As the holidays arrive and the year comes to a close, we thought we’d take a look back at 2013 and commemorate some of the moments that really stood out in the world of DC Entertainment in a two-week DCComics.com series we’re calling “Ten Moments that Mattered.” Some of these moments were happy. Some were sad. They played out in the pages of our comics, on the big and small screen and in the halls of our office. However, all of them made a profound difference in the world of DC Comics and in the hearts and minds of our fans. 2013 was a big year for us, but even in a big year, not all moments are created equal. Here are ten that mattered…
Considering that it came out between Trinity War and Villains Month, perhaps it’s not surprising that one of the single best comic issues of the year went largely unsung.
The finale of the New Gods storyline that writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang began in December, Wonder Woman #23 begins typically enough. Diana and her ragtag team of family and friends confront the destructive First Born and his army of jackal-like warriors.
But things take a turn for the truly surprising near the end, when Wonder Woman—facing an impossible situation—stops the First Born from killing Ares and becoming the new God of War by killing Ares herself. Of course, in so doing, she becomes the new War.
It’s an intriguing turn of events, and one can imagine the possibility it holds for the series and the character. But what’s most remarkable about Wonder Woman #23 is how this unheralded and unexpected turn of events is upstaged by the deeply emotional aftermath that closes the issue. Between Ares unexpectedly calling Diana “Wonder Woman,” the turn-page appearance of Hades (previously an antagonist to Diana, but now emerging as a reassuring presence), Hera tenderly kissing Ares’s head and Diana carrying the body of her former mentor to Charon’s boat, it’s impossible not to be moved.
It’s also impossible not to be impressed. In the course of twenty pages, Wonder Woman #23 packs more action, thrills, shocks and tears than many full-length novels, while truly changing the game for the series. Two years after the New 52 relaunch and over 70 years after her creation, Wonder Woman still feels as fresh, as relevant and as important to the comic book medium as ever.
Be sure to check DCComics.com again tomorrow for another moment that mattered in 2013.