It's become popular, in recent years, for comic creators to imagine some sort of sexual tension between Superman and Wonder Woman, kept in check (barely) by the existence of Lois Lane. But in Superman: Red Son, when baby Kal-L's rocket landed in the Ukraine, things were different - there's no Lois Lane in Russia.
In Red Son, Wonder Woman is still the Amazons' ambassador to the world beyond their native island and she still ended up in the most powerful nation in the world - it's just that this time, that nation is Russia, not the US. She meets Superman at a diplomatic ball and is immediately fascinated by him. Unfortunately, the farmboy is too thick-headed to notice, and doesn't really think of her as anything more than a comrade. Way to go, Kal.
Just like Red Son Superman, Wonder Woman didn't get a major costume change for her role in the story. Her color scheme matches his, with the blue of her traditional look replaced by a nice, understated grey - Russian heroes aren't as flashy as their US counterparts, it seems. The stars on her skirt are black, while her panties are black with red stars. Her red boots no longer have the white stripe running up the front. Her bracelets are still silver, but the eagle on her chest is black, rather than gold.
Actually, that eagle is one of the piece's most clever design elements. In order to portray themselves as successors to the Byzantine Empire, the Russian tzars adopted the symbol of the bicephalous eagle, which had been used to represent the dominion of the Roman emperors over both Eastern and Western civilizations. Even after the Bolshevik revolution, the symbol remained quite prolific throughout Eastern Europe. Following that trend, Red Son Wonder Woman sports a double-headed eagle.
The Elseworlds figures
don't really try to capture the look or feel of the artist on the books that inspired them, which is a shame, but also means that this Wonder Woman has a perfectly serviceable sculpt that will allow her to integrate seamlessly with the rest of your DCD collection. At least in the case of Red Son, that may be a good thing - the book switched artists in the middle, and while the two didn't have wildly different styles, picking one over the other would surely have upset some fans. There are hints of it in the face, but nothing very strong.
The paint is pretty good, except where the black comes in contact with another color. The line between her eagle and her skin is wobbly, and the black of her belt spills onto her red bodice. The stars are all very crisp, however, and the red outline in the eagle is perfect. Yes, we can tell you there are problems with the black, but that's just nitpicking - it's not something you'll notice once she's on your shelf.
Diana moves at all the usual DC Direct points:
knees, hips, elbows, shoulders and neck. Then on top of that, a couple big surprises: first, Diana's got joints at the tops of her braclets, so you can get a few extra poses out of her; then, even better, a waist! A DC Direct figure with a waist! Jackpot! Her hair keeps her head from turning very far, and although her golden lasso can be removed from its place on her hip, she can't hold it very well because one hand is open and the other is molded as a fist. Thanks, DC! Red Son Wonder Woman's legs can get bent during her time in the package, so it's a good thing the figure includes an Elseworlds logo base to keep her standing until things straighten out.
With an impressive design and above-average articulation, Red Son Wonder Woman is a really decent buy. If you're interested in a Red Son Superman, we told you to wait until Series 2 - with Wonder Woman, however, they got it right the first time. Go get her!
What's your favorite Elseworlds take on Wonder Woman? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.