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Exclusive: First look at G. Willow Wilson's second arc of Wonder Woman
For her inaugural story arc on Wonder Woman, G. Willow Wilson wanted a classic tale to bring longtime readers and those new alike, but then to put a big twist to set up future story arcs. Now for her second arc, Wilson is continuing to look at the fallout of Olympus shattering and displacing its gods and creatures onto Earth. SYFY WIRE has a preview of Wonder Woman #63, out this week with art by Emanuela Lupacchino, Ray McCarthy, and Romulo Fajardo Jr. We've also got some tidbits about this issue and future stories.
The new status quo is that Olympus has been shattered and each of the gods that have shown up on Earth has been changed. Ares, for example, is trying to find redemption for all of the chaos he has caused as the god of war, but still goes about doing so as the old Ares would. Aphrodite has appeared, no longer passionate about love. "They’ve changed inwardly, and that’s reflected outwardly as well, just to give us some interesting artistic signs to show the differences between the old status quo and the new one," Wilson exclusively told SYFY WIRE.
"We’ll see more gods and habitants of the Olympian realm, who have come to our world in some way. Some will be characters readers have known for a long time, others will be for Wonder Woman to get to know, so between those I hope there’s something for every type of Wonder Woman reader."
The start of Wonder Woman #63 continues to follow Damon, Eirene, and Cadmus, three mythical creatures of Olympus who follow Diana back to America, but it doesn't go so smoothly, and it's a timely story for what's happening in our own world climate.
"They want to know how they got here, what happened to their homeland, and now they find themselves in the modern American world, and there’s a chance that they might not be able to go home, at least not in the fashion they anticipate," Wilson explained. "They try to navigate their status as refugees, as opposed to what they were in their old world, like aristocrats and magical beings, people who were respected."
"There are certainly political resonances with the situation that we’re in as a nation today, but more importantly, what we’re asking is if mythical creatures showed up at our doorsteps, what would we do? Would we treat them differently than we do with human refugees, or any different?"
Nearly a year into scripting Wonder Woman, Wilson may not be comparing notes with those working on the film, but she is keeping an eye on the public's response to her world, which has been illuminated by the feature film and its upcoming sequel Wonder Woman 1984.
"It’s interesting to see, through the lens of the film, what aspects of Diana’s character that modern audiences are connecting with most," Wilson pondered. "That’s an interesting window for me as the writer of the comic, to see what the broader audience see and to take that into consideration on some level."
She's come to appreciate that Wonder Woman's a character of great contrasts. "On the one hand she’s profoundly idealistic, in some ways more so than Superman, who is capable of seeing the grays in any given situation."
"But with Wonder Woman, I think she sees things in a more black-and-white way, so she’s extremely idealistic, with a very firm sense of her own duty and mission. At the same time there’s an otherworldliness to her as having portrayed a sense of innocence when she interacts with the world, because it’s so different from what she grew up to know." Wilson has also been trying to complicate Diana's life a bit by making her a bit more flawed, making it easier for, as she puts it, "fundamentally flawed humans" to connect with Diana.
The stand-alone issue will reveal a fan-favorite villain that Wilson has brought back, who is looking to exploit the shattering of Olympus, "which makes Wonder Woman’s life a lot more complicated."
As a fan of British Invasion-era stories of the '80s and '90s like Sandman, Wilson loves fantasies that mash up archetypal mythological beings and characters with our "very quotidian, day-to-day existence together and figure out how everybody would get along. I thought that was a great opportunity to do that with Wonder Woman, because typically her story is bifurcated."
"Between Themysciran-Olympian world, which is its own pocket in the universe. Then there’s the modern-day Washington D.C., where she faces off against traditional rogues that are not in any way connected to the mythological. I thought it might be fun to combine a few of those so that she has to grapple with her status as an Amazonian goddess in this mortal world, but also, where is home for her now? What does she think is her primary role? How has the way she sees herself changed from being among us, here on Earth? Putting together her two separate worlds seemed like a great way to do that."
However, the big, looming question going forward is now that there are a lot of Olympus gods and creatures here on Earth as refugees, there's still one unaccounted group of beings. Wilson wants to answer the question "Where are the Amazons?"
Check out our preview of Wonder Woman #63, and then check out the entire issue this Wednesday at a local comic shop near you or in digital formats.