Wonder Woman has been one of the best titles DC has published since the beginning of the New 52. It has not only expanded Diana’s cast of characters beyond Steve Trevor, Etta Candy, and the Amazons, to include an entire, Greek-inspired Pantheon, but has also set the book firmly outside of the often unpopular N52 DC Universe (and the much maligned Wonder Woman/Superman romance).
In a way, though, it’s also been one of the worst female-led titles: replacing Wonder Woman’s Amazonian combat teachers with Azzarello’s doppelgänger Ares in her youth, featuring Diana making forced castration jokes in response to the equally forced gender roles ascribed by Orion (who traditionally comes from the same society as Big Barda and Mister Miracle and their gender-role reversing relationship), and transforming the Amazons into the murderous succubi, who kill not only all the men they force to procreate with them, but also any of the male babies they give birth to.
But now writer Brian Azzarello has confirmed his departure from Wonder Woman, along with artist Cliff Chiang. “[We’ve] never said anything other than, we were going to do about three years,” Azzarello said, in an interview with Newsarama. “It’s been out there.”
“We’ve put a bunch of dominoes together, and we’re finally going to knock them over, you know?” said Chiang. “We’ve been doing that for a couple of years, and now, we’re starting to see things fall. And it’s really satisfying to see the pattern that it’s making, and the other things that we’ve been able to bring out, adding certain kinds of symbolism, certain kinds of beings, as we go along.”
When I spoke with Cliff Chiang at Boston Comic Con in 2012, a little less than a year in to the New 52, he told me he had a large number of fans stop by his table in the artist alley, telling him they had never read a Wonder Woman comic before the reboot, and thanking him for being the artist to pull them into the series.
Chiang has been the true break-out star of Wonder Woman, with his bold, thick-lined art and whimsical, fully realized character design feeling more organic than digital. If DC can retain Chiang, they would be wise to put him on a title like Birds of Prey or Worlds’ Finest, because of his mastery of facial and body expressions and his penchant for drawing female characters in chic, modern clothing (like he did in the standout issue #33 of Brave and the Bold).
But while Chiang and Azzarello wrap up their run of Wonder Woman–which featured alternating art by Tony Akins, Goran Sudzuka and Aco–it has just been announced that David Finch will be moving on from Forever Evil to work with the Amazon princess herself. Though it hasn’t been confirmed, most assume that Finch will pull double duty, producing both writing and art for the title, as he did with Dark Knight.