Wonder Woman’s iconic relationship suffered a ‘Spider-Man: One More Day’ style retcon, and yet DC fans embraced the more extreme change.
While Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor have one of the best romantic relationships in DC Comics, a major retcon tore them apart in a way that made Marvel’s controversial One More Day Spider-Man story arc seem tame. Steve Trevor has been part of the Wonder Woman comic mythos since the heroine’s first appearance in 1942, but his iconic romantic relationship with Diana Prince was erased by Crisis on Infinite Earthswhich rebooted the mainstream DC Comics continuity.
Spider-Man: One More Day infamously erased Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s marriage via a reality-altering deal with Mephisto. The storyline was met with an overwhelmingly negative reception from critics and readers alike, who took issue with the story arc’s regression of Peter and Mary Jane’s character development, the far-fetched inability of Spider-Man’s many superpowered allies to save Aunt May, and the outlandish way that the marriage was undone when more mundane events could have had the same result. Following One More Day’s alterations to continuity, Peter and Mary Jane were in a longterm relationship that remained mostly as fans remember it, but they never married.
However, while Spider-Man’s retcon was famously hated, DC did something even more extreme to Wonder Woman. Following Crisis on Infinite EarthsDC Comics’ mainstream continuity rebooted, and Steve Trevor, who is reintroduced in the second issue of Wonder Woman volume 2, by Greg Potter and George Pérez, is no longer Wonder Woman’s love interest. Despite this, Trevor would continue to be a prominent supporting character in the Wonder Woman comic mythos. While Marvel’s One More Day is a far more controversial storyline than DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earthsit at least allowed a version of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s romance to exist in the past, while the latter totally erased one of DC’s most iconic relationships.
Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor would remain platonic friends for almost 30 years, even after Flashpoint rebooted the main DC timeline again, and the two only finally resumed their famous romance in 2016, possibly influenced by the then-upcoming Wonder Woman movie, which depicted Steve Trevor as Diana’s love interest. Following the DC Rebirth continuity shakeup, Diana Prince becomes aware of alterations made to her history and soon rekindles her relationship with Steve Trevor. Marvel fans should keep in mind that if Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor can repair their romantic relationship after almost 30 years, there is hope for Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson too.
It’s shocking that such a huge change could be made to Wonder Woman’s iconic relationship without the same fan uproar that came from One More Daybut this only serves to highlight the differences in the way these stories were told. Crisis on Infinite Earths kicked off a huge reinvention of Wonder Woman’s mythos in which Steve Trevor was just one element, and explicitly told her story again in a new, modernized way. In contrast, One More Day went to extreme lengths to change a single point of continuity, with the half-measure of maintaining Peter and MJ’s past relationship leading to huge narrative leaps, like the straight-laced Peter Parker making a deal with the Devil.
Surprisingly, Wonder Woman succeeded where Spider-Man failed partially because the change was so much more extreme, feeling more like a revitalization of the character with a total creative overhaul than a surgical strike on a specific (and beloved) element of continuity.
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