We continue the countdown of YOUR picks for the greatest Wonder Woman stories ever told! We continue with stories #20-16!
20. Bones (Wonder Woman Vol.4 #30-35)
Brian Azzarello’s run came to a close with this arc, which featured the return of Cliff Chiang on art (with Goran Sudzuka also drawing a chunk of this arc) for the conclusion of the epic battle between Zeus’ First Born and Zeus’ other children, including Wonder Woman.
The First Born’s servant turned out to be the Minotaur that Diana spared in Wonder Woman #0, making the whole thing pay off really well…
This was a thrilling conclusion to one of the most acclaimed runs of the New 52.
19. The Lies (Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1, Wonder Woman Vol.5 #1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11)
Greg Rucka launched the Rebirth era of Wonder Woman with Liam Sharp and Laura Martin in this compelling introduction to Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor, Etta Candy, Veronica Cale and the Cheetah, as a mission by Steve Trevor finds himself captured in the same area of the world where Wonder Woman has traveled to hunt down the Cheetah to get information about why everything Wonder Woman knew about her life on Paradise Island was a lie…
Rucka did a magnificent job balancing so many different characters, allowing them all to tie in with each other and making the story feel all the more richer for it.
18. The 12 Labors (Wonder Woman Vol.1 #212-222)
Robert Kanigher briefly returned to Wonder Woman to bring her back to her old self. His rather inelegant solution was to have Wonder Woman’s mentor, I-Ching, get shot by a sniper and the same sniper shoots Wonder Woman in the head. She is saved by the Amazons, who restore her powers but since the bullet wound damaged Wonder Woman’s brain, they restored her brain except for the memories of her time without powers. So she was just back to being Wonder Woman.
The problem, of course, is that that is a significant chunk of Wonder Woman’s life just erased. So a bunch of writers combined for an 11-part arc where Wonder Woman tries to prove to herself that she is still the same hero she always was by having her Justice League teammates watch her in action and help determine if she is worthy of still being a member of the Justice League…
Len Wein kicked off the arc, but Cary Bates, Elliot S! Maggin and Marty Pasko also wrote for the series (with Pasko finishing it and continuing on afterwards). Different artists drew it, including Curt Swan and Jose Delbo.
17. The True Amazon (Wonder Woman: The True Amazon OGN)
In this heartbreaking story by writer/artist Jill Thompson, the origins of Paradise Island and Princess Diana are given, with interesting twists by Thompson. However, that is nothing compared to how Thompson explains how Diana became Wonder Woman. Thompson’s young Diana is a cocky jerk who hunts down monsters and is generally so good at everything that she can’t handle it when it looks like she might lose a chariot race, so she uses her power to call out some monsters to distract her fellow competitors, only instead she ends up releasing ALL of the monsters that she had ever captured, which ends in a horrific tragedy…
She still becomes Wonder Woman, but now it is due to tragedy, much like Spider-Man. Her arrogance led to her downfall and a need to redeem herself.
16. The Contest/Challenge of Artemis (Wonder Woman Vol.2 #90-100, #0)
Most people voted for The Contest, but since “Challenge of Artemis” didn’t make the list and I got the impression from some of the voters that, in voting for the Contest, they really thought that they were voting for the whole Artemis arc, I decided to lump them together.
So anyhow, the rival group of Amazons are uneasily adjusting to life on Paradise Island when Hippolyta decides to have a new contest to see if Diana is still worthy of being Wonder Woman. As it turns out, this is all an Odin-style trick by Hippolyta to get someone to fill in as Wonder Woman because she sees the death of Wonder Woman coming in the future. So she fixes it so that Diana loses the new contest and Artemis of the other group of Amazons becomes the new Wonder Woman and Diana, pissed at her mom, goes back to the United States and continues as a hero in her own right, just Diana…
William Messner-Loebs finished out his long run on Wonder Woman with this storyline and Mike Deodato became a comic book superstar with his work on this series.