the first issue where I didn't really have any loose ends or what was left of anybody else's story. I could just really create something fresh that was 100 percent mine.
You know, Brian Azzarello did such a great job with his run, but there were a few loose ends I felt had to be addressed — you know, the men on Themyscira, and Hippolyta being made of clay. There was still a lot going on when he and Cliff Chiang ended their run.
So this is the first time I felt like I kind of had a blank slate, and I could go nuts and do my own thing.
Nrama: One of the more noticeable changes in this issue is Wonder Woman's new costume. You made that part of the story. What was your thought process behind the costume? Was it your idea, or David's, or was this something DC wanted?
Finch: DC wanted to have new costumes for their big three, because there were some major things happening with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.
So the deal was offered up that we could come up with the new costume. We absolutely jumped on the idea, because one of the things I've been talking to David about and feeling like, is that there's not another character in the Justice League where you have to worry about how you're drawing them because it can come off in an inappropriate way.
I wanted a costume that's new and fresh, that's appropriate to who she is in the 21st Century.
I wouldn't see Superman or Batman walking around in a bathing suit. I didn't really want to see Wonder Woman anymore walking around in a bathing suit.
So we sat down, and when we talked about that, it was a big driver for both Dave and I. We wanted to try to do something that was still a reflection of the costume that's easily identifiable as Wonder Woman, but much more in line with what everybody else in the Justice League was wearing.
Nrama: Let's talk about the new threat that emerges in this issue. With a winged horse arriving at the end of Wonder Woman #41, is this a character we know?
Finch: It's a new character who's name is Aegeus. And anybody who's familiar with Wonder Woman's past knows that he's not really a new character. He's one of her old villains who was an ecoterrorist. The bow is traditional to him, and the Pegasus is traditional to him. We're just going to change up what his motivation is for becoming who he is.
Brian really opened, I felt like, a great Pandora's box when Ares was killed and Apollo, because it made the gods vulnerable in a way they hadn't been before.
What does it mean if you can kill a god and get their power?
So that's something we're going to be exploring in this arc, with Wonder Woman being the God of War — she took that on when she killed Ares. There are people now who maybe aren't happy with that, or want to promote themselves or push themselves forward.
So that's where we're going, from his perspective and his point of view.
Nrama: You also introduced the idea that Donna Troy can be redeemed. I'm sure you don't want to spoil the story, but there are a lot of Donna Troy fans out there who would prefer her to be a heroic figure again.
And we know from solicitations that she's involved in the story coming up, and September's copy even refers to a "new friend" for Donna. Can you tell us anything about Donna's new friend or what role she plays in the story coming up?
Finch: I can't tell her who her new friend is. But I can tell you that this story will feel like a 50/50 arc — or maybe 40/60 — where you're going to see a lot of Donna. There are going to be a lot of issues that are very Donna-focused, because I want people to know what's going on with her.
And I do think she can be redeemed, just simply for the fact that she was a child. She was basically a newborn when she came out of that cauldron, and she reacted to the information that she was fed by somebody who had hatred in their heart.
I don't think, looking at Wonder Woman as a character, that she can fault Donna for that.
Did Donna do a terrible thing? Yes. Does Donna need to atone for that? Yes. But at the end of the day, is it really her fault that she did what she did, based on the information that she had?
Wonder Woman's core character, for me, has always been about love. I think she recognizes what was happening for Donna, and she wants to help her find some sort of redemption. She's not about punishment; she's about redemption.
Nrama: We talked a little about how this feels like a turning point. How would you describe to readers what your hopes are for the book, and what Wonder Woman will feel like during the next few months?
Finch: I really want people to feel, first and foremost, that this is a story about a person — about a woman — and her trials and tribulations, and the experiences she's having in her life and how she deals with them on an emotional level. For me, that comes first. And secondary to that is the fact that she's the world's greatest superhero (in my opinion; I'm sure there are those who would argue with me).
For both of us, that is always the core motivation for everything we do.
Nrama: How has it been working with your artist? That seems like an odd question, since I know you happen to be married to your penciler, but what does the art bring to the feel of the book?
Finch: The team that we have on the book right now, with David and Jonathan Glapion and Brad Anderson, is really spectacular. They have a phenomenal synergy, and each one makes the other one better.
When David draws, he has in mind what Jonathan's going to do, and I know the same for Jonathan with what Brad's going to do. And I think the three of them are going to create a product that is spectacular to look at.
Nrama: The last few issues tied into the Justice League and Superman a bit. Is this more of a solo story coming up?
Finch: It's more a solo story. I mean, there are things going on in other books in the universe that will be acknowledged in our book, but this really, for me, was going to be her arc. During the last arc, we brought in the Justice League, and we brought in Superman as her boyfriend. But this arc, for me — it's her arc. It's about Diana as an individual, and how she deals with not only villains, but also the people in her life, and the love that she has for those people.