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Earth 2 Wonder Woman

DC Direct
by yo go re

As part of its New 52 reboot, DC reintroduced the concept of the Justice Society existing in a different plane of the multiverse from the main DCU. Also, heroes like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman had appeared earlier on this world, making them experienced crimefighters when the "real" versions were just rookies. And then in the first issue of the comic, they all died.

The Amazon Princess battled to the death against Steppenwolf and the hordes of Apokolips.

You have to give writer James Robinson credit for the idea, and DC for playing along: Earth 2 was promoted as though it was going to be the big three - Clark, Bruce and Diana - mentoring the new generation of heroes. They were even featured on the cover to the first issue! But the series is actually about the new batch of heroes learning to live in a world without the ones who inspired them, while trying to rebuild a planet ravaged by the forces of Darkseid. So some of the differences between Earth 1 and Earth 2 are noticeably drastic, but others are much more simple (such as the fact that Wonder Woman worshipped Roman gods instead of Greek ones). Also she was the last of the Amazons, but that had more to do with Darkseid than a quirk of history.

Earth 2 Wonder Woman was, like most of the New 52 characters, designed by Jim Lee. But while his Earth 1 Wonder Woman is mostly identical to the costume she was wearing before, this one is legitimately a new look. It's still got the classic Wonder Woman elements, but it's more martial than she usually wears. Her skirt and corset are sculpted to look like thick leather (the sort a Roman centurion would wear), going so far as to even have laces up the sides. Her breastplate is purely an eagle, with no hints of a stylized W at all. Her belt is a V-shaped strip, rather than a golden girdle, but her lasso still hangs off the right hip. She's only wearing a single silver bracelet, because her other arm is covered from the middle of her hand to the middle of her bicep in armor. The bracer looks like an eagle, while the part running up her arm looks like small feathers. She has similar eagle armor covering her from the knees down (though there should also be armor on the tips of her toes). And rather than a tiara, she's wearing forehead armor that kind of resembles the one Pink Lantern WW wore.

Jim Lee may have designed this costume, but it was Earth 2 artist Nicola Scott who brought it to life. The toy is based on her artwork, and looks great for it. Earth 2 Wonder Woman was sculpted by Karen Palinko, who has a good history with toys based on Scott's art. The paint does make Diana look like she's been crying, though. Very odd.

DC Direct toys have a reputation for poor articulation, but Wonder Woman bucks that trend. No, she doesn't have a waist, but that hardly matters. She does have a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, a swivel at the top of her right bicep and where the left arm goes into her armored sleeve, hinged elbows, swivels in the forearms that are hidden by her bracelet and her glove, swivel/hinge hips, lower thigh swivels (where the legs go into the armor), hinged knees, and hinged ankles. The way the joints are hidden is very nice, very clever - it shows a lot of care was taken with the design.

Wonder Woman comes with one accessory, her sword. It's almost comically oversized, nearly 5" long for a 6¾" figure, and has a blade that gets weirdly broad in the middle. It looks silly, honestly. The wrapped hilt and eagle-shaped cross guard are made from flexible PVC, while the blade is stiffer ABS. The sword can be held in either hand.

Wonder Woman may not have had a lot to do in Earth 2, but her costume is very cool, and this toy is an excellent representation of it.

-- 07/10/14

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