Warning: contains spoilers for Wonder Woman #772
While comic readers are more than familiar with all the ways Superman could turn evil, the same can’t be said for Wonder Woman. While there have been plenty of realities where Wonder Woman is corrupted, it almost always follows the corruption of other heroes. However, all that is changing in a new comic where Diana is forced to confront an evil doppelganger who embodies all of Diana’s worst traits.
Wonder Woman’s journey into the new DC Omniverse started with a major mythological change for the Princess of Themyscira. Finding herself in the Norse Valhalla, Diana has been fighting and dying in an endless battle without her memory or powers. Though she initially finds solace in Asgard’s consequence-free violence, things start to change when the Valkyries stop bringing dead warriors back from the dead. Eventually, she learns from a squirrel named Ratatosk that Ragnarok is coming and the World Tree is dying. Trying to uncover the mystery of why all these things are happening, Diana stumbles upon a dwarf forge and a familiar face, Dr. Psycho. After a bit of coercion, he tells her that the key to the Valkyrie Fortress lies with the serpent Nidhogg.
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Now, in Wonder Woman #772 from Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, and Travis Moore, Diana retrieved the key from Nidhogg. Finally feeling like herself again, she and Thor wage a battle so large that the Valkyries would have to show up. Cooperating with Thor and fighting with a purpose stirs something in Wonder Woman, restoring her powers. After regaining her memories too with the help of Deadman, Diana runs off to find the Valkyrie fortress. As she runs, she is stopped dead in her tracks by a woman who looks exactly like her, except more twisted. This dark version of Wonder Woman claims to be everything Diana could be if she stayed in Valhalla. The bloodthirsty Diana then unveils the corpses of all of the warriors Wonder Woman has slain during her Norse adventures. Though she is shaken, the intervention of Ratatosk reveals that it had all been an illusion by Dr. Psycho.
While everything that Diana saw was merely a trick, it’s clear that Dr. Psycho’s words shook Wonder Woman. The creators of this comic seem to understand that, just because Diana is a warrior, doesn’t mean she exactly enjoys violence. Without her memories and with the thrill of consequence-free violence in front of her though, Diana had lost this aspect of herself. Dr. Psycho’s dark Wonder Woman accidentally reminds Diana of one of her most valuable principles; there is no such thing as violence without consequence.
Wonder Woman is easily one of DC’s most frequently misunderstood characters, with many alternate realities depicting her as a man-hater who is quick to kill. The evil Wonder Woman reflects this, showing just how dark a bloodthirsty Wonder Woman would truly be. Despite all the alternate realities depicting her this way though, that’s just not the character. Wonder Woman’s evil doppelganger was supposed to show Diana at her worst, instead, it revealed just how much the character has grown.
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