**Spoilers ahead for various Wonder Woman comic, movie and tv properties – particularly Wonder Woman 1984 and the Trial of the Amazons comic. Read on at your own risk!**

I have a confession: For a long time, I didn’t like Wonder Woman that much. I mean, I didn’t dislike her. She was cool. Super strength, invisible jet, Lasso of Truth, child of Themyscira. What’s not to like about any of that? But therein was perhaps the perpetual problem for me. Wonder Woman was so beautiful, so powerful, so perfect. I admired her, but I couldn’t relate to her on a personal level. She felt static and cardboard to me. 

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The Lynda Carter-helmed Wonder Woman tv series did offer a charming, accessible version of the character. But it wasn’t until well into my adulthood that I gave that one a fair look.

(Watch this compilation for the awesome seventies vintage fashion, if nothing else.)

It’s a Good Time to Be a Wonder Woman Fan!

For me, it was the 2017 movie, directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot, that finally cracked open the character. In the hands of Jenkins and Gadot, Diana/Wonder Woman is idealistic, earnest and flawed. She makes mistakes. With that movie, for the first time, Wonder Woman felt real to me. And that’s when I started to become a fan.

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As it’s happened, I’ve jumped into the Wonder Woman universe at a great time! An expansion has taken place around this iconic character in recent years. I see it as akin to what’s happened with Batman and the evolution of the Bat Family. Different sides of Bruce Wayne emerge when he’s placed against his various Robins and Batgirls, and it rounds out his character. Wonder Woman is similarly fleshed out when you see her in relation to the Wonder Girls or to non-Themysciran Amazons. It’s no Bat Family; not yet, anyway. But this more diverse landscape gives welcome three-dimensionality to Wonder Woman’s character.

If you haven’t yet explored some of these expansions of Wonder Woman and her world, I’ve compiled a few excellent places (and characters) to start with. Read on!

Trial of the Amazons

Billed as a crossover event, this comic gathers the Themyscirans, the Bana-Mighdall and the Esquecida Amazons in one place. Trial of the Amazons was my first introduction to Nubia, Faruka and Yara Flor, all characters I want to know better.

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But even more than any one character, Trial of the Amazons stands out for me in the way it’s shifted my understanding of Themyscira and its history. Like the character of Wonder Woman herself, Themyscira – “Paradise Island” – always seemed (in my mind) just a little too beautiful, a little too perfect. The revelation that there have been breakaway sects – in the Bana-Mighdall and the Esquecida – has deepened and enriched Themysciran history for me.

That Themyscira is what it is through the work and choices of its inhabitants (and that there were once those among them who chose differently) gives the place, and the Amazons who live there, a different and interesting character. If you explore one item on this list, make it Trial of the Amazons.

Wonder Woman, spear in hand and hair blowing in the wind, stands proudly before a chaotic scene of faces and fighting.

Wonder Woman via DC Fandom

Wonder Woman: Historia

Published under the DC Black Label imprint, Wonder Woman: Historia is artistically breathtaking. A reimagining of the origins of the Amazons, and Hippolyta in particular, Books one and two of this trilogy have created a gripping mythology. The third and final installment is due out by the end of October 2022 and will reportedly be the first in the trilogy to reach the time period of Diana. I can’t wait to see how she’s brought into the mythos.

Detailed, multi-panel page from Wonder Woman Historia

An example of the amazing artwork of Wonder Woman Historia. Via dc.com.

Yara Flor

Just introduced in 2021, Yara Flor helms a Wonder Girl series authored by Joelle Jones. She also features heavily in Trial of the Amazons: Wonder Girl. I like Yara quite a bit, and I love exploring the idea of the Amazons against the backdrop of the culture of a different part of the world. Taking the Amazons outside of European history is a brilliant and fascinating idea. I’m really looking forward to reading more about the Esquecida. 

Yara Flor, a young woman with dark hair, yelling with a sword in her hand.

Yara Flor via DC Fandom

Artemis

Artemis has historically had a bit of a rivalry with Wonder Woman. From her earliest storylines, when she took over as Wonder Woman for a time, to her newer storylines, when she’s depicted as one of the Bana-Mighdall, she’s a more prickly character than the smooth, polished Diana. In one of her most recent iterations, the WEBTOON Red Hood: Outlaws, she’s an anti-hero. Artemis is an interesting character in her own right, but she adds layers to Diana’s character when juxtaposed with her.

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Some places to catch up on Artemis include the aforementioned Red Hood: Outlaws, the comic series Outlaws that the webtoon draws heavily from, the comic Trial of the Amazons and the subsequent one-shot comic Artemis: Wanted.

Artemis, a woman with very long red hair, carrying a sword

Artemis via DC Fandom

Nubia

I’ll admit that I didn’t realize until writing this piece that there are versions of Nubia wherein she is Diana’s sister. I have to wrap my mind around that iteration and its possibilities! The version of Nubia I’ve been following in the comics (and really like) is the one featured in Trial of the Amazons and its related stories. There, Nubia becomes the Queen of the Amazons, and her coronation special delves deeper into her personal life. Whatever her backstory, she’s a powerful and interesting character.

Head shot of Nubia, Queen of the Amazons, a serious look in her face

Nubia via Wonder Woman Wiki

The Wonder Girls: Cassie, Donna and Yara 

The Wonder Girls create an interesting dynamic for Wonder Woman. With the arrival onto the scene of Yara Flor (in 2021), I’m hoping the franchise is aiming to lean more heavily into this. I’d love to see Diana/Wonder Woman adopt a more directly-mentoring role to the Wonder Girls, like Bruce/Batman does with the Bat Family. But what I really want is to see the Wonder Girls’ relationship with each other evolve in that sibling-ish direction that the five Robins have with each other. 

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A small touch of what that could be like was seen in Titans, when Donna Troy (Conor Leslie) and Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) compared their lives as sidekicks to Wonder Woman and Batman, respectively. I’d like to see more like that, but Wonder Girl to Wonder Girl!

Asteria

With the news that the incomparable Lynda Carter will appear in the third Jenkins/Gadot Wonder Woman movie, expanding the role of Amazon heroine Asteria, some of what I’ve been loving in the comics seems poised to come to the big screen. I’m intrigued to explore Asteria and her history. The little we learned of her in Wonder Woman 1984 was interesting. 

But I’m particularly hoping that, through Asteria, we learn more about Amazonian history. If the Esquecida or the Bhana-Mighdall show up in some capacity in the third Wonder Woman movie….well, let me just say that I would highly approve of that! 

How about you? Are you a longtime Wonder Woman fan, or are you relatively new to the fandom like me? What part of the Wonder Woman universe are you enjoying the most right now? And are you as excited as I am to see more of Lynda Carter as Asteria?? Let us know in the comments and on social media!

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