Heading into summer 2020 Wonder Woman is the most important DC Comics brand and character. Parent company AT&T are expecting Wonder Woman 1984’s world-wide box office to exceed $1 billion, eclipsing the massive success of its predecessor. Diana Prince will be front and center in the pop culture and media landscape heading into its 4 June release date.
So it came a large surprise DC Comics leadership are handing the reigns of Wonder Woman to YA author and comic book failure Mariko Tamaki. One of the reasons Time Warner recently fired Co-Publisher Dan DiDio was DC’s failure to publish stories fitting their vision for television and movies. Placing Tamaki (a writer synonymous with slow burn, slice of life comic stories) over proven comic writing talent doesn’t add up.
Mariko Tamaki is best known in comics for her work over at Marvel. She turned She-Hulk into a tedious, psychoanalysis of Jennifer Walters. Infamously culminating with a battle between She-Hulk and a YouTube food blogger. Needless to say, readers didn’t respond to her take on She-Hulk. The series was cancelled soon after due to low sales. Her follow-up run on X-23 suffered the same result, only lasting 11 issues. Not exactly the resume you expect behind the writer of DC Comics most important character in 2020.
Some may see Tamaki’s hiring as DC continuing with business as usual following DiDio’s departure. Her signing likely occurred prior to DiDio’s departure, which saw writer Brian Michael Bendis gain a large swath of influence. He imported talents like G. Willow Wilson (Wonder Woman), Kelly Sue DeConnick (Aquaman), Matt Fraction (Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen) and others from Marvel. Plummeting sales on multiple titles and sinking the Wonder Comics imprint relaunch.
Wonder Woman sales collapsed following G. Willow Wilson’s arrival. Another writer known for boring comics with little action or stakes. Prior to Wilson’s Wonder Woman debut on issue #58 the comic shipped over 55k comics. Her finale on the series, Wonder Woman #81, shipped 28k units. Anemic numbers for a premier DC title. DC readers likely get a better understanding of the publisher’s post-DiDio direction following their upcoming DC 5G event in fall 2020.
If Dan DiDio’s firing is to turn the tide, the Bendis pipeline of failed Marvel castoffs needs to be shut down. Renewed emphasis must to be placed on a cohesive shared universe. A return to the hopeful DC Comics universe is a necessity for DC Comics tore gain their footing.
Will DC Comics return to its roots and deliver the best superhero stories in the world again? Only time will tell. But Mariko Tamaki’s new Wonder Woman gig does nothing but create more doubt for DC customers. Not to mention the fact that she apparently has chain blocked hundreds of comic book customers on Twitter, users that haven ever once even interacted with her. For a more in-depth look at Mariko Tamaki’s hiring please view the video below.