Writer Grant Morrison has been telling tales of DC Comics characters for some 30 years, giving us definitive takes on Superman, Batman, and the Justice League. In 2016, he finally turned his attention to the heart of DC's trinity, Wonder Woman, with alternate continuity original graphic novelÂ Wonder Woman: Earth One. For this story, Morrison went back to the original concepts behind Wonder Woman, as thought up by her creator, psychiatrist Dr. William Marston. Many of these concepts were far ahead of their time in 1941â€”some still are, even now in the 21st century. Now Morrison and artist Yanick Paquette are reteaming for the second volume in this series, with Wonder Woman: Earth One Volume 2.Â
This second volume couldn't be more timely, and feels as much a Wonder Woman for 2018 as Marston's was the hero the world needed in 1941. Case in point: One panel has Wonder Woman tying up former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer in the lasso of truth. But being topical wasn't the goal from the ground up. According to Morrison, "It wasn't even so much about trying to be timely. It was about trying to honor Marston's original vision, and saying, 'What would this really be like?' The Wonder Woman: Earth One books are very much set in a contemporary, believable world. The simplicity here is about what would happen if Marston's ideas were taken seriously, and some of those are very strange ideas."Much of the latest graphic novel deals with gender politics. Diana is faced with a new interpretation of her classic villain Dr. Psycho, who has long been the embodiment of toxic masculinity. But Morrison will remind you that this is all simply in the character's DNA, and is nothing new. "When you put [Wonder Woman] in the context of today's politics, the gender politics and the whole thing that we're dealing with, it can you become quite provocative, and quite extreme and strange," Morrison said. "And I wanted to shows the Amazons the way [Marston] showed them, which was a separatist race of technologically advanced super women, who were quite happy to use mind control on their enemies."With the mind control angle, Morrison brings back an element of the original 1940s Wonder Woman comics that had largely been discarded, which is the notion that the Amazons essentially rehabilitate all of Wonder Woman's enemies, with what technically amounts to brainwashing. "That's their idea of weapons of peaceâ€”they will just mind control you until you do what's right," Morrison said. "They don't use bombs. They don't use the traditional weapons we've seen Amazons using in the past. They will control your mind, and right now this is a very interesting thing to explore. To see a society which has no qualms about doing that, which is so powerful in its own sense of self come up against a world which looks contemporary and has some roots in current politics and current affairs is incendiary to some degree."Another aspect of Wonder Woman Morrison brings back to the forefront is Princess Diana's role as a teacherâ€”she is one of the few superheroes who has that particular (and very important) job description. "I always take it back to the original concept," Morrison told us, "because she was a scientist, she was a healer. And I thought, 'What is her actual mission in an actual world?' It's not that she comes here to fight crime. She would be someone who has a philosophy that she really believes in, which she thinks could be useful and might make things better. So what seemed appropriate was to make her a teacher, and she already has the connection with Holiday College, since that's where Diana's friend Etta goes to school."Not just waiting around for crime to happen but attempting to stop it at a societal level by communicating ideas, is who Wonder Woman really is at her core, according to Morrison, who said, "Rather than just have her live in a superhero headquarters and go out and fight crime on a unicorn, she has a job, she tries to fit in to our society, while at the same time giving us the option for something bigger. She represents the bridge between her culture and our culture, and she sees that she has a positive role to play, and she wants to encourage people to be better versions of themselves as she sees it."The Wonder Woman: Earth One series proves that the character of Diana is more relevant than ever, something Morrison is hoping comics fans all discover. He told us, "In the world that we live, of fake news, and of simulation and augmented reality, of all of these things are blurring the divisions between what is real and what is fantasy, she is someone who stands for truth. She's the avatar of truth, now in a world where truth has become impossible to detect." With only two chapters down in what will eventually be a three-part saga (part three is already being written), Grant Morrison's Wonder Woman: Earth One has already proved to be one of the greatest takes on the character ever.Wonder Woman: Earth One Volume 2 hits comic shops on October 3, and everywhere else on October 9.Are you ready for Grant Morrison's modern version of the original Wonder Woman? Be sure to share your thoughts with us down below in the comments.
Images: DC Comics