The Finches introduce their Wonder Woman. (courtesy of DC Comics)

 

THE NEXT PHASE of Wonder Woman’s “New 52” era begins now.

The husband-and-wife creative duo of writer Meredith Finch and artist David Finch are tasked with taking one of DC Comics’ most important titles in a new direction. This transition occurs after the critically acclaimed 35-issue run on Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello (with art by Cliff Chiang, Tony Atkins and Goran Sudzuka) ended with last month’s No. 35.

The Finch family’s Issue No. 36 hits newsstands and digital devices Wednesday.

Meredith Finch holds Azzarello’s run in high regard, saying that some aspects of his Wonder Woman will find their way into her stories. as well.

“Brian’s run has been very influential to our story on several different levels,” Meredith Finch told The Post’s Comic Riffs. “The art and the character development were sensational. There were so many undeveloped threads left for me to pick up and utilize in our story. I also really liked his approach to storytelling – one long mono-story. I’m not saying that I am going to attempt a 35-issue epic like Brian, but I am looking at our story as our take on what happens after issue 35.”

She says that the first arc of her take on Wonder Woman will feature the Justice League, but only in a sense that they are part of Wonder Woman’s life. “I look at Superman and the Justice League as tools to advance what I want to do with the character,” Finch says.

As for Wonder Woman’s relationship with Superman, which is detailed more in the DC Comics title Superman/Wonder Woman, the writer says that the relationship between the two superpowers is also an important aspect to her approach on Wonder Woman.

“I think that the Superman/Wonder Woman series has done a great job of exploring Clark and Diana as a couple,” Finch told Comic Riffs. “My interest in Superman and Wonder Woman’s relationship is how I can utilize it to advance the emotional journey I want to take her on.”

Finch emphasizes that she doesn’t want Wonder Woman just to be about super-strength. “I definitely feel that the very nature of being a strong and powerful woman is that you don’t feel the need to prove yourself to anyone,” she said. “She’ll do whatever needs to be done physically, but more importantly, I really want to show [Wonder Woman’s] strength of character. In my opinion, that is what sets her apart from the rest of the DCU.”

As for being married to the artist who will bring her Wonder Woman words to life, Finch says she couldn’t be happier with having her spouse as her collaborator. “I’m so blessed to be married to, and now working with, one of the greatest artists in the industry today,” she says.”David’s artwork is so beautiful, and he is such a powerful storyteller, that I think we are going to be able to do something really special with this book.”

For David Finch, the collaboration has been a one-of-a-kind experience.

“I generally don’t have a collaborative relationship with my writers,” he says. “It’s not something that I seek out, so this has actually been more of a roller coaster for me than I’m used to.

“Writing, like art, is such an emotional process,” he continued. “Sometimes I’m really enjoying the ride, and other times I’m just trying to be supportive when things get bumpy. The highs and lows aside, I feel like I have more of an opportunity to inject my aesthetics into the storytelling, and with the writer right beside me, I feel like I’m being held more accountable.”

David Finch says his artistic approach to Wonder Woman — as with any other character he has drawn (Finch is no stranger to DC icons, having drawn Batman and the Justice League in various titles) — is heavily influenced by the artists who came before him.

That doesn’t mean, however, that Lynda Carter’s iconic ’70s portrayal of TV’s Wonder Woman will influence his look for the character. “I never watched the show growing up, and as such, it really isn’t a part of my cultural history when I think of Wonder Woman,” the artist said. “Wonder Woman, for me, has always been a comic-book character.”

Meredith Finch, by contrast, says that Carter’s stint as Wonder Woman leaves a lasting impression. “There is probably not a woman out there of my generation who did not spin around, wrists crossed, in imitation of Lynda Carter’s iconic portrayal [of Wonder Woman],” she said. “I love the character and what she represents, and I am very excited to have the opportunity to contribute to her legacy.”

Wonder Woman is enjoying high popularity on the page, and high anticipation for her big debut, as portrayed by Gal Gadot, in the forthcoming “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” – to be followed by her appearances in the “Justice League” movies and her own solo film. Meredith Finch says this is an exciting era in which to appreciate Wonder Woman – as well as to be a fan of comics, in general.

“The recent success of superhero- and comic-book-based movies and TV shows has really heightened awareness of the industry,” she said. “I look forward to the opportunity to reach a wider readership and at the same time, I try to keep in mind that we are hoping to expose comics to a new and diverse group of readers.”