Wonder Woman - The Phil Jimenez Era Picture

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In 2001, writer-artist and Wonder Woman enthusiast Phil Jimenez became the title runner for DC Comics' Amazing Amazon. Over the course of two years, he would re-shape the character and return her to her central mythology. Jimenez's run continues to be one of my all-time favourite eras in Wonder Woman's history and was full of such iconic story lines. He brought many many of George Perez's creations and respectfully acknowledged all of the work that came before him. It's rare that a writer does this and Jimenez should be celebrated not only for his remarkable adherence to continuity, but also his unabashed love of Wonder Woman.

In his introductory arc, Jimenez teamed up with J.M. DeMatteis to deliver the four-part "Gods of Gotham." When Ares' children possess the Joker, Poison Ivy, and Scarecrow, it's up to the combined efforts of Wonder Woman and the Batman family to bring them down. Immediately after this, Diana returns home to find that Themyscira has broken out in a Civil War between the native Themysciran Amazons and the displaced Bana-Mighdall tribe. To make matters worse, Diana and her mother continue to fight over the former's displeasure at Hippolyta's continued adventures as Wonder Woman. While the war is eventually resolved, the casualties are plenty and Diana's relationship to her mother seems irreparable. The monarchy is subsequently abolished and Diana leaves Themyscira to take up residence in New York City as her adopted sister Donna's roommate.

Frequently cited as one of the greatest Wonder Woman stories of all time, Jimenez and Joe Kelly co-wrote the much-loved "Day in the Life" story from issue #170. In this one-off narrative, intrepid reporter Lois Lane follows Wonder Woman around for an entire day. Over the course of these 24 hours, Lois learns many things about the Amazing Amazon and the readers are taken through an intricate journey that tells us just who Wonder Woman is. In my mind, this is probably the best story written to this date and serves as the answer to the question "Who is Wonder Woman?"

These issues are followed by the AMAZING storyline "The Witch & The Warrior." Diana's number one nemesis Circe has teamed up with a new (male) Cheetah and has transformed Diana's old friend Vanessa Kapatelis into the monstrous Silver Swan. Circe and her allies turn all the men of New York City into beasts and subsequently send a horde of female super villains to wreak havoc on the city. Diana calls on every female superhero imaginable and leads this army against Circe and her forces. Even though Circe manages to escape, Diana tracks her down to Greece where the two duke it out for supremacy. In the end, Diana bests the witch and imprisons her on Themyscira.

Around this time, the Our Worlds At War event happened and led to the death of Queen Hippolyta. In the issues that followed in Wonder Woman's title, Diana mourned the loss of her mother but pressed on in her pursuit for justice. This led to a battle in Skartaris against Villainy Inc. and a World War II era adventure that saw Diana teaming up with her mother (back when she was Wonder Woman in WWII). Upon her return home from these adventures, Diana and her allies teamed up to best the new Cheetah and save Vanessa Kapatelis from her torment as the Silver Swan.

It's worth noting that Jimenez really created an intricate web in Diana's title while he was its writer. He created, in my mind, the strongest supporting cast and really dealt with a lot of unresolved issues. He tackled the tension between the Themyscirans and the Banas, he dealt with the audience's frustration over the removal of Vanessa Kapatelis and the creation of Cassandra Sandsmark, and he FINALLY made Donna Troy a true blue member of the Wonder Family. On top of that, he gave Diana a love interest that wasn't about as interesting as drying paint. He introduced the dashing Trevor Barnes, who would grow to be one of the more fascinating and multi-dimensional love interests Diana would ever have.

For his time on the title, Phil Jimenez revised the Wonder suit. While his version can be partly confused with the Perez suit, there are MANY distinct differences that should be noted. For one, the shape of the double-W changed a little and the cut of the suit appeared more modern in general. The bracelets appeared long, the boots were lowered, and she finally had soles. However, what really distinguishes the Jimenez Wonder Woman (beyond her fabulous hair) is the star pattern on her briefs. Jimenez gave her a pattern that was not unlike the one Lynda Carter had for the second and third seasons of the TV series. Beyond that, Jimenez also drew Wonder Woman with a more athletic build. She had strong shoulders and narrower hips. This tended to contrast Donna at the time who appeared to look much softer.


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