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Wonder Woman

LordSolarMachariusLordSolarMacharius Registered User regular
edited September 2011 in Graphic Violence
Among the DCnU 52 released this week, will be Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets, Lex Luthor: Man of Steel) and with art by Cliff Chiang. I quite liked their previous work together, Doctor 13: Architecture & Mortality, so as a Wonder Woman fan was happy to see them reunited on the title.

The book seems to be getting a lot of good press, with a number of people pointing to it (alongside Animal Man) as one of the best books of the relaunch. Or, the first issue at least. Who are these many people? Well, Tim Callahan is one and I don't know who he is and don't really care to look. But he tweeted that his top five/bottom five were:

1. Wonder Woman
2-5 some order of Animal Man, Batman, Batwoman, Frankenstein.
...
48-52 some order of Batwing, Detective, Green Arrow, Mister Terrific, Suicide Squad.

Did you like those books and hate those other books? Then you may want to get excited for Wonder Woman!

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What does Azzarello have to say about the new book? Well, he hasn't given too much info away, but here's a bit:
"I'll tell you this though, the first issue's all done and we're running right up to the edge, as far as what we can get away with. We're pushing the envelope with this one. I firmly believe that that's what this character needs right now."

"I can only speak for myself, were doing a soft reboot, we're not getting rid of her history or anything like that."

"People need to relax, she's not wearing pants. But it's not going to be a superhero book. I can guarantee you that, it's not a superhero book. It's a horror book."

Quick, let's look at some preview art:
Spoiler:

So let's have a new thread about the old girl, with a big new opening post which I seem to have turned into an essay. Sorry about that. Feel free to skip.



Would you like to know more?

Well, that could be a problem. Unlike her fellow Trinity members, Wonder Woman has not enjoyed multiple books. As such, her universe has been almost entirely constrained to her own title, and when she is in team books she almost never features in a prominent role (lip-service notwithstanding). And she never gets original graphic novels a la All-Star Superman or Batman: Year One.

As a result, her villains are almost never used. Writers will often come on to the title and make up their own new ones, because "Wonder Woman's villains are lame". Well, yes. If they last appeared in the seventies, chances are they are lame. Why don't you fix that instead of making up someone who will be forgotten the minute you leave the book?

Also, how could you not like Ares. Ares is a boss. I mean, look how many skulls he has on him.
Spoiler:

Similar things happen to Diana's support cast, location, powers, goals, etc. Writers seem to have this bizarre fetish about "fixing" Wonder Woman. And they're going to "fix" Wonder Woman by going in an all-new direction. They of course don't actually respect the character enough to research her past, or they'd realise that five of the previous six writers on the title had the exact same idea, and in all likelihood, so will the next (see: JMS's run).

This makes recommending Wonder Woman stories difficult because she just flat out doesn't have that one thing you can give to someone and say, this is why I think Wonder Woman is cool. But, here's what I'd suggest if you're interested:

- The Wonder Woman Chronicles Vol 1 by William Moulton Marston: Full colour reprints of the original All-Star Comics/Sensation Comics/Wonder Woman issues. It suffers from the usual Golden Age problems, but has all the good stuff too. Just a whirlwind of creativity, it's also when the core of the character was strongest (and was when she was most popular). Vol 2 is out in a couple of months.
- The Perez Run: Collected in Gods and Mortals, Challenge of the Gods, Beauty and the Beasts, Destiny Calling. Not my favourite, but a lot of Wonder Woman fans love it and it sets up what used to be the modern continuity. Is generally very detailed, with nice complex plots and characterisations. But too often for my tastes it goes past nicely complex and ends up being kind of numbing. There's just too much. Her origin has like three origins.
- The Rucka Run: Collected in the OGN The Hiketeia, followed by Down to Earth, Bitter Rivals, Eyes of the Gorgon, Land of the Dead, Mission's End. Rucka blends the three aspects that are usually around when Wonder Woman's at her best: mythology, politics and supervillainy. Diana is working as Themiscyran ambassador with a recently published book, navigating the plots of Olympians as Athena finally gets around to overthrowing Zeus, and having to deal with new and classic villains like Veronica Cale and Dr. Psycho. The only complaint is there's a little bit too much of "at the whim of the Gods" which denigrates her character somewhat. This is the run that made me a fan of the character, and would be that "one book" to give you, if 'twere not for the fact that it's six books. And you do need to read all of it to get the full oomph. A lot of set ups and pay offs.
- The early Simone Run: The Circle is a really good arc which focuses on the other Amazons' response to Diana's birth so long after they had given up man's world. Not everyone thought it was a good idea. Plus Nazis and gorillas. This is followed by Ends of the Earth which is a fantastic team up with some older sword and sorcery characters Stalker, Beowulf, and Claw the Unconquered. It produced one of my favourite Wonder Woman images:
Spoiler:
Unfortunately, the wheels kind of fell off her run after that. Note for those who continue to read it: Genocide was originally supposed to be a resurrected, corrupted Knockout (the New God of Superboy and Secret Six fame). DC told Simone she couldn't use Knockout (due to Death of the New Gods) after she'd already started, hence the reveal of who Genocide is being totally nonsensical.

Wonder Woman has recently been fortunate in her animated appearances, though. James Tucker (show runner for Batman: the Brave and the Bold and other DC shows) is admittedly a big fan, and "...personally storyboarded this teaser because I’m a huge Wonder Woman fan, so it was a lot of fun and one of the perks of being the producer! I tried to cram as much Wonder Woman-centric stuff into the teaser as possible including some very nostalgic references to the old TV series."



Lauren Montgomery (director on a number of the DCAU direct to DVD movies) is also a fan. Which is probably why Wonder Woman easily has the best end fight in Crisis on Two Earths and how the Diana/Big Barda vs the Female Furies fight was the best moment in Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. She also had her own movie, which was pretty good until an underwhelming climax (plus there's some needless out-of-date gender politics that were injected into Gail Simone's script in re-writes).

So who is Wonder Woman?

Well, let's see what her creator had to say:
Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don't want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.
Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world... What woman lacks is the dominance or self assertive power to put over and enforce her love desires. I have given Wonder Woman this dominant force but have kept her loving, tender, maternal and feminine in every other way.

So basically, Diana was the one character Seduction of the Innocent was kind of right about. Its claims that Batman and Robin was promoting paedophilia and that Superman was Un-American and fascist are somewhat silly - they were by and large just supposed to be cool. Diana is a character who is supposed to have all the daring-do and heroics that people like to read about in adventure stories while maintaining the feminine features usually reserved for the love interest. In this way, the bondage elements and ideas of feminine strength would gradually be accepted as normal by the main audience (boys).

In order to get where Wonder Woman comes from, one should probably have some background on Diana's creator William Moulton Marston (who wrote his comics under the pen name of Charles Moulton). Marston was a doctor of psychology, having studied at Harvard and taught at AU in Washington and Tufts near Boston. He had fairly broad interests - he came up with and promoted the systolic blood pressure test which would become a key part of lie-detector test - but his main focus was studying women. And by studying women, I of course mean hanging around sorority houses. Being paid to hang around sorority houses.

Anyway, his wife Elizabeth Holloway had a similar education to him. They were both BAs in psych, then went to law school (though Elizabeth had to go to Boston U as Harvard didn't accept women) before she mastered in psych at Radcliffe while Marston doctored at Harvard. This is 1921 by the way, making Elizabeth one of that new concept: the professional women. See, the Marstons were super progressive. They were so progressive that when Bill came home one day and said "Liz, honey. This is one of my students. Her name is Olive Byrne and we should totally live in a polyamorous three-way" she said "sounds good to me." They had four children (two each) and after William died Elizabeth and Olive continued to live together so it probably wasn't a creepy harem type deal.

Marston started his story with the classical Greek concept of the all female Amazon society. But whereas Amazons had always been depicted as a warrior culture who worshipped Ares, Marston flipped this on its head. While Marston's Amazons knew how to kick ass and take names, they were a reversal of the classic tales. Not Ares' marauding terrors - that was just propaganda by the Greeks who kept getting spanked by them. They knew war, but did not seek it. They were a society of women who realised that when one considers the meaning of life, it is a struggle between alternative viewpoints of life itself. And without the ability to defend one's own viewpoint against other perhaps more aggressive ideologies, then reasonableness and moderation could, quite simply, disappear! That is why we'll always need an army, and may God strike me down were it to be otherwise.

Anywho, Ares was pissed off that the Amazons were better then his armies, so he convinced Hercules to go after them. After being unable to beat them in battle, he tricked and enslaved the Amazons. Feeling bad, Aphrodite freed them and guided those who would agree to war-no-more to the magically protected paradise island (Themiscyra). Here, they created a utopian society. The Amazons who said screw that, we're gonna get us some revenge and stayed behind in man's world created the known myths and would become the Bana-Mighdall.

After a while the Queen, Hippolyta, wanted a child. So she went down to the beach and carved a sand vagina, used some clay to sculpt a child and the gods gave it life. This is Diana.

Fast forward and she's a young adult labouring under some serious wanderlust, having lived all of her life in paradise. Col. Steve Trevor, of military intelligence, crash lands on Themiscyra. He needs to get back to man's world to stop some sort of dickery being caused by Ares. So it's decided that a contest will be held to determine who has to take him and, with his assistance, stop Ares. Hippolyta being very "mom" refuses to allow Diana to participate, so she masks her identity, wins, and is off to kick some ass.



It's pretty long and event specific, which makes it less iconic then your Batman and Superman origins. Those, you can play with the details more without messing up.


Powers

Originally, every issue of Sensation Comics started with the claims "As lovely as Aphrodite - as wise as Athena - with the speed of Mercury and the strength of Hercules." Back then Diana's powers were the result of "Amazon training" which gave her increased strength and speed far surpassing untrained people. And while she couldn't fly, she could "glide on air currents" (aka falling with style). You'll note that all this would be common to every Amazon - originally Diana was just the best of them. It was also something anyone could achieve if taught.

What may be surprising to people is that Diana was very much a tech hero. In order to save Steve Trevor's life she used the mechanical purple healing ray, had a "mental radio" which allowed her to transmit her thoughts over extreme long distance (like back home to Themiscyra), and of course the invisible jet. Amazonian society, while originating in the classical Greek world, had advanced over the last two thousand years and that included their grasp on technologies.



After Crisis, George Perez's run on the title changed this fairly heavily. One of the big differences was that the Amazons had become "frozen in time" in regards to their tech, the way they dressed, etc. And where in Marston's original story Aphrodite had breathed life into Diana, this time she had a team of Gods get in on the act. And as these Olympians gave a bit of themselves into her, Diana naturally has powers to reflect that (and no, writers, just because she was given life by the Gods they can't casually take it away. And no, she's not a golem. Stop trying to write that story). Those Gods/powers are:

Demeter: "...grant her power and strength..." Self explanatory.
Aphrodite: "...great beauty and a loving heart..." God-given hotness.
Athena: "...grant her wisdom..." Character cheat.
Artemis: "...the eye of the hunter and unity with the beasts..." Super-vision, talks to animals.
Hestia: "...sisterhood with fire..." Immune to flamethrowers? I guess that useful. Thanks Hestia.
Hermes: "...speed and the power of flight..." Checking off generic hero powers.
Gaea: "...LIFE!" Diana's connection to mother Earth generally gets represented as an ability to take a lot of blunt force trauma, but leaves her vulnerable to piercing weapons. This is an excuse to allow her to take hits from your Supermans and Darkseids while still needing to use the cool bullets and bracelets visuals.

Other tools she uses are her bracers (hard metal capable of deflecting projectiles), her tiara which somehow is like a boomerang and comes back when she throws it and is sometimes very sharp but doesn't cut her and is often her official tiara as the Princess of Themiscyra which begs the question of why the official headware of the Amazonian monarchy is boomerangable... oh, and she has a magic lasso.


The Lasso

One of Wonder Woman's most famous features is what has become known as "The Lasso of Truth". In pretty much any sort of behind the scenes thing you read about the character you will no doubt be told that Marston based the lasso on his other famous invention, the lie detector. Something like this:
Anyone caught in the lasso found it impossible to lie. And because Wonder Woman used it to extract confessions and compel obedience, the golden lasso was of course nothing less than a lie detector... Like the lie detector upon which it was modelled, Wonder Woman's Golden Lasso produced truth - and by implication justice and freedom too - through coercion.

This is actually somewhat false; a connection is made between the two because it seems reasonable, but it's not true. When originally created her lasso did not compel truth, but forced the bound to submit to the user's will. (Diana had been allowed to use it by Aphrodite because she had shown that she had the love and wisdom needed to wield so powerful a concept.) It was not a fancy polygraph, but instead a stand-in for the power of feminine allure.
Olive Byrne: "Now, Wonder Woman has magic powers. You wouldn't claim, I suppose, that we ordinary mortals have any such fantastic weapons as bracelets that repel bullets or her magic lasso that compels whomever it binds to obey her commands?"

William Moulton Marston: "Of course all women have those two powers. Wonder Woman is actually a dramatized symbol of her sex... Her magic lasso is merely a symbol of feminine charm, allure, oomph, attraction - every woman uses that power on people of both sexes whom she wants to influence or control in any way. Instead of tossing a rope, the average woman tosses words, glances, gestures, laughter, and vivacious behaviour. If her aim is accurate, she snares the attention of her would-be victim, man or woman, and proceeds to bind him or her with her charm."

This is actually one of the more interesting aspects of the character for me; reading Marston's thoughts on the use of coercion by force vs charm and the responsibility of its use. One must remember that Wonder Woman was created in 1942 with the Nazis in physical control of Europe. A core theme of the character, featured over and over again in Marston's stories, is her being bound and breaking free.


Loving Authority
WMM: "Woman's charm is the one bond that can be made strong enough to hold a man against all logic, common sense, or counterattack. The fact that many women fail to make strong enough lassos for themselves doesn't deprive the lasso material of its native magic..."

OB: "The chains that the Nazis forge on conquered people seem a whole lot stronger than the bonds of personal charm!"

WMM: "Ah, they only seem that way. Chains of force are always broken sooner or later. No human being can put another's soul or spirit in bondage, only his body. And in the end the inner self triumphs over the outer; mind and personality win back their control over flesh. Nazi chains already are beginning to snap in "conquered" France, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Czechoslovakia - sabotage and killing of oppressors goes on increasingly. But the real turn of the tide will come when Hitler loses his persuasive charm control over the German people.

"Hitler gained his initial power by stirring oratory and personal magnetism - the magic-lasso method - not by force. When he resorted to force in the famous beer cellar Putsch he failed miserably and spent a year in prison. Mussolini similarly achieved his dictatorship by the magic of his persuasive tongue, and now, when force and military ability are needed in place of persuasiveness and drama, Il Duce is on the skids.

"[...] Wonder Woman can break any rope or chain with which a mere man tries to bind her. She stays bound only as long as may be necessary to accomplish her good purpose - then tears off her man-made shackles and goes to work on the man!.. Of course, she may let the man think she's helpless. My Wonder Woman often lets herself be tied into a bundle with chains as big as your arm. But in the end she easily snaps the chains. Women can do lots of things by letting men think they're fettered when they're not."

Physical bondage was something that her villains used, but Marston didn't take a negative view of bondage itself. He was pretty in to it actually, in a sexual role. Marston also believed in what he liked to call "submission to loving authority". I personally don't like the term as it seems as if it's going out of its way to sound weird, but basically it boils down to: being bound against one's will is bad, but there are times when everyone needs and should be restricted by another who loves them. The view holds that if we were better at recognising these moments, and if we were able to find this pleasurable instead of intolerable, the world would be a better place.

When stated coldly and out in the open it sounds weird, but I think it's one of the core concepts of a lot of our relationships. The obvious example with one's parents during youth, and into adulthood the need holds true. In a healthy relationship, one must at times both submit to and be that loving authority to (a) partner(s). It's also the concept which elevates close friendships into something really special (though obviously non-sexual). When you're going to do something and they tell you not to, and you don't because you know that their want is coming from a place of true (platonic) love, so you submit to their desire.

This is what's meant when Wonder Woman fights villains with love. Not that she'll oppose them with hugs and kisses, but that her opposition comes from a loving place. Villains harm society, and by harming society themselves. By stopping them, Diana is doing so from this place of loving authority, with understanding but firmness.

As I hope you can see, Wonder Woman was created and nurtured with very specific ideas beyond being cool and selling well. But being cool and selling well were very important parts of Marston's goal. If no one reads Diana's stories, no one will be taught what Marston wanted taught. And it's not a one time lesson. It's not a lesson that one can memorise or learn in an afternoon. The goal was to change society. To make an idea which most people are very sceptical of because of it's strangeness seem more normal. So the lesson was designed to be taught monthly for generations. Wonder Woman isn't supposed to stand on a pedestal and explain anything to you, she's supposed to punch Minister Blizzard in his big stupid nose while the undercurrents work on your worldview. This of course makes her a very challenging character for many writers.

One huge problem for a number of years has been the tendency to treat Diana as very preachy with an "I'm-better-then-you" attitude. More often then not, this is due to an attempt by the writer to play to Wonder Woman's roots as a character set out to change the way we think. Unfortunately, the writers don't understand that people don't like being evangelised at. Marston did; it's why he packaged his ideas into a very likeable, brash and brave comic book character. So of course, this preachiness goes against what Wonder Woman is supposed to be about: subversively acclimatising men and women/boys and girls to the idea of strong feminine women.

Unfortunately for Diana, on the off chance that a writer recognises this problem they don't actually solve it by changing the way they write her. Instead they decide that she needs to be knocked off her perch and spend a series of issues chastising her. Wonder Woman is at her core an inspirational figure for the ideal of feminine strength. If she does not (at the end of the story) exemplify this, her purpose is being missed.

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Devlin_Dragonus
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Posts

  • Bloods EndBloods End Registered User regular
    Grant Morrison is going to be doing something with Diana soon. He said he's been reading all sortsa feminist literature and has "finally got it"

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • AntimatterAntimatter if you want to talk to me look elsewhere.Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    i love this thread and i love you for making this thread.

    and yesssss I remember reading about this stuff from Grant Morrison in the first place, within Supergods, and the fact he wants to use her.

    Antimatter on
  • LuxLux Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    This...is the most diligent OP I've ever seen.

    I like how you don't even mention the JMS run. I stopped reading a little ways in out of boredom and money. Does anyone know how that mess resolved itself?

    Lux on
  • GankGank Registered User regular
    Lux wrote:
    This...is the most diligent OP I've ever seen.

    Was just going to say the same thing, kudos my man! Looks like Wonder Woman's been added to the long list of things to read.

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  • LordSolarMachariusLordSolarMacharius Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Yeah, I had to cut a good thousand words from my first draft to be able to post it. I've been drinking and watching David Bowie concerts on DVD.* It needed some editing and even then I'm sure it's a mess.

    Morrison on Wonder Woman from Bleeding Cool:
    Grant Morrison appeared at the Edinburgh Book Festival. And Karl Stock was there to report for Bleeding Cool. He writes;

    So, Grant Morrison, when can we expect to see your long, long-awaited Wonder Woman series alongside artist Ethan Van Sciver? “It might be out next year,” he said over the weekend, speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, “or it might not.”

    If you’re getting tired of waiting, you might want to blame Princess Diana’s creator William Moulton Marston for the delay. The late psychologist and free love exponent, who based Wonder Woman on he and his wife Elizabeth’s 18-year-old lover Olive Byrne and imagined a Themsycria where bondage-obsessed Amazons kept female slaves and pretended to hunt and eat one another, is Morrison’s prime inspiration for the series, which could explain any hesitation on DC’s part.

    “You can take the violence out of the original concept of Superman- all the drop-kicking bad guys into the ocean, which would basically kill them anyway,” said Morrison, “or you can take the gun out of early Batman, and these characters remain essentially the same. But you can’t take the sex out of Wonder Woman. That version of the character died with Marston in the 1940s and she hasn’t recovered her popularity since.

    “Superman’s meant to be this ultimate expression of masculinity and he still gets to be sexual. Wonder Woman’s meant to be the ultimate expression of womanhood and yet she isn’t allowed anything to do with sex.”

    It sounds as if what Morrison’s doing with the character fits more closely with his old pre-Vertigo reinventions of Doom Patrol and Animal Man than his current work on Batman and Superman. “It’s hard work trying to recreate what Marsden did without being exploitative or prurient,” he said. “I’ve had to do a ton of reading ahead of this, basically the history of feminist theory from Simone de Beauvoir to Andrea Dworkin.”

    Morrison’s author event in Edinburgh enthralled an audience of typical comic con attendees and literary establishment types, covering subjects like the news media’s worrying tendency to always create a narrative of negativity, the weaponisation of stories by the US military and the evolution of comics beyond the iPad age and into an era of radiotelepathy.

    Funny, intelligent and utterly focused, Morrison was a good advert for the medium, with one audience question about the relative popularity of Batman compared to Superman (he’s looking forward to the new Superman movie, but believes Hollywood has been bad for the comics industry, on balance) raising a big laugh.

    “Superman spent his childhood baling hay on a farm,” said the Glaswegian writer, “he’s a working class hero and people don’t like that. Whereas Batman is a billionaire who sleeps until three in the afternoon, puts on a rubber suit and beats the shit out if poor people. Now that’s a wish fulfilment fantasy.”

    Thanks to attending Little Bleeder Schedel Luitjen who asked Grant whether he plans to incorporate the type of sexualisation and fetishisation of Wonder Woman done by Marston as mentioned in Supergods into his upcoming Wonder Woman story. HE got a great answer out of it…


    *Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Serious Moonlight, Glass Spider, and Reality. All are fantastic and if you haven't listened to Bowie much, know that catching a couple of his songs on the radio is doing yourself a disservice. He's a fantastic live performer.

    LordSolarMacharius on
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  • Witch_Hunter_84Witch_Hunter_84 Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    That OP is more comprehensive and well put together than most of WW's professionally written story arcs. Well done sir!

    One of my favorite modern characterizations of Wonder Woman was actually done by Alex Ross and Paul Dini in a piece called Spirit of Truth. It really highlighted the controversies that around her costume and what it meant in the eyes of women all over the world (both with the length as well as the colors it displayed). Another thing that interested me about that particular book was the way it portrayed her as a female superhero through the eyes of world leaders, especially leaders of places where women don't have many rights. I'd recommend it, but that series of books are largely collectors items, so they're a tad pricey.

    Witch_Hunter_84 on
    If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten in your presence.
  • CadeCade Registered User regular
    Damn, I didn't expect anything from this thread considering it was so simply labelled but damn you slammed it.

    I was one of the few I suppose that liked the last reboot of the character with a younger Wonder Woman starting out having been hidden for so long. She wasn't the preachy WW that has been the norm and quite frankly not working for so long. And oh yeah, the pants worked! The new Wonder Woman costume was a vast improvement on the old one. It looked much more natural and better jacket or no. Going back to the shorts is kinda ugh worthy after that. Having checked out some Wonder Woman forums or places those people posted I got to say, they are almost as bad as Supernatural fans.

  • LuxLux Registered User regular
    Here's my wishlist for the new Wonder Woman run:

    - Emphasis on Diana's characteristics other than "she's the one that sometimes kills"
    - Lay off of Circe, she feels like the overused Wonder Woman villain in the modern age.
    - Dope ass fight scenes involving the lasso
    - Step outside of the Greek Pantheon atmosphere a little more often. Whether it's Washington DC or other metropolitan areas, it's just nice to change scenery.
    - But when we do see Themyscira, I hope it's visually interesting, representative of their progress and civilization, and not just a bunch of Greek pillars on an island.

  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Wonder Woman huh

    never got along with Wonder Woman

  • Witch_Hunter_84Witch_Hunter_84 Registered User regular
    Solar wrote:
    Wonder Woman huh

    never got along with Wonder Woman

    I've tried picking her up a few times, but she's just so unapproachable.

    If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten in your presence.
  • CokomonCokomon Registered User regular
    One of my favorite modern characterizations of Wonder Woman was actually done by Alex Ross and Paul Dini in a piece called Spirit of Truth. It really highlighted the controversies that around her costume and what it meant in the eyes of women all over the world (both with the length as well as the colors it displayed). Another thing that interested me about that particular book was the way it portrayed her as a female superhero through the eyes of world leaders, especially leaders of places where women don't have many rights. I'd recommend it, but that series of books are largely collectors items, so they're a tad pricey.

    I just read that piece yesterday. It's collected in the World' Greatest Superheroes trade.

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  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    Lux wrote:
    Here's my wishlist for the new Wonder Woman run:

    - Emphasis on Diana's characteristics other than "she's the one that sometimes kills"
    - Lay off of Circe, she feels like the overused Wonder Woman villain in the modern age.
    - Dope ass fight scenes involving the lasso
    - Step outside of the Greek Pantheon atmosphere a little more often. Whether it's Washington DC or other metropolitan areas, it's just nice to change scenery.
    - But when we do see Themyscira, I hope it's visually interesting, representative of their progress and civilization, and not just a bunch of Greek pillars on an island.

    I'm hoping they explore the theocratic dictatorship angle and give Diana a few WTF opinions, such as it being okay to do whatever you want with POW's (derived from the Amazonian population strategy of raping prisoners).

  • LordSolarMachariusLordSolarMacharius Registered User regular
    Preview of the first issue:
    Spoiler:

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  • BlankzillaBlankzilla The Year 198X Being Xtreme to the MaxxRegistered User regular
    Okay that is pretty dang rad

    and while I am sure it is explained in the book, there are some pretty heavy lesbian overtones in there(which could just be Diana being comfortable with her body around women due to being raised as an Amazon).

    If they had the balls to actually make Wonder Woman a lesbian, which makes perfect sense with her backstory, I would be pretty happy.

  • BlankzillaBlankzilla The Year 198X Being Xtreme to the MaxxRegistered User regular
    Also I love how she just towers over the normal sized girl

  • KeithKeith Registered User regular
    I love when Wonder Woman is drawn tall like that

  • CadeCade Registered User regular
    I only wish she had the pants, damn the shorts look so out of place. It needs to be something else.

  • TairuTairu Registered User regular
  • AntimatterAntimatter if you want to talk to me look elsewhere.Registered User regular
    I am suitably impressed

  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    I think it captures the character's presence, but there isn't enough to get excited about yet. Do we know who the villain of the introductory arc is yet?

  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2011
    [
    Blankzilla wrote:
    Okay that is pretty dang rad

    and while I am sure it is explained in the book, there are some pretty heavy lesbian overtones in there(which could just be Diana being comfortable with her body around women due to being raised as an Amazon).

    If they had the balls to actually make Wonder Woman a lesbian, which makes perfect sense with her backstory, I would be pretty happy.

    I like to imagine that the last word of that question was "wet," simply because it would not surprise me at all if choking a partner was what got WW off. I'm pretty sure there's multiple instances of her doing that to her silver age bf.

    Bagginses on
  • Crimson KingCrimson King wolves cull themselves, man. what other creature could? and is the race of man not more predacious yet?Registered User regular
    There's always this tightrope you have to walk with Wonder Woman between exploitative and asexual.

    Like, her home base is Lesbian Bondage Island, it was originally conceived as a sexual fantasy, and you can't and shouldn't eliminate that element entirely. Sexuality should be as central to Wonder Woman as it is to Batman and Superman. But it's so easy, especially for male writers in comics, to make that uncomfortable.

    In the first few pages of this comic, she's naked and choking a girl in her underwear. It's impressive to me that Azzarello and Chiang make this sexy without making it awful. I hope they can keep it up.

    DS: 4742 - 6001 - 2106 add me to your friend safaris
  • DelduwathDelduwath Registered User regular
    Sexuality should be as central to Wonder Woman as it is to Batman and Superman.

    How is sexuality central to Batman and Superman? Note that I am not being Internet-sarcastic! I am genuinely curious! I never thought of sexuality as being a part of either character (except maybe in a Fredric Wertham way), but that might just mean that I'm not looking past the surface of the characters.

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  • JaythreefJaythreef Registered User regular
    Still hoping the rule for her comic is, "If WW doesn't wear pants, no one wears pants."

  • AntimatterAntimatter if you want to talk to me look elsewhere.Registered User regular
    Batman and Superman get to be masculine as fuck

    and Batman gets to sleep with all the ladies

  • BlankzillaBlankzilla The Year 198X Being Xtreme to the MaxxRegistered User regular
    Sexuality is definitely a bigger part of Batman's character than Superman.

  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    I think when we say sexuality rather than sexy sex where things get wet we mean sexuality as in gender. Batman and Superman are both masculine icons, Superman is a pretty significant male role model from what I have been able to see from my research. The role and expectations of men are rather central to those characters. This is of course much the same with Wonder Woman, except with feminity.

    Though, of course, there are very sexual aspects to all three characters. Superman and Batman are both physically extremely powerful and attractive, they both wear costumes that emphasise that physicality and sexuality, they both have sexual connotations (Batman in the way that sex conflicts with his motivations and objectivity but is always teased at with Catwoman who strains his self control, Superman in that his upstanding, "boy scout" morality seems to hint at a hidden sexuality similar to the way that some people find virginal, shy types to be very appealing). Wonder Woman is of course highly related to sex, bondage, liberation and physically is extremely beautiful, so she has it too (also she has that powerful, aggressive, confident woman sexuality thing which fits in with Supes and Bats.

    Interestingly enough, having read some studies on Wonder Woman and Batman, I think that the sexual aspects to their nature are interesting similar. Wonder Woman is all about the liberation of bondage, the act of becoming free from choice by submitting to someone else' desires and emotions. Batman is all about the repression of his sexuality as a form of self control, he feels he needs to deny it because he can't relinquish that discipline which enables him to exact his long crusade of vengeance, justifying it by believing that it is for his partner's safety that he pushes her away. But he is always tempted to do so, straining at the limits of his own mental fortitude. In many ways, Wonder Woman fits in well with that, because she represents what Batman could be if he surrendered his discipline to desire, and how Batman could learn to let go of his overwhelming need to control everything around him by submitting to another. It would probably never be explored in a comic (although it could be allegorically, which might be interesting), but if it was that would be a good reason to see Batman and Wonder Woman get together.

    Solar on
  • LordSolarMachariusLordSolarMacharius Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    I thought Wonder Woman #1 was pretty good.

    The art was very nice. Very clean, cool designs. Good clear action. Azzarello also gave Chiang some interesting stuff to draw, Hera's creation of the centaurs being a stand out. Obviously what he meant when he called the title a "horror book".

    The setting up for the larger arc was interesting and there was enough action that it still worked as a single issue. Did feel like a very quick read, though.

    It reminded me a lot of Rucka's run. Which is good, because that's one of my favourites, but I can already see in this first issue how it could fall victim to similar problems as that had. Namely, Diana seems to be a bit of a... not a passenger - she's very much proactive - but... not the focus of the story. Title is less "Wonder Woman" then it is "The Continuing Adventures of the Olympians: featuring Diana, the Wonder Woman."


    EDIT: Also, any thread title suggestions?

    LordSolarMacharius on
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  • WildcatWildcat Registered User regular
    'She Knows Who Wears the Pants in This Family'?

  • KeithKeith Registered User regular
    I think leaving it as Wonder Woman is fine

  • LordSolarMachariusLordSolarMacharius Registered User regular
    @Wildcat: Actually, I think Apollo was the only character in this book wearing pants.

    Apollo's unwilling oracles: Dresses.
    Hera: Naked under peacock cloak.
    Hermes: Those are capris.
    Zola: Underwear.
    Centaurs: Horse...pelt(?) and leather straps.
    Diana: Wonder shorts.

    And then at the end, Apollo burns off his pants. No pants in this book.

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  • HullisHullis Prepare yourself! Johnny Cage is not afraid to die!Registered User regular
    [Wonder Woman]'s Pants-off Dance-off?

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  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    I really enjoyed Wonder Woman #1.

    Wonder Woman comes off like a true badass, for perhaps the first time since that Crisis on Two Earths cartoon came out. The art was gorgeous, which is to be expected from Chiang. The plot kept me engaged throughout, leaping right into the action, and leaving off on a cliffhanger that caught me by surprise, but seems obvious in retrospect.

    I also really dug the way Azzarello and Chiang re-imagined these figures from Greek myth. I'm so fucking tired of guys in togas.

  • TexiKenTexiKen Was it Kierkegaard or Dick Van Patten who said, Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Munch wrote:

    Wonder Woman comes off like a true badass, for perhaps the first time since that Crisis on Two Earths cartoon came out. .

    If WW does a suplex to someone and then tells them to yield, I would buy that WW issue.

    TexiKen on
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  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    She does a leg-lock around a centaur's torso, then headbutts him.

    That's actually the part that made me think of Crisis on Two Earths.

  • LuxLux Registered User regular
    Solid first issue! I appreciated how well the contemporary and mythic elements mixed. It was much easier to get into here than even in JMS' urban fantasy run. I think the character Zola helped a lot to anchor it. My favorite part was:
    Spoiler:

    I also love the new designs.

  • TexiKenTexiKen Was it Kierkegaard or Dick Van Patten who said, Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Read the first issue, pleasantly surprised. Nice set up, centaurs are horrible, horrible beasts, and Diana works as someone who doesn't really have to talk so much but will lasso a human 100 feet away and not really care, I liked that. I really liked how Chiang made Diana's chest be fully covered, so the cleavage is protected. Jim Lee is obviously taking another approach when he draws her. Another thing I liked about Diana is her hair is relatively smooth, only wavy at the end. It reminded me of Mahnke's WW, which I always liked.

    The only thing I didn't care for was the arm band and choker WW wore. We see he dress up, and it feels kind of weird that she would have a dresser full of armor and weapons but ooops, gotta put on my sassy WW choker and arm band that was probably a tattoo in the original character redesign.

    It's worth another issue, and I think what I liked the most is this could kind of worked without needing a reboot, really.

    TexiKen on
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  • LuxLux Registered User regular
    I wonder if the severed horse heads grow human legs.

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