Yeah. I’m doing a comic book for my book of the week. DC’s New 52 Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Blood, by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang.
I am an unashamed lover of comics, especially the Wonder Woman franchise. I love what they’ve done with New 52 Wonder Woman. They’ve taken the iconic character we all know and love and turned her into even more awesome. So as you might imagine, if I’m going to talk about it in a reading-as-a-writer sort of way, I want to talk about reboots and retcons.
Every writer does this. Whether they know they do or not. Every major rewrite of the story, every draft where some element of the story changes significantly, could arguably be called a reboot. But what makes a good reboot successful? I think we could definitely get into a huge discussion about reboots, especially in the movies these days (and if you want to utilize the comments section, by all means!).
But as far as I’m concerned, there is one major thing that makes a reboot successful: characters.
The Wonder Woman reboot has been as successful as it has because the writers have remained true to the character.
Now when it comes to those drafts-as-reboots, a writer doesn’t always know the character as well as they could. I know I’m not the only author who can write and write and write, and still learn something new about the characters years later. Good characters are complex, and just like real human beings, they can surprise you when you least expect it. But when you get down to the essence of things, when the writer is true to the characters, the reboot will be successful.
So that’s what I got out of Wonder Woman as a writer. Is that I need to be true to my characters in my revisions, and the story as it’s meant to be will reveal itself even if I missed something the first time around.