Phil Hester makes the best of the hand he has been dealt, but his efforts combined with the rest of the creative team cannot paper over the cracks of the disruption Straczynski’s abrupt departure had caused. Once again, this issue feels rushed, the sequences disjointed and the quality of the artwork variable from page to page. Although seemingly a general theme in this story arc, the level of violence and blood is particularly acute in this issue. Straczynski’s vision for the character still remained unclear, even though we were now half way through his “Odyssey” story line – and fans remained divided as to whether this was a skillfully woven epic and a groundbreaking revisionist take on the Amazon Princess – or just a rather average Elseworlds story featuring a lead character that more resembled Donna Troy than she did Wonder Woman. After all the drastic changes in her origin and the discarding of the iconic costume as if it were an afterthought – where exactly was all this heading and in the end -would it really have been worth the journey?

To further stoke fans ire, the elation on hearing the news that NBC had picked up David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman TV pilot soon turned to dismay and despair as an alleged leaked draft of the script revealed the show to have little to do with the ‘Wonder Woman’ character known and loved by her fans and the wider general public alike. Instead it featured a largely unrecognisable portrayal of Diana in a show crossed between Hannah Montana and Sex in the City! And of course, it was almost inevitable that the iconic costume would also be absent.

Although nobody knew for sure if this was a legitimate draft from the Kelley pilot, to many fans this seemed all to plausible, as they remembered the disastrous Cathy Lee Crosby debacle from the early 70’s – where misguided TV execs also tried to supposedly “modernise” the character and make her more “relevant” to the times, giving the world a TV movie that bombed spectacularly as viewers were unable to relate to – or even understand who – this character was supposed to be -even though the words “Wonder” and “Woman” appeared in the title! A few years later however Douglas Cramer tried again with significant more success, by going back to the original source material – keeping faithful to the character’s look and her origins – and brought the now legendary Lynda Carter to our TV screens. The rest, as they say, became history.

Both George Perez and in particular Greg Rucka demonstrated during their runs on the title just how simple it actually is to write a real world Diana who is both a relevant and believable character for our modern times. And without the need for jacket and pants makeovers either.

Truly, in what should have been a celebratory year marking Diana’s 70th Anniversary – the current situation she found herself in as a character and a concept was – in many fans eyes – including mine – a sorry state of affairs. What would William Moulton Marston have thought…