Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Wonder Woman #784, now on sale from DC Comics.
Wonder Woman is, without question, one of the most important figures in the DC Pantheon. Having been a focal point of its history dating all the way back to the 1940's, the importance of the character as a symbol of women's empowerment is irrefutable. Wonder Woman embodies heroism in its truest form, inspiring both audiences and her contemporaries in the DC Universe. But with all the changes to the DC Universe's trajectory in the works, is Diana's Wonder Woman no longer needed? Is she a symbol of a DC Universe that has passed us by? Her most recent villain in Wonder Woman #784 (by Michael W. Conrad, Becky Clooman, Marcio Takora, Tamra Bonvillain, and Pat Brosseau) ask these harsh questions, and the answers shake Diana to her very core.
Confronted by the Image-Maker, a powerful foe from the Mirror Dimension, Diana must grapple with the importance of her return in a world that has seen others rise to take her place, like Yara Flor, Artemis, Nubia, Donna Troy, and even her mother, Hippolyta, who stood in for Diana as a member of the Justice League. This new villain claims that upon her return to the familiar DC Universe, Diana fell through the cracks of this Mirror World, with the implication being that this Wonder Woman that has returned is merely a copy of the woman who seemingly died in Dark Nights: Death Metal.
With DC on a potential path to "Future State," and the recent announcement that a number of familiar Justice Leaguers, including Diana, will die, audiences would have enough reason to believe such an assertion. This twisted lord from the Mirror World is far from sane, however, asserting that Diana must join him in his quest for power, and control over this world of reflections. Perhaps none of what he says has any real truth to it, but the thought introduces doubt into Diana's mind, and this is something her new villain catches onto quickly. In a DC Universe ready for change, with many of its familiar roles being passed on to new faces with new missions, where does that leave Diana? With Diana's death being teased in the upcoming Justice League #75, could the Image-Maker's assertion be true?
The truth of superhero stories in the modern era, is that no one is truly dead, especially when it comes to the icons of comics. Diana's Wonder Woman is one such icon, and to kill her off or to say she is no longer needed might seem like a betrayal to longtime fans. Many new and intriguing characters arose to fill the gap she left, and perhaps this means Diana's role in the DC Universe may change, but many fans might argue that the DC World will always need her for that world to feel like home.
One thing is certain from the conclusion of this story; Diana is as strong and determined as ever. Even though she may have lingering doubts, she knows who she is. Wonder Woman fights with the strength of those she loves, as this story highlights in its conclusion.
Diana's nemesis Doctor Psycho is bringing together what appears to be a new villainous group that appears at the end of the issue. Included in the new "Villainy Inc." team is a cracked, mirror version of Wonder Woman. How this development ties into the new questions being asked of Diana may be answered soon enough in the upcoming "Trial of the Amazons" story that is sure to bring big changes in the life of the superhero princess.