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‘Wonder Woman’ No. 21 first look: Diana faces the First Born

"Wonder Woman" No. 21, Page 1, by writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang. (DC)

"Wonder Woman" No. 21, Page 2, by writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang. (DC)

"Wonder Woman" No. 21, Page 3, by writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang. (DC)

"Wonder Woman" No. 21, Page 4, by writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang. (DC)

Wonder Woman prepares to face off against antagonist the First Born in issue No. 21, by comic writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang. Hero Complex readers can get an exclusive first look at the first four pages of the comic, which hits stores Wednesday.

Issue No. 21, “Flesh & Stone,” picks up after Wonder Woman’s battle with Artemis in No. 20 — a battle that left Diana reeling and London in ruins. Now, Wonder Woman must withstand an all-out attack from antagonist the First Born.

Click through the gallery above or use the links below to preview the comic.

Cover | Variant cover | Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4

Wonder Woman has undergone one of the most dramatic makeovers in DC’s “New 52″ relaunched titles. Since the reboot, Diana has discovered that she was not molded from clay by Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons; instead, she is the daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus, and the clay story was created to protect her from the wrath of Hera, Zeus’ wife. Diana finds herself part of a scheming and feuding family of gods, with Zeus-like powers herself, even taking flight.

“If you went to the average person on the street and showed them a picture of Wonder Woman they would recognize her immediately,” Chiang told Hero Complex in 2011. “Ask those people her origin story and some of them might know the clay story but many, many others would not know that at all. That’s not a problem you have with Superman or Batman; everyone knows their origin. By making her the daughter of Zeus, we’ve gotten a big driving force behind our story. It gives her a motivation and it’s a key to character that we now feel is very important. She’s a child of the gods who defends us from them, in the same way that Superman is from another planet trying to save humanity and Batman is the orphan who is protecting us from the criminals who killed his parents.”

Gallery: A brief history of Wonder Woman

The new take on Wonder Woman was met with scrutiny initially, but as the story progressed, critics began to praise the amazon’s newfound agency, relatability and power, as well as the comic’s slow-burn pacing.

The series comes at a time when there appears to be a resurgence of interest in the heroine, with some pushing for Wonder Woman to get her own movie. The CW has been developing a pilot called “Amazon” about teenaged Diana (think “Smallville’s” pre-Superman Clark Kent).

“We’re waiting for the script to come in,” network President Mark Pedowitz said. “We are preparing to pilot it off-cycle should the script be what we want it to be. … We do not want to do something that doesn’t work for that particular character. It’s the trickiest of all the DC characters to get right.”

Aron Eli Coleite (“Heroes,” “Ultimate X-Men” comics) is writing the current draft, and the CW put out a casting call earlier this summer for “Amazon’s” young heroine under the code name “Iris,” calling for a leading lady 5 foot, 8 inches or taller, who “comes from a remote, secluded country and until now has spent most of her life as a soldier and a leader on the battlefield.”

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark

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