Wonder Woman #0 (from The Batmom October 2012)

Ramble: Great read! More interesting twistiness uncovered in Wonder Woman's history. She was already a girl alone among the Amazons, what with being a holy bastard and the only one of her race not to toss baby boys off the island.

In this flashback issue, Ares, Diana’s uncle and god of war, takes his 13-year-old niece and makes of her a warrior. She grows strong and swift, but when she shows the Minotaur mercy, Uncle War fwooms fire and declares her a loner for life.

From a gender perspective, this new bit mixes things up even more than past issues.

Traditionally, Diana is raised and trained by a race of brave women who stand man-less and proud on their island. Brian Azzarello (writer) and Cliff Chiang (artist) angered not a few readers in issue #7 by turning the Amazons into heartless floozies, but that twist certainly served to heighten Diana’s feelings of isolation – from her family and her gender.

In issue #0 she’s being trained by a male god who rules a traditionally male arena – battle – and she’s triumphing on her own terms, which once again separates her from her family, here male.

I’m a new reader, but even I didn’t like the nasty turn the Amazons took in #7. I do like the point at which Diana’s arrived. She embodies the strength and skill of her teachers, male and female, and uses them to employ her unique brand of justice, which she metes out with a healthy dose of compassion.

The issue looks great, too. The creators present the book as if it was pulled out of DC’s archives; the art and the writing reflect this. Behold Diana’s first thought: “My prize is nearly in my grasp. Though my arms do ache as Atlas’ must, I shan’t give up my quest.”

Shan’t. Ha! Pitch-perfect, start to finish. On to issue #12.