REBIRTH Recon: Looking at WONDER WOMAN 12 Issues In

"Wonder Woman" variant
"Wonder Woman" variant
Credit: Frank Cho (DC Comics)
Credit: Jenny Frison (DC Comics)

All that stuff you loved about Wonder Woman in the New 52? (Or the stuff you hated, if that was your reaction?)


In the time it's taken the new, "Rebirth" version of Wonder Woman to reach half a year and 12 issues, the character has learned that all her adventures on Themyscira were a "lie," and it looks like the lie is connected to a familiar villain.

Now that DC's "Rebirth" relaunch is sixth months old, several of its twice-monthly titles are reaching their twelfth issue. In our latest Rebirth Recon summary of the 12-issue changes since "Rebirth" launched, Newsarama takes a look at what has happened in Wonder Woman.

Who Am I?

Credit: DC Comics

In Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1, the character herself told readers that her memories and stories kept changing - something that reflects the different approaches to Wonder Woman over the years, but also the altered origin given to many DC characters during the "New 52."

But the point of the "Rebirth" run has been that Wonder Woman is being hurt by the fact that she has no idea what is the truth and what is a lie. But in true Wonder Woman fashion, she's determined to find out.

She begins by wrapping herself in her own lasso and asking herself, "Who am I?" The answers are pretty expected until she tells herself that she has been deceived. How? And by whom? That's what we're going to find out.

Wonder Woman, who's lost the ability to return to Themyscira, enlists Cheetah to help her find her island home. Wonder Woman also unites with action hero Steve Trevor and his squad of soldiers. (They're reunion is pretty convenient, but that's because, we're reminded by Etta Candy, the two are magically connected.)

After some other magical mumbo jumbo - and a little kicking butt - the curse on Barbara Ann Minerva is lifted, releasing her from her Cheetah persona.

And now for a little history of Steve Trevor and Princess Diana…

Year One

"Wonder Woman" variant
"Wonder Woman" variant
Credit: Frank Cho (DC Comics)

Because Wonder Woman is released twice a month, series writer Greg Rucka is simultaneously writing a "Year One" story about the character, telling the "Who Am I?" story in odd issues as "The Lies", but telling the "Year One" story in the even ones.

In the flashback issues, Diana is a princess in Themyscira, daughter of Queen Hippolyta, but the young Amazon appears to yearn for more. According to the Diana's teachers on the isolated island, the Amazons are reincarnations of women whose lives had been struck down by men.

Readers are shown that before she left the island, Diana was bitten on her wrist by a nasty snake, one she found near a gnarly tree (which readers later see mysteriously described by the Amazon elders as a "gate"). The bite makes her ill, and after she heals, Wonder Woman is given the golden lasso.

Simultaneously, readers are shown soldier Steve Trevor in "Man's World" - he's a tough guy and a good soldier, and he's got a heart-warming friendship with his BFF Nick. By the end of the first issue of "Year One," Steve Trevor gets on an airplane and we all know what comes next - the plane crash lands at Themyscira, Nick and the rest of Steve's team are killed and Steve is the only survivor.

"Wonder Woman" variant
"Wonder Woman" variant
Credit: Frank Cho (DC Comics)

The Amazons, shocked that they have been "discovered" by a man, decide to have a champion return the man to his own land - a winner of a contest (the "Games"). And of course, despite Hippolyta's efforts to keep her daughter out of the Games, Diana wins. She and Steve board the Invisible Jet and fly to Man's World. When they arrive, we learn that doctor's think Steve is not only healed after the crash, but he's in better shape than when he left.

After American authorities lock up Wonder Woman - wanting to make sure she means them no harm - the Greek gods visit Wonder Woman in jail. (And in this run, it looks like we'll no longer see the Cliff Chiang-designed gods from "New 52." They're animals. No, really - a bunch of animals visit Wonder Woman in jail.) They give her what Wonder Woman calls "gifts," which apparently includes her super strength and power of flight. We're shown that Diana continues to have friendly discussions with animal/gods from time to time.

Diana also meets Cheetah for the first time - actually, it was back when she was still Dr. Barbara Minerva, and she was the first one who could speak Diana's language. Readers find out that younger Dr. Minverva was obsessed with finding the Amazons, and we're shown that she once found an island that had a very familiar-looking gnarly tree.

Also in the past stories, Diana and Steve fought against a terrorist cell called the Sear Group. They had a habit of repeating, "His will shall not be denied," and they had the gnarly tree tattooed on their chest.

All About Returns

"Wonder Woman" variant
"Wonder Woman" variant
Credit: Frank Cho (DC Comics)

The rich and powerful Veronica Cale, a nemesis introduced by Rucka in his last run prior to the "New 52," is re-introduced to this story, plotting against Wonder Woman. Readers are shown that Veronica has a way of controlling A.R.G.U.S. Director Sasha Bordeaux, who oversees Steve and his team.

Meanwhile, Wonder Woman references her relationship with the now dead "New 52" Superman, but she decides she's ready to move on. And she's moving on by returning to her relationship with Steve Trevor.

And the not-Cheetah-anymore Dr. Minerva thinks she can help Diana return to Themyscira by getting her to "someplace where the barrier between worlds is weak." Diana and Steve go there and sure enough, Diana sees her Themysciran sisters.

But something's not right. Diana's mother is alive (after dying during "New 52"), she's rocking blond hair (while in the "Year One" flashbacks, she's a brunette), and the Amazons and their surroundings look hardened.

Things Just Got Unreal

Credit: Jenny Frison (DC Comics)

Meanwhile, back on the mainland, Etta Candy suspects that Sasha Bordeaux isn't quite right, so she follows the A.R.G.U.S. director to a park. She catches her helping Veronica Cale. Etta confronts the two women and finds out one of them actually isn't a woman. Bordeaux is a robot.

Etta kills the robot Bordeaux, but she's attacked by Cale's Dobermans.

Back on the island, Wonder Woman's welcomed by her sisters with a feast, but Steve smells something rotten in Denmark. Or rather, in Themyscira. Nothing is the same as it was during the "Year One" story.

He confronts Diana and she starts to bleed - from her wrist, in the same spot where the snake bit her all those years ago. The two wander to another part of the island and suddenly that familiar, gnarly tree appears.

Diana seems to realize something. She says that, because she left the island with Steve, the "price" she had to pay to help him (and see his world) was that she would forever leave hers. She tells Steve, "This is not my home. All these times, all these years, I've never been home! It was all just a lie…"

That Darn Tree

Credit: Jenny Frison (DC Comics)

Back in the past, in Wonder Woman #12, Wonder Woman talks about how she had a relationship with a woman she loved back on the island. Oh, and Etta Candy and Barbara Minerva appear to have a thing happening between them too.

But remember those terrorists? When Diana applies the truth lasso to them, they start babbling about how they're serving someone who's making war, someone who has convinced them that it's inevitable that man will end up in war. They share a sort of vision that "bodies will rot and the war will begin and no one will have peace."

War? Hmmm…wonder who that could be.

It turns out that Sear Group terrorists have been infected with a virus that made them violent . And then readers (and Wonder Woman) find out that Steve's original mission (when he was on that plane before it crashed on her island) was also connected to the Sear Group and this virus.

Barbara shows Wonder Woman one more thing she's discovered. If you re-arrange the word "Sear," you get (you guessed it, right?) "Ares." And, Barbara says, she noticed that Wonder Woman never mentioned that the god of war visited her (with all the other forest animal gods).

Credit: Jenny Frison (DC Comics)

As soon as Wonder Woman realizes what this means, Ares shows up, complete with snakes around his head. He says he's been waiting a long time to meet the princess.

Of course, remember that this happened in the past - it's part of the "Year One" flashback issues.

But if Wonder Woman figured out the connection between Ares and the gnarly tree a long time ago (in the "Year One" stories), then why is she still acting clueless about that tree in present-day stories? What did Ares do to her and when did he do it? And what does Veronica Cale have to do with it?

And what does this mean for Wonder Woman continuity? Did this story really just erase not only everything that happened in the "New 52," but even all the stories from post-Crisis continuity that had anything to do with Themyscira? What about characters who were launched out of "New 52" Themyscira, like Grail, Artemis, and Donna Troy?

Or is this broken continuity something the DCU can blame on Dr. Manhattan and the Watchmen characters (the timeline manipulation hinted about when "Rebirth" began)?

Look back at our other summations of "Rebirth" events on top DC characters: Batman & Detective Comics, Superman & Action Comics, Aquaman, Green ArrowThe Flash, and Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps.

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