Approaching an iconic character like Wonder Woman is never easy. Now add to that being a new writer in comics. Then add to that taking the task on with your significant other. Finally load it up with your significant other being famed comic book artist David Finch. That’s the pickle Meredith Finch found herself in when she was approached by DC Comics to helm the next phase of Wonder Woman.
When the New 52 launched the task of writing Wonder Woman was handed to 100 Bullets scribe Brian Azzarello. His take on the character was a massive change to the canon, dealing more with Wonder Woman’s connection to the gods, even going so far as to change her origin. When Azarello stepped away from the project, he left big shoes to fill.
This November, Meredith and David Finch take over the title with Wonder Woman # 36. Both Meredith and David seem ready, willing and able to provide their own unique slant on the Amazon superheroine, At New York Comic Con, I sat down with both Meredith and David to discuss what is next for Wonder Woman and how they came to be involved with the project.
CraveOnline: This is your first collaborative effort, how did you two come to be involved with Wonder Woman?
Meredith Finch: David’s been pushing me for a number of years to write. His main focus is he wants to do a creator owned project in the distant future and he was like “You need to start writing more”. We have small children at home. We have a five year old, an eleven year old and a thirteen year old, so there was never time. Now, finally, we found the right time to do this.
David Finch: Meredith has been writing for years and following through and finishing, which is so tough when you have little kids. My time even feels strained. This last little while she’s written more seriously and done some stuff for Zenascope, and that’s gone over well. This all came about pretty quickly, quicker than we would have ever expected.
Since this is your first foray into comics, was it daunting to be handed a character as big as Wonder Woman?
Meredith Finch: Absolutely. My first thought was, this is so awesome I get to write Wonder Woman. My second thought was, oh no, I’m writing Wonder Woman. Do I really want to do this? We took some time and sat back to think about this. As a new writer coming into the business, is this something I want to take. Finally, at the end of the day, an opportunity like this only comes around once in a lifetime. This is an iconic character and I would be foolish to turn it down.
Am I learning on the job a little bit? Sure, but I’m really putting my heart into it and David is putting his heart into the artwork. I hope at the end of the day fans take away a story they relate to, and a character they can relate to beyond what Brian (Azzarello) did with her.
So how did you start the process of figuring out your own story?
Meredith Finch: The first thing I did was read through Brian’s run and think about what were the things for me that I relate to, and what do I want to develop farther. Brian has written such a complex story that there are always little pieces I can pick up, so what are those pieces and how can I weave them into a story I can tell. That’s how I approached. I had my own idea of what I wanted to do, but I love that I have a rich universe to draw from.
From a design aspect, do you draw something that Meredith then uses for the story, or vice versa?
David Finch: It all starts with the writing and that’s Meredith one hundred percent. I get to see what she’s planning and I can give an opinion, but this is her story. The designs I come up with are based solely on her story, and I think that’s the only way to make something strong. If you just use a bunch of designs you can end up with something visually appealing, but a little bit shallow.
After so much work with Forever Evil, were you tense to come back into something like this.
David Finch: I think I was tense and nervous about it because this is really our first project as a team, and this is one of DC’s major tent-pole important characters. There is a lot of responsibility there. I’ve been doing this a long time and I know, unless you come into something prepared you might end up with work you are not proud of. I wanted this to be something we could build a future for us working together.
Some of the sketches that have appeared online show Wonder Woman battling Swamp Thing. What’s that about, or is this where you tell me you can’t say anything about that?
Meredith Finch: Yeah I can’t say anything about that. (Laughs) I guess what I can say, is that something major has happened on Earth and it’s impacted Wonder Woman on a really emotional and personal level. Swamp Thing is woven into what’s going on.
There are very few female characters in comics, much less characters with the cache of Wonder Woman. As a female writer, how exciting is it to write for her and what of yourself do you put into the project?
Meredith Finch: It’s incredibly thrilling to write for her and I think this is a great time to be getting into the industry because women really are becoming much stronger players and having a much stronger role in comics and across media in general. Absolutely writing a character there will be aspects of myself that just naturally writes into her. I think it would be the same if I were writing a male character. You can’t help but bring a bit of who you are, or how you approach the world into anything you do. Brian brought his own sense of things to his run of the book, and I’m not a darker person so there will be a lightening in the tone of the book, but we’re not discarding anything he has done.
A lighter tone? How will that coincide with your husband’s famous, and dark, art style?
Meredith Finch: The great thing about working with David is that I can lighten the tone and then he’ll naturally bring it down (Laughs)
David Finch: When we were first talking about this, Meredith said she didn’t have it in her to write something that comes from a twisted place and I said that’s okay because everything I draw is dark. Everything I draw is at night; I don’t draw in the daytime. My art is a release of aggression and all the negative emotions. That’s what I put on the page, and I think it strikes a very nice balance. I can put those dark elements on the page, but ultimately I’m writing a story that has a warmer and lighter tone to it.
Which of Wonder Woman’s villains would you love to reintroduce?
Meredith Finch: She’s got such a great cast of villains that haven’t really been explored yet because Brian’s work was so focused on the Gods. I think there’s a lot here I can play with. At some point I would really like to see a female villain coming and having that dynamic and see where that goes.