After the hype that had been generated following the announcement that Straczynski would be taking over two of DC Comics’ flagship characters, the industry and fans alike were stunned when, a few weeks after this issue came out and a notification that issue 605 would be late, DC announced that Straczynski would be leaving both the “Wonder Woman” and “Superman” titles to take up writing duties on a sequel to “Superman: Earth One”!

The graphic novel, which had met with critical and sales success when it came out, would be getting a fast tracked sequel and in order for him to focus all his creative energies on achieving another sales winner – Straczynski would, with immediate effect, be leaving the monthly books and in the case of “Wonder Woman”, handing over writing duties to Phil Hester, who would be continuing the Odyssey story arc based on Straczynski’s original story notes.

Understandably, fans of both the affected titles were suspicious and had their own alternate views as to the real reasons behind the surprising and sudden departure of the writer, who had been trumpeted by DC as a major coup when he had moved from Marvel Comics, and who had been given free reign to write “groundbreaking” – and in the case of Diana – highly “controversial” year long story arcs for the two major DC characters.

Some found it unbelievable that DC would consciously commit to let Straczynski write year long arcs for such important characters but then simply pull the rug out in search of a quick buck from a “Superman: Earth One” sequel. A few fans suspected that in fact, the abruptness of the change was more to do with the fact that the anticipated sales spikes for the titles had been lower than anticipated and in the case of “Wonder Woman”, the radical changes made to both the character’s origin and iconic costume had proven far too unpopular, not only with the core fan base but the wider general public at large, and that the writer and his direction had simply proven too toxic for such a major marketable corporate asset.

An alternative theory put forward was that the writer no longer had any faith in monthly titles and saw the future of the industry as being in the graphic novel format, although Straczynski later gave interviews in which he refuted such claims.

The official DC press releases stated that this change had been the plan all along – albeit somewhat accelerated – that this decision was a mutual one between both parties, and that the story arcs for the monthly titles would continue to their natural conclusions. However, “Wonder Woman” fans in particular wondered if this would in fact result in a much speedier resolution to the Odyssey arc and would perhaps see a return of the classic costume and origin much sooner than hypothesized.

Regardless of the true reasons behind the radical changes, the majority of Wonder Woman fans seemed angered by the shambolic treatment by DC of their beloved character, particularly as the Allen Heinberg debacle still remained fresh in many minds. Instability in creative teams had almost become the norm for Diana – and many demanded to know who at DC should be held editorially accountable and who, perhaps, should be made to fall on their sword…