Following on from the “Rise of the Olympian” story line the book experienced a notable drop off in sales and found itself selling less copies than the likes of “Power Girl”, “Supergirl” and even “Teen Titans”- a worrying development for DC’s supposedly premier heroine. Generally, overall fan approval for Gail Simone’s run remained high, but as has always been the case with the “Wonder Woman” character, large sales volumes continued to remain elusive.

There were the usual cries from some quarters of “re-boots” – or even discarding all of the familiar elements that make the character so iconic such as her costume, her mythology etc in order to make her supposedly “more appealing” to a wider audience. But such opinions fail to recognise that taking away these elements fundamentally undermine the very core of the character and effectively create a brand new character who is “Wonder Woman” in name only and is all but unrecognizable to the world at large as being the Amazing Amazon we know and love.

Quite probably the “new look” book would experience an initial surge of new readers as curiosity takes hold – but how many new comic book characters have truly been successfully introduced to a mass audience in the last decade? All that happens is that the “newbies” drop the book after a few months once the novelty fades and you are left with a shell of a book which has in turn alienated the core fan base by desecrating their beloved character, to whom they have given nothing but years of loyalty. It didn’t work making Wonder Woman a de-powered, white jump suit wearing “Emma Peel” clone in the sixties. It didn’t work making a Cathy Lee Crosbie “Wonder Woman” TV movie that bore no resemblance to the character in the title. That’s because Wonder Woman is such an icon now – to the extent that even the phrase “You’re a Wonder Woman” has meaning the world over – that throwing away the baby with the bath water would be the guaranteed “end of the road” for Diana.

Interestingly, Simone herself addressed the issue of Wonder Woman’s popularity in a new regular column for the comicbookresources web site dedicated to the Amazing Amazon, admitting that while sales of the comic may not be spectacular, Wonder Woman as a character is arguably more popular than she’s ever been – appealing to a wider audience that transcends the traditional comic book fan base. Simone describes Diana as “a character that has a tremendous fan base which, for whatever reason, has not necessarily carried over into the comics. Wonder Woman merchandise sells, well, wonderfully, and to this day there are thousands of men who can’t even contemplate Lynda Carter in the Wonder suit without getting a wistful, happy glow. I hear stories of people who use WW as their avatar to fight cancer, to leave abusive relationships, and stand up for what they think is right. Those people may not all read comics, but they are every bit as much a fan as we are.”

And perhaps that in itself is a tribute to the power of William Moulton Marston’s legacy – to have created a character of such broad appeal that she crosses all divides, speaking to men and women, gays and straights, blacks and whites and proving that Diana is no longer just another comic book heroine but something far deeper that touches our very psyche.

This issue sees Diana discovers by accident that she has a new, unexpected power.