Diana is put to the cosmic test in Wonder Woman: Evolution

Wonder Woman is, of course, an Amazon with extraordinary powers, but she also represents humanity’s most striving qualities. And it’s being put to the test in style in a new eight-track series Wonder Woman: Evolution by author Stephanie Phillips and artist Mike Hawthorne.

IN Wonder Woman: Evolution, Diana is picked from Earth by a distant cosmic entity and cast as Earth’s deputy for a trial that judges humanity’s dignity to exist in the universe. No pressure. The following is a sci-fi epic with Diana who is forced to navigate a series of cosmic challenges that seek to save humanity without losing its own.

DC Nation spoke with Phillips about the big questions posed Wonder Woman: Evolution, working with Hawthorne in his DC debut, and how this story aims to explore who Diana is under the well-known iconography.

Stephanie, what is it like as a writer while writing one of the most popular morally ambiguous characters in Harley Quinn, and writes one of pop culture’s most virtuous heroes in Wonder Woman: Evolution?

This is the best part of writing for the DC characters, especially female characters, offering a lot of variety that is so much fun for a writer. Harley is going to strangle psychiatric rapporteurs with a feather boa one day, and Wonder Woman fights the next day against a crowd of alien enemies with swords and shields.

Despite these differences, I think there is some overlap with both Harley and Diana looking for ways to relate to the world in the stories I write to them. Although they obviously have drastically different approaches to trying to understand their roles as heroes (or anti hero in Harley’s case). They are still thinking through their relationship with humanity and the ways the world is changing around them.

What do you want to explore with Diana that readers may not be used to seeing from her?

I’m interested in exploring Diana beyond symbol it’s Wonder Woman. When Mike Hawthorne and I first started working on this story, one of our first steps was actually to remove traces of “Wonder Woman” to pressure Diana and really consider who she is beyond the costume, the iconic hangers and of course, her lasso.

As we expose Diana through a series of cosmic challenges, this story is a very grounded approach to looking at Diana’s relationship in the DC Universe. That means there will be masses of cameos in the series! And of course, while there is plenty of philosophizing about getting older, heroism, and humanity, there is tons of action. Diana is an incredible warrior and it is definitely on display here!

Mike Hawthorne is a household name for comic book fans, but this is his first major DC story. How has it been working with him and seeing this story brought to visual life?

I’ve been a fan of Mike’s work for a while, so I’m incredibly excited to get started on this story with him. Working with Mike is like working with someone I have known for years – we share ideas and live off what we give to each other while assembling all the puzzle pieces. Wonder Woman: Evolution. The whole team is absolutely incredible – Mike, Adriana Di Benedetto, Jordie Bellaire, Tom Napolitano – and I’m lucky to be working with all of them to bring this story to life.

What can you reveal about the villain in the series and how they will test Wonder Woman?

As the story unfolds, it appears that the antagonists are a group of god-like beings who are here to test whether humanity should continue to exist. They claim that humanity has transgressed their evolutionary limits and threatens both the Earth and the universe beyond. With Diana as her attorney, she is brought to a neutral planet to take part in a lawsuit that tests her mentally and physically to determine whether humanity should be destroyed or not.

As the story progresses, though, I think the line between villain and hero will blur and shift. As readers get further into the story, there might just be an unexpected villain popping up. Everything may not be what it seems …question everything.

How much fun do you have leaning into the cosmic / sci-fi aspects of this story?

I’ve always been a big sci-fi fan, and I’m excited to mix two things I really love: space and Wonder Woman! Mike and I were also really excited about the chance to give Diana a new look that would complement the change in surroundings. She has a brand new, sleek metal armor with a gold and black finish that we hope readers love as much as we do.

At the same time, I know it’s a personal story that asks a lot of big questions. As broad as you would like to discuss at this point what you are looking to explore in Wonder Woman: Evolution about humanity and Wonder Woman’s relationship to it?

Earlier this year, we all saw Hurricane Ida strengthen to a category five storm and do irreversible damage across the east coast. Fires threaten the west coast, COVID-19 is still not under control, and there is still hesitation in discussing the effects of humanity on Earth. These are concerns that I need my heroes to address. I need Diana to think about these issues and how they relate to being a hero, as well as in what ways heroism in the 21st. evolve.

Personally, Diana not only thinks about her role as the hero of the Earth, but she also thinks about her life retrospectively and addresses big questions about her own happiness and satisfaction with the decisions she has made.

Wonder Woman: Evolution # 1 by Stephanie Phillips, Mike Hawthorne, Adriana Di Benedetto, Jordie Bellaire and Tom Napolitano is now for sale in print and as a digital comic.


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