Today, DC released some major Wonder Woman news: a new costume designed by Jim Lee and a new direction for the series as J. Michael Straczynski takes over.
To sum up: Persons unknown have altered Wonder Woman’s history so that Paradise Island was wiped out 20 years ago. Diana has no memory of the original timeline, doesn’t have her full powers yet, and needs to survive, help other refugee Amazons, find out who destroyed Paradise Island and find out whether the timeline can be restored.
I’m always apprehensive when a new writer picks up an established character and the first thing he does is to remove some key element of the character. Like the Flash’s speed (Geoff Johns’ first Flash story, “Wonderland”). Or Superman’s flight (JMS’ first Superman arc, “Grounded”). I understand it might help the writer get inside the character’s head: what is he or she like without the powers? But it always feels like shoehorning some other idea onto the character. Why did you want to write the Flash if you didn’t want to write about a guy who runs fast?
That said, for all that DC is pushing this as a “new direction,” to me this description reads more like a major story arc. I mean, there’s an end point right there in the description: find out who did it and see if it’s possible to change things back. Given the timing of the comics themselves and the time-travel elements to the story, I suspect this is going to be linked to Flashpoint. [Update: Comics Alliance asked JMS about this and he said it’s not related.]
It’s worth comparing to Flash: Rebirth, actually. In both cases, someone within the fictional universe has gone back in time and altered the main character’s history. With Diana, we know before the first issue is out. With Barry Allen, only long-term readers knew anything had been changed to begin with. It wasn’t clear that there was an in-story explanation for it until the miniseries was almost over. Even then, the prospect of undoing the changes was only floated long enough to be dismissed as impossible.
Most importantly: changing Diana’s history drastically alters who she is today. That’s a story. Once you get past the doom-and-gloom Barry of Flash: Rebirth #1-3, the changes to his history don’t seem to have made much difference in the present.