The Finch’s debut issue was clearly a very different take on Diana. Some fans were frustrated that the opening scene showed the Amazon Princess naked in the shower, reminiscent of how she had made her naked debut in Azzarello’s first issue. But some reasoned that depicting Diana washing away the blood from her battle with the First Born was a symbolic way of showing that this new run was going to be washing away the past mistakes and also Diana’s penchant for sword wielding bloodthirstiness. A clean start if you like.
Very early on in the issue we see Diana standing amongst her peers in the Justice League – something we never saw throughout the entire run of Azzarello. Meredith Finch writes a Wonder Woman who is not at peace with herself, snappy and trigger happy. But – it is clear that this is the writer’s intent, because we find out that Diana knows she is not herself and that she needs to find herself again. Once again, another reference to Wonder Woman perhaps having strayed too far over the past three years from who she should be as a character?
David Finch’s art is a refreshing change to Chiang’s rather sketch book style, although ironically while some at the time had accused Chiang’s art of being too simplistic and that it looked like it had been drawn by a teenager, some now accused Finch of drawing a Diana who looked like a teenager! And in truth, Finch certainly has a Manga vibe about his style, which results in a rather doe eyed looking Amazon Princess.
The story opens with several villages across the world being destroyed by devastating environmental catastrophes, including earthquakes and rain. Even on Themyscira itself, torrential rain falls and begins to wash away the clay Golem that is Hippolyta.
The following morning as Diana takes a shower washing the blood from her battle with the First Born, she gets a call from Steel requesting her attendance at Justice League HQ.
Back on Themyscira the Amazons are arguing about the continued presence of the men. Some like Clyemne feel that they are a contamination and must be removed while others like Dessa argue that the men are Amazons too and shed their blood to protect the island alongside the Amazons. But Hippolyta’s withered old sister, Derinoe, states that the men will bring ruin to the Amazons…
Meanwhile at Justice League HQ the team are being briefed on the disasters across the world, but there is little or no evidence as to who is responsible, as the scanners only reveal the vegetation that remains. Batman orders the team to split up and visit the disaster sites.
Not long afterwards in Thailand, the Swamp Thing is studying the after effects of the destruction, seeing that the only living things left are the plants. Suddenly he is attacked by Wonder Woman, who immediately suspects he is responsible. He tries to plead his innocence but they fight until Aquaman arrives to break up the confrontation. The Swamp Thing tells Diana that he is also looking for answers and that he is not responsible.
As Wonder Woman and Aquaman return to HQ, the Sea King tells her he has noticed she seems to have a lot on her mind – and that he has never seen her so angry, lashing out at Holland like that. She replies that after recent events, what with the revelations about her true past and her real father, her mother being tuned to clay, her becoming the God of War and having to stop her Amazon sisters from killing the men who now co-habitat with them on the island, she simply has too much on her plate. Even being a Goddess she cannot be in two places at once, which means she is likely to let someone down at some point. Aquaman tells her that she can only do our best – but she replies that right now, she is not giving anybody her best.
Later that night Wonder Woman touches down on the beach on Themyscira and is greeted by Dessa. She tells her Amazon sister that she has come to check on things and make sure that conflict has not yet broken out between the men and women! As they walk towards the city and Diana continues that the Amazons have cut themselves off from the world for far too long and are stagnating, Dessa tells her that there is something she needs to see urgently.
And as they enter the courtyard Dessa tells her that her mother is dead and Wonder Woman is horrified to see that her mother has indeed now completely melted into a pile of clay.