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Wonder Woman’s Reputation as a Hero is Built on a Lie

Warning! Spoilers for The Other History of the DC Universe #5

Wonder Woman’s reputation as a hero seems to be built on a lie according to a new comic. Although she’s a part of the DC Trinity, Diana Prince isn’t the same superhero that fans had thought she was based on her adventures in the Justice League.

The depiction of the DC Universe has been called into question by The Other History of the DC Universe #5, written by John Ridley with art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Andrea Cucchi. The final issue of the miniseries continues to explore the premise that iconic superheroes haven’t been accurately represented in past comics. As Anissa Pierce, the daughter of Black Lightning AKA Jefferson Pierce, recounts her childhood, and her journey to becoming a superhero. While on her way to eventually donning the name Thunder, Anissa exposes the dark reality of the DC Universe.

Related: Wonder Woman's Mother is Hiding the Dark Truth of the Amazons

It’s been revealed that the media has hidden the bleak aftermath of both Wonder Woman and Superman’s attempts to save the day. And, it seems that many other heroes have been similarly falsely portrayed on the news, as a way to drive a comforting narrative. Anissa Pierce AKA Thunder speaks about her own experience growing up as the daughter of a major DC superhero, explaining that the Justice League’s adventures aren’t as glamorous as they seem. “When the news reports on Superman or Wonder Woman swooping in and saving the day, what they don’t show you is the carnage that’s often a by-product of the “never-ending battle”: the maimed and the dead… Those kinds of images mess with the heroic narrative of the good guys always chalking a clean victory.”

This twist in perspective seems more characteristic of a series like The Boys, which shows a stand-in Justice League’s secret double life full of scandal and catastrophe. It also feels reminiscent of common fan feedback, regarding Batman being “a billionaire who beats up the poor and mentally ill.” Writers have often poked at how bleak and strange superheroes would be in real life, if adapted accurately based on their comic book legacies. It has led to numerous evil Supermen, and several alternate versions of the League portrayed through a darker lens.

The passing line delivered by Anissa has major implications, at least for the DC Universe of the past, as the miniseries largely homaged the ‘80s and ‘90s iteration of the heroes. At that time, DC stories were beginning to develop a new sense of depth, with Dennis O’Neil’s social commentary explored through Green Lantern and Green Arrow. As superheroes like Batman and Superman grew to have a more complicated sense of morality as seen in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, the same treatment was not given to every member of the Justice League. Retrospectively, Anissa’s revelation about Wonder Woman’s reputation adds a new dimension that readers can have in mind while revisiting stories of a past DC Universe.

More: Batman & Wonder Woman Finally Get a Real Friendship in the DCAU

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