There are some early indications that the ongoing series Wonder Woman may see a shakeup very soon. Solicits reveal that current writer James Robinson may be drawing his epic story of Greek and New Gods to a close by Wonder Woman #49 with a big anniversary issue to follow in Wonder Woman #50, also making it one of the first Rebirth series to hit that landmark. Wonder Woman is one of the most important characters at DC Comics, especially given her unique popularity and reception amongst the superhero films currently being produced by Warner Brothers. That means it’s never too early to start worrying about how to best guide the series to new ideas and readers.
Whether or not Robinson intends to leave following Wonder Woman #50, there’s no harm in speculating who might fill the role best whenever he does depart. Editors must remain one step ahead and there are few series as important to keep stocked with top-tier talent than Wonder Woman. That’s why we’re examining which current writers would be best suited to steering the series into the future.
If DC Comics wants to surprise readers and build their growing pool of talent, there’s an incredible range of relatively new writers to superhero comics. Many individuals have been coming in from other fields, including young adult literature and the indie comics scene, to show off what they can do with some classic characters. There’s also an obvious hunger for these new voices. Marvel Comics recently signed Kelly Thompson to an exclusive contract, removing one of the best options for a new Wonder Woman writer. There are still plenty of other “young guns” who would be a great fit for the job though.
Both Rainbow Rowell and Hope Larson have some roots in the field of young adult literature. Rowell recently relaunched Runaways at Marvel and showed the charm and dialogue from her novels can easily make the jump to comics. While all of her stories so far have focused on young adults and children, there’s no reason to assume she can’t write just as well for the more adult scenarios surrounding Wonder Woman. She would also bring a built-in audience of young readers from across the United States. Larson began her career as a cartoonist, but has also helped to adapt classics like A Wrinkle in Time. Her first mainstream writing work on Batgirl has shown that she’s capable of handling just about any style or tone that superhero comics might throw at her.
Mariko Tamaki and Jody Houser are two more recent discoveries in the world of superhero comics. Tamaki’s run on She-Hulk was outstanding and makes her a natural fit for Wonder Woman; it dug into the mythos of a long-standing character and built naturally on current events at Marvel Comics. She definitely has the chops for a continuity-heavy series like Wonder Woman. Houser may be the most likely pick for DC Comics based on her existing work with the company. She has written heroines like Supergirl and Mother Panic, in addition to Faith, Spider-Man, and others elsewhere. Houser is quickly becoming one of the best writers in superhero comics today, really showing off a wide range of styles in her work for DC, Marvel, and Valiant.
If DC Comics is looking for a big name to take over the title, someone who has been working in comics for a bit longer and might have a more developed reputation, there are still plenty of great options. Many DC Comics fans would default to Gail Simone, who previously helped craft defining runs for teams like the Birds of Prey and Secret Six. Simone has already worked on Wonder Woman as well. While it might not be disappointing to see her return to one of her best series, there are also a lot of other writers still seeking a first crack at the legendary superhero.
There are few writers who loom as large and are still working today as Louise Simonson. Most of her work took place at Marvel Comics where she redefined the X-Men as both a writer and editor. Assuming she would want the role, it would be interesting to see what Simonson might do with Wonder Woman and the DC Universe in even a dozen issues. This team-up of character and writer would truly be a case of legends meeting.
However, for our money the absolute best pick for taking over Wonder Woman has to be Becky Cloonan. She is a true threat on all fronts with a career that has distinguished her as both a top creator on independent works and work-for-hire superhero series, as both a masterful cartoonist and talented writer. Cloonan understands the comics medium front to back, and would be a very engaging writer on Wonder Woman. Her past works have shown interest in topics of mythology, modern warfare, and a whole lot more that would add to this series. If Cloonan is not the best possible match for a new writer, then she is tied for that spot.
Just because DC Comics can reach out to any writer currently working in superhero comics doesn’t mean they shouldn’t think outside of the box. If they really want to provide a different spin on Wonder Woman, even if for only a few issues, then the world of self-published and creator-owned comics has an incredible array of talent who could accomplish just that. Jordie Bellaire recently made the leap from colorist to writer in Redlands published by Image Comics. The series has revealed a writer every bit as qualified to work at the Big Two as the colorist who already does.
Any indie convention, from SPX to DiNK, could deliver a murderer’s row of talent unknown to most superhero fans, but a couple more names jump to mind immediately. Tillie Walden has been recognized as one of the greatest young talents in comics today. Her work on reflective stories like Spinning could be translated into a fascinating spin on the Wonder Woman mythos emphasizing coming-of-age themes. Emily Carroll, best known for Through the Woods, could take it in a very different direction, embracing the horror-related villains of Wonder Woman’s adventures like the minotaur.
Whatever direction DC Comics decides to take next, it’s clear that there are a lot of talented writers well suited to handling Wonder Woman next. Whether they opt for new talent, an existing comics all-star, or someone new to the superhero genre, DC Comics couldn’t hope for any better array of options.