Wonder Woman - The John Byrne Era Picture

In 1995, comic book legend John Byrne began his run on Wonder Woman. Despite his successful reboot of Superman nearly a decade before and his near spotless record with Marvel books, Byrne failed to understand the essential mythology behind the Amazing Amazon and crafted what is now considered one of the worst runs in Wonder Woman's Post-Crisis history. From removing her beloved supporting cast in favour of a carbon copy version to featuring a rotating guest spots, Wonder Woman's title slowly became less about Princess Diana of Themyscira and more about how many guest stars John Byrne could toss at readers. Several of his crimes against Wonder Woman included introducing Cassandra Sandsmark (AKA the butch "is that a boy or a girl?" version of Vanessa Kapatelis), continually abusing the Amazons (turning them to stone and sacrificing their lives), convoluting Donna Troy's backstory to the point where it became a garbled mess, and having Queen Hippolyta become Wonder Woman (eye roll).

After the death of Artemis, Princess Diana reclaimed her title as Wonder Woman. Before she could even mourn the loss of her fallen sister, Diana was forced into battle against Darkseid and his army. She would narrowly achieve victory only after the sacrifice of the lives of the Amazons. Shortly thereafter, Diana was exiled and was forced to live independently from her sisters. She moved to Gateway City and began working as a consultant for museum curator Helena Sandsmark. It was here where Diana met Helena's daughter Cassandra. Cassie was instantly enamoured with the Amazing Amazon, but was prone to getting herself into trouble. She often disrespected her mother and acted recklessly, often putting her life and the lives of others in danger. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman faced off against the menace of Morgaine Le Fay and successfully bested her with the help of Etrigan. In her continued pursuit for peace, Wonder Woman was joined by Cassie as Wonder Girl (much to the dismay of her mother) and an enigmatic hero named the Champion (who would later turn out to be Heracles in disguise). She fought Cheetah once more, but this time was left with a shattered hand after the Amazon began slowly turning back to clay. During her slow recovery, Diana came up against the demonic overlord known as Neron. Despite the assistance of a newly resurrected Artemis and Wonder Girl, Diana was gravely injured and died shortly thereafter in the hospital.

When John Byrne started his run on Wonder Woman, he reinvented her costume. He removed the multitude of stars on her briefs in favour of two large stars placed on her hips. The double-W on her bodice was drawn higher and no longer showed red at the top. Her golden belt was also tweaked to now touch the double-W. Other notable changed included larger bracelets and an even bigger tiara, which was now given a different shape. Despite his horrendous treatment of Wonder Woman and his abhorrent decision to remove Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis from her supporting cast, I will give the man props for his version of the costume. It's very simple and very elegant. His Wonder Woman was what I grew up on and this design is one of the most iconic in my mind.

Want more Wonder Woman costumes? Click on the thumbnails below.
Continue Reading:
Places