And so we reach the final issue of the Finch’s run and the end of the New 52 era.
The “Rebirth” event that followed was a re-boot in all but name, even though DC were at pains to try and deny the fact and described it rather as a “course correction”. But the goal of Rebirth was an attempt to address the many flaws that the New 52 had introduced and return – at least to some extent – to the original core essences of DC’s characters. While many Wonder Woman fans hoped that this would also see the ret-conning of the much hated “daughter of Zeus” origin and a return to the classic clay origin, initial teasers of the new Wonder Woman title’s first story arc in “Justice League# 50” and the “DC Rebirth #1” one-shot itself seemed to indicate that far from removing it, there would be, in addition, the introduction of a “long lost brother” called Jason! Oh dear…
While the Finch’s had no doubt been forced to wrap up their story arc much quicker than they had probably envisaged, it’s still hard to feel sorry for them as their finale issue was a deeply unsatisfying end to a deeply unsatisfying run. Diana was again portrayed as a rather stupid and clueless pawn of other character’s machinations and the character of Hera, which had been developed nicely over the past several years was effectively trashed in order to justify the lame plot. And considering that Zeus’s return had pretty much been trailed from the very beginning of Azzarello’s run with the birth of Zeke – who’s real identity many fans guessed right from the get go – his final return came across as an after-thought. And of course, many fans still had not forgiven the Finch’s for what they had done to Donna Troy. In short, there would be very few Wonder Woman fans sorry to see this creative team go.
Ironically, this also meant that the New 52 era went out with a whimper rather than the controversial bang it arrived with – and fans waited in weary anticipation of yet another “new direction” for the Amazon Princess, hoping that at least this time the character would finally return to her roots and embody the character her creator meant her to be when she made her debut 75 years ago.
The variant cover also acts as a fitting “book-end” to the New 52 era, re-creating the cover of Azzarello’s #1 when he unleashed his often polarising take on Diana on an unsuspecting fan base. Fans could only hope that Grey Rucka’s return to the character might begin to heal the divide between fans as to who Wonder Woman should be and what she should represent.
And whether by design or simply a coincidence, the New 52 era ends with…well, issue 52…!