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If you think DC's Wonder Woman is a political book, then you're identifying with the villains waaaaaay too much, says writer Tom King

"I’m like 'You’re not the bad guy! Just like you’re not Lex Luthor or the Joker, you are not the Sovereign,'" says Tom King.

Wonder Woman #10 variant cover
Image credit: Dan Panosian (DC)

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Is good vs. evil political? That answer might depend on whether or not you find yourself identifying more with the villains than the heroes. For some - especially in these politically charged times - DC's Wonder Woman title as written by Tom King is a pointedly political book. For writer Tom King, however, it's anything but.

"I don’t see Wonder Woman as a specifically political book, I see it as a superhero book. I may just be an idiot," King says with a laugh to Popverse's Sam Stone. "What is Wonder Woman fighting for? She’s fighting for equality, love, and all the things I was taught as a kid in the ‘80s that were the ideal things and that my mother was taught in the ‘50s and all the things my grandmother, who helped raise me, was taught in the ‘40s. I don’t see it as being political."

King and artist Daniel Sampere's Wonder Woman run, which began in 2023, features Wonder Woman and other Amazons being persecuted and judged by the media, with a new villain called the Sovereign behind it all. King says "too many people are associating" the Sovereign with themselves.

"I’m like 'You’re not the bad guy! Just like you’re not Lex Luthor or the Joker, you are not the Sovereign,'" says King. "There are definitely political undertones to it and there will always be people who are trying to be shitty that we can’t get rid of, that’s the reason why superhero comics work. But, for the most part, I’m still on the side of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, that superheroes fight bad guys, and this is a bad guy. I don’t see it as more complicated than that."

King says that not all villains he's written shouldn't be worth identifying with - and we're not just talking about his Batman/Elmer Fudd crossover.

"I don’t want to say that Sovereign is completely evil, but I do consider him to be a Joker-level villain," says King. "When I write the Joker, I understand there’s a certain glory in imagining yourself to be a serial killer, like there’s a certain glory in imagining yourself to be the King of America with infinite power. But, at the end of the day, you want that villain to get punched in the face because they deserve it."

King describes Sovereign as representing "the status quo, that system, the power, the man, whatever you want to call that thing that, when you’re born, is the great power that you’ll be fighting with for the rest of time." In essence, it's the legacy forces that prevent things from becoming a better world for everyone.

"When you go out into the world, you find out you’re constantly being restricted by 400 years of history that has nothing to do with you and now it’s defining you," says King. "It’s like, 'I didn’t get a say in any of this!'"

Look for our full interview with Tom King on Wonder Woman later this month.

The first volume of King and Sampere's run is being collected in Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Outlaw, due out July 2. Issues #1 through #8 are available now, with Wonder Woman #9 due out May 21.

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