Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Old Red, White, and Blue

Wonder Woman statue

Holy Hannah, that's cool. I'm not usually the kind of guy to spend $100 on a statue, but I'm actually very tempted to start saving my pennies for this one.

"Fixing" Wonder Woman

In a well-written, - but misguided I think - article, Esther Inglis-Arkell explains what she'd do to fix Wonder Woman. What she says is broken about Wonder Woman is that the character is all about "compromise, compassion, diplomacy, and strict fairness. This is admirable, of course, but it doesn’t get the blood pumping."

I'm guessing that Inglis-Arkell hasn't been reading Gail Simone's current work on the comic. The "love and peace" angle may have been the way past writers played Wonder Woman, but it's not how Simone is doing it. If this is Inglis-Arkell's primary objection to Wonder Woman, it's no longer valid.

But even acknowledging that this was a problem in the past, I disagree with all three of Inglis-Arkell's suggestions on how to fix it. Two of them ("The Weirdo" and "The Explorer of the Brave New World") are variations of the old, fish-out-of-water concept that turns Wonder Woman into a wide-eyed alien through whom we learn something about our own culture. That was played out in George Perez's stories and it doesn't make any sense for the seasoned hero who Wonder Woman is today. The third suggestion ("The Avenger") essentially makes Wonder Woman into a villain.

The way to improve Wonder Woman is to do what Simone has done: find the core of Diana's character (I still argue that it's her confidence) and then just tell some kick-ass, imaginative adventure-stories that don't compromise that core. Thematically, you could do a lot worse than The Fractal Hall Journal's suggestions of focusing on Truth and the concept of Hunting.

A second Wonder Woman series?

Some evidence that Wonder Woman's actually doing just fine these days is in this interview with Dan Didio. According to Didio:
My feeling, in that she is one of our longest-running characters and most enduring characters, is that she should have more than one series going on. She should not just be relegated to one book. She has a level of prominence that we feel we should embrace, and more importantly, grow from. We look at things like Superman, Batman and Green Lantern – all of these characters have been able to support more than one series. There’s no reason why Wonder Woman shouldn’t do the same.
When the interviewer asked about whether or not there was an announcement hidden in that statement somewhere, Didio replied, "I can’t answer that! If I did, what would we talk about in two weeks?"

I'll be looking forward to that!

"She can tie me up anytime. RRRarrarrarrarrarr!"

Chocolate Wonder Woman costume

I'll just let designer Jack Mackenroth explain it.

In which Michael's not nearly so progressive as he likes to think he is

Comics N Things found some cool Wonder Woman checks and other accouterments.

But as cool as they are, they also make me question just how secure I really am in my fondness for Wonder Woman. Though I like him a lot less than her, I'd have absolutely no problem buying a box of Batman checks. Ones with just Wonder Woman on them? Even though she's one of my favorite superheroes, I'd feel a little weird.

I think that's because she's the iconic Women's Hero. I'd buy a set of Black Canary or She-Hulk checks in a freakin heartbeat, but Wonder Woman intimidates me. Being a Wonder Woman fan feels a little like crashing somebody's slumber party, if that makes sense. I don't know what that says about me, so I'm just throwing it out there.

1 comment:

Rae said...

"...they also make me question just how secure I really am in my fondness for Wonder Woman."

A while ago, I realized that I care far more about and have much more personal stake in Wonder Woman as a symbol than Wonder Woman as a character. Still figuring out how to negotiate that.


Related Posts with Thumbnails