While the story is very flawed, the art of this arc has been fantastic, and this issue is no exception. Jesús Merino continues to show off his mastery as an illustrator with the battle against King Best. The design of the leader of the Dark Gods is terrific, and the Amazon twins have never looked better. Jason, in particular, looks great as the details in his powers make him appear more powerful than ever. Even if next issue falls apart, I do not doubt that the art will still go above and beyond.
In 2016, DC Comics once again relaunched all of its publications as part of the "DC Rebirth" continuity reboot, and the new fifth volume of Wonder Woman was released bi-monthly with writer Greg Rucka. This fifth volume of Wonder Woman is part of the "DC Universe", the current continuity established after Rebirth. Initially, the new series does not use a regular storyline that exists between each issue; instead two separate storylines share the book, with an installment of one story published every other issue, and those of the other storyline published in between those. This practice began with the storyline "The Lies" for the odd numbered issues, and "Year One" for the even numbered issues. The new storyline as presented in these issues effectively retcons the events from the previous New 52 series. "The Lies" storyline reveals that a number of events from the previous Wonder Woman series in which Diana was made the Queen of the Amazons and the God of War, was in fact all an illusion created by a mysterious villain, and she had never once been back to Themyscira ever since she left, nor is she capable of returning there. The "Year One" story is presented as an all-new origin story for Diana, which reveals how she received her powers from the Olympian Gods, which was intended to bring her back to her classical DC roots. Wonder Woman appears in DC Rebirth with a revised look, which includes a red cape and light armor fittings. Along with her lasso and bracelets, she now regularly utilizes her sword and shield. Wonder Woman: Rebirth artist Liam Sharp described the new armor as a utilitarian piece which allows her to move more freely. Starting from Issue 26, the series returned to a regular storyline between each issue.
Master Combatant: Wonder Woman, having been trained in combat tactics by Menalippe and Antiope, is a tremendously skilled, fierce, and formidable hand-to-hand combatant (being at least on par with Batman), a master of a vast array of unique Amazonian martial arts, as well as an expert in most types of melee weapons (though she most frequently uses her bracelets, lasso, sword, and even shield). She has centuries of combat experience, with her claiming to have fought and defeated several beings from "other worlds" (which includes even the fearsome God of War Ares himself). Wonder Woman swiftly became the greatest warrior of Themyscira, her tremendous combat skills eventually becoming enough to rival even those of her mentor Antiope and ultimately surpassing her upon acquiring full potential, due to the latter (upon Hippolyta's insistence) training her much harder than any Amazon ever before her. Hence, Wonder Woman defeated the notorious Slipknot with effortless ease, as well as many World War I soldiers (she defeated and killed even the enhanced General Ludendorff relatively quickly), and numerous Parademons single-handedly, seamlessly incorporating hand-to-hand combat, sword-fighting with the God Killer (and later with the Sword of Athena), and the Lasso of Hestia in her own personalized, formidable style. Indeed, Wonder Woman's tremendous skill and exceptionally versatile style make her capable of effectively holding her own against either more experienced or more powerful opponents, even the mighty God of War Ares (albeit only with considerable effort and initial failure, given his superior combat experience, and her need to use a non-violent mindset), the New God Steppenwolf, an enraged resurrected Superman, and the gigantic Doomsday, with her managing to temporarily knock the latter fearsome monster down (by smashing his feet from under him with her shield), and even temporarily restrain him with her Lasso of Hestia, as well as cut off his right arm with the Sword of Athena. Indeed, had Doomsday not had his incredibly adaptable healing factor, it is safe to assume that Wonder Woman's tremendous combat skills would have allowed her to ultimately defeat him. Moreover, even when Wonder Woman's sword was destroyed by Ares, she still held her own against the more powerful Old God. However, although she put up a considerable fight, Wonder Woman was ultimately fairly quickly defeated by the resurrected Superman, and was only saved by Lois Lane's timely intervention.
Ares told Diana that he had been imprisoned by the other Gods of Olympus and bound in chains that were secured by Aphrodite through the power of her love. He also told her that years ago, Phobos and Deimos had implanted false memories of Themyscira into her mind, and these had caused her to imagine aspects of her past that had never happened in reality. Meanwhile, Phobos and Deimos entered Themyscira and battled with the Amazons. Diana knew what she had to do, and called Ares to unite her with Phobos and Deimos. He teleported them to her, and using her Lasso of Truth, Wonder Woman bound them through the power of her unconditional love for them, as Aphrodite had done to Ares. With the twin gods defeated, Diana attempted to leave Ares' prison along with Veronica and Izzy, however Izzy's essence had been attached to the realm and could not return to Earth. Izzy was forced to either live out the rest of her days in the prison or live in Themyscira as an Amazon for eternity. She chose the latter and Veronica said goodbye to her daughter. Diana was briefly reunited with her mother, for the first time since she left the island.
Seeking answers, Wonder Woman sought out an old friend that she believed could provide the way to Themyscira: Barbara Minerva, the Cheetah. Cheetah agreed to help, under the condition that Diana kill the plant-god Urzkartaga and free Barbara from her curse, which Diana agreed to do. When she located Urzkartaga, however, she discovered Steve Trevor and some of his fellow soldiers had been captured by Colonel Andres Cadulo, who intended to become the embodiment of the god and sacrifice Steve in the process. Wonder Woman freed dozens of Cadulo's captives and, with the help of Cheetah and the women he had captured, succeeded in destroying Urzkartaga and freeing Barbara from the curse of the Cheetah. With Barbara's help, Diana and Steve were able to find "Themyscira", though Diana was surprised to find her mother alive and well despite remembering her as dead at the hands of Hera. After removing her bracelets Diana realized that her past interactions with these representations of the Amazons and her home were in fact an illusion, and that she may have never returned home since she originally left to escort Steve to the United States. Upon this realization, Diana suffered a mental breakdown.
Later, in London, Diana talked with Hessia about what being Queen really meant. Hessia told her the changes she was trying to impose were hard, and it might take a long time for the Amazons to accept them. Wonder Woman was called by the Justice League to look for the survivors of another missing village. As part of the operation, Superman explored the interior of a volcano until he was attacked by insects and lost contact with the League. Wonder Woman and Batman were next to enter the volcano and found Superman safe and sound. Exploring the volcano further, the heroes found the missing villagers dead and their remains encased in cocoons by one of the volcano’s insectoid denizens. Wonder Woman almost killed one of these creatures, until the League intervened and took the creature to the Watchtower for medical attention. Upon returning to Paradise Island, Diana spoke to the spirit of Hippolyta. Comforting her daughter, Hippolyta motivated Diana into accepting her duty as God of War. Diana also learnt that relations between Amazons and the Sons of Themyscira had gone sour and the Amazons had created Donna Troy from magical clay, an Amazon who sought to replace Diana as Queen.
While living in "Man's World" for a century following World War I tempered some of Diana's more blindly held beliefs, she still held true to her core values of kindness and compassion, and further grew into an exceptionally considerate, diplomatic, and empathetic woman. This can be seen when she silently emphasizes with Lois Lane after the death of Superman had been killed (recalling her own pain after Steve Trevor's sacrifice), smiling knowingly when Aquaman accidentally sat on the Lasso of Hestia and confessed his fears about their upcoming mission and how attractive he found her. With all of her experiences, Diana is also the most diplomatic member of the Justice League, as evidenced by her treatment of the Flash with compassion and patience, despite his tendency to somewhat annoy her and the other Justice Leaguers with his humorous attitude, and the kindness and support she showed to Cyborg while he continued to grapple with his powers. Indeed, through her compassion and unbreakable spirit, Diana has given renewed hope to many of her teammates throughout the years. For example, she motivated and inspired the Wonder Men into looking past purely monetary interests, with Chief resolving to no longer be neutral in the war, Sameer finally admitting his passion for acting, and even the depressed Charlie struggling with PTSD finally beginning to sing again for the first time in years. Likewise, during the Justice League's battle against Steppenwolf's forces, Wonder Woman was able to inspire confidence in the inexperienced Flash and Cyborg, assuring them that they wouldn't need to fight the Apokoliptan invasion alone. Furthermore, she was the most understanding of Superman's confusion upon his ressurrection and remained ambivalent about fighting the newly-resurrected Superman and even implored him not to force her to, showing him compassion and persistence while attempting to get him to remember who he is (even calling him by his birth name). In addition to her general willingness for empathy, however, Diana is also extremely friendly and can step back enjoy the smaller moments in life, as seen in her utter delight in experiencing ice cream and agreement with Superman (who, up until this point she had not spoken to much) about him not missing out on the positive results of their victory over Steppenwolf.
A fight broke out among the heroes for possession of the box and was only ended when John Constantine took the box, being the only one capable of doing so without being corrupted. Zatanna and Constantine took the box to the temple of Hephaestus, where the three Justice Leagues had converged again. After yet another battle between heroes, the box went dormant and the Justice Leagues discovered a Kryptonite sliver in Superman’s nervous system, placed there by the Atomica, a traitor working for the Outsider, leader of the Secret Society. Then, the Outsider used the box to open a path across universes, allowing the Crime Syndicate to enter the Justice Leagues' world.
The Silver Age format for comic books also did not generally favour a lot of story arcs, or at least, not memorable ones. In this period though the character did undergo some consistent changes as she battled a variety of common foes including Kobra, but the changed format gave her the ability to develop more as a character. The silver age stories of Wonder Woman can be broken into a few general arcs – the depowered stories (in the mod girl phase), undergoing tests to re-enter the Justice League of America, a golden age story about her work during the Second World War, her adventures as an astronaut for NASA, the hunt for Kobra, and eventually the return of Steve Trevor and the internal politics of working at the Pentagon. The most famous story which she was involved with at this time was “For the Man Who Has Everything”, a story focused on Superman, but also involving herself and Batman. The first major story arc which she was part of was Crisis on Infinite Earths, which also ended her silver age appearances.
Wonder Woman's character was created during World War II; the character in the story was initially depicted fighting Axis military forces as well as an assortment of colorful supervillains, although over time her stories came to place greater emphasis on characters, deities, and monsters from Greek mythology. Many stories depicted Wonder Woman rescuing herself from bondage, which defeated the "damsels in distress" trope that was common in comics during the 1940s. In the decades since her debut, Wonder Woman has gained a cast of enemies bent on eliminating the Amazon, including classic villains such as Ares, Cheetah, Doctor Poison, Circe, Doctor Psycho, and Giganta, along with more recent adversaries such as Veronica Cale and the First Born. Wonder Woman has also regularly appeared in comic books featuring the superhero teams Justice Society (from 1941) and Justice League (from 1960).
One of the events that led to Infinite Crisis was of Wonder Woman killing the villain Maxwell Lord in Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #219. Maxwell Lord was mind-controlling Superman, who as a result was near to killing Batman. Wonder Woman tried to stop Superman, Lord (who was unable to mind control her) made Superman see her as his enemy Doomsday trying to kill Lois Lane. Superman then attacked Wonder Woman, and a vicious battle ensued. Buying herself time by slicing Superman's throat with her tiara, Wonder Woman caught Lord in her Lasso of Truth and demanded to know how to stop his control over Superman. As the lasso forced the wearer to speak only the truth, Lord told her that the only way to stop him was to kill him. Left with no choice, Wonder Woman snapped Lord's neck and ended his control over Superman. Unknown to her, the entire scene was broadcast live around every channel in the world by Brother Eye. The viewers were not aware of the entire situation, and saw only Wonder Woman murdering a Justice League associate. Wonder Woman's actions put her at odds with Batman and Superman, as they saw Wonder Woman as a cold-blooded killer, despite the fact that she saved their lives.