In Wonder Woman #46, readers not only got answers to several ongoing mysteries in the title, but Donna Troy officially became the new "Fate" in the DCU — plus a few other Wonder Woman characters came back from the dead.
Wonder Woman's life as the God of War has been the focus of the just-ended story arc, written by Meredith Finch with art by her husband David, the pair who took over the title late last year. But her status as the God of War is in question now, as the return of Donna Troy allowed gods like Apollo and Ares to return from the dead.
Will Ares want his title back as God of War? And what does the new "Fate" role for Donna Troy mean? Newsarama talked with Meredith Finch to find out more.
Newsarama: There have been some changes going on in the DC Universe for Wonder Woman and Superman and their relationship. But after your first Wonder Woman arc, which had a lot of crossover with other characters in the DCU, you've been really keeping this book concentrated on Wonder Woman alone. Was that a conscious decision you made, to just explore her role as the God of War for awhile in the second arc?
Meredith Finch: Yes, because Brian Azzarello brought it in there, and I think it took me a bit to get an idea of what that meant. And after I got to know her and the characters in that first arc, I really wanted to scavenge what this means for her as a character and how it affects her, because it really is contrary to who she is.
We planted seeds in our first arc, like where she started crying tears of blood. I wanted to bring that through to a conclusion, because people were constantly speculating, why is she crying tears of blood? I wanted people to finally get that answer.
Nrama: Let's talk about that revelation from Wonder Woman #46. How would you explain it?
Finch: Yeah, so, you think back to Brian's run, everywhere Ares walks, you have bloody footprints. And the first thing, when I took over the book, I talked to Matt Idelson, who was editor at the time, we talked about what are the ways that we could show this in Wonder Woman, and how she would internalize being the God of War?
The way I perceived it was that Ares, as a God of War, he acted out on the world. And those footprints were the physical manifestation of his power acting on the world.
Wonder Woman does not believe in war, does not want to have that acting on the world. And so those tears are an internal manifestation of that power, that God of War power, acting on herself.
Nrama: The other revelation was that Donna has a new role. I assume this is something that's going to be ongoing for her? Can you explain her role now?
Finch: Again, looking back at what Brian did, he made the gods vulnerable and able to be killed. And I looked back and thought, what makes them different from us, if they can be killed? If they're mortal, and they can be stabbed and they can die, are they still gods? And I thought, what could be a reason behind why gods are dying? And how could I take what we've got and turn that into bringing them back to their full god status.
And I thought, Donna is a really great way to do that, because she has ties to Wonder Woman, she's coming back, and I wanted her to be different and have a power that was unique and central to her. But also a power that would tie her to Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman's family, in a way that she would have a bond with Wonder Woman.
So I thought this would be a great way to do that, is to have her be Fate.
As we stop believing the gods, it weakens the gods and their power. And they were tied to the Fates.
And bringing Donna back and having her just be part of the Earth, the mother of all of us, allowed the gods to tie themselves to her, the part of the world that we live in. So they're much less tied to whether we believe in them or not.
Nrama: This series has continued the focus we saw in Azzarello and Cliff Chiang's run on the gods in Wonder Woman's pantheon. It looks like that's continuing into the future. Is that also something you wanted to be central to this run?
Finch: It is. I always said I wanted people to know Wonder Woman as a woman, and I wanted to develop for her the kind of relationships I think all women really rely on. So I wanted you to see her spending that time with Hessia, having coffee in a coffee shop, going out to a nightclub dancing, and develop those relationships, because this is kind of like her family. I wanted it to feel like she's very close to these people. She's a very loving person. She would naturally just embrace them.
It's going to continue. We're doing something more with the gods, into the next arc as well. And then we might go to something else after that.
We don't want that to be her only focus, but Brian set it up as such a major part of who she is and part of her world in the New 52, so I wanted to make sure I didn't ignore that and I spent some time and reflected on that and how it affects her, as a superhero and as a person.
Nrama: With Ares returning, what does that do to Wonder Woman's status as the God of War?
Finch: That's a really great question!
She's still the God of War. He gave her his power when he died. She took it into herself. And the fact that he is back does not mean he is back as the God of War. That is still her power.
And that's something that I'm looking forward to exploring as we go forward, because now we've got a situation where she has something he wants and kind of expects, and they have this almost father-daughter relationship. And I'm looking forward to seeing how that plays out and the dynamic that develops, now that she's got something that he expects her to give him.
Nrama: In the past, they were adversaries. I know during Brian and Cliff's run, they weren't quite as adversarial. But now that he's back, I anticipate he'll be more of an adversary. Right?
Finch: I think it will be interesting to see what happens, yeah.
Nrama: Wonder Woman #47 comes out December 30. The cover and solicitation already revealed that we've got Cheetah coming into the book. Does this start a new chapter for the book?
Finch: We really want #47 to be — because Dave needed a break to catch up, so we have Miguel Mendonca working on this, whom I worked with on The Little Mermaid for Zenoscope.
So this pretty much a standalone issue. There are some little things we put in #47 that look back at what happened in past arcs and will play off what's happening going forward.
But the issue is a whole story. So you can pick it up, and Cheetah's in there, and you'll really enjoy it. And then carry on into #48 and what we'll be doing in the next arc.
Nrama: And in that next arc, beginning with Wonder Woman #48, it looks like a central character will be baby Zeke?
Finch: Yes, something is going on with Zeke, and that's what the next arc is going to explore and challenge Wonder Woman. Because he's like, he's her family. And if something affects her family, she's going to have to — I think it's going to expose a lot of truth, and when we love people, sometimes we tend to look at them with rose-colored glasses and just see who we want them to be. And I think this is going to be an interesting time for Wonder Woman and the people that she loves in her god-family.
Nrama: And David is back on arc ongoing with what, #48?
Finch: Yes. As we get older, we can't always keep up with a monthly book, so it's nice to be able to have somebody you can rely on to do a really nice job on those months where you just need that time to catch up. And we were very lucky to get Miguel. And he was Dave's choice. We were looking at getting a fill-in right away. That was the first name that came out of Dave's mouth, is "I want Miguel." He's an excellent storyteller. He's another one of those artists that, when you give them a script, they elevate what you expect. We were both just blown away by the job he did on #47.
Nrama: I've been talking to a lot of people who are doing DC books about to reach #50, and being a particularly game-changing issue. Is that true of Wonder Woman as well?
Finch: It's the anniversary issue, so it is a very important issue. And we've got extra pages. It's a double-sized issue. So we're going to do something along the lines of the Annual, where we're going to have a little back-story at the end. I think people really enjoyed that when we did that in the Annual. And we have big plans for issue #50.
Nrama: Great. Is there anything else you wanted to tell people about Wonder Woman?
Finch: Yeah. Issue #48, they should look to see a guest appearance by another old Wonder Woman villain. It will set up something that will hopefully pay off a few months down the road. But Cheetah is not the only old-school Wonder Woman villain people can look forward to seeing in the next couple months.