Friday, January 16, 2009

DC = "Diana Castrated"

You know, if we had a Wonder Woman comic that simply re-created her Golden Age lunacy word-for-word, panel-for-panel, it would sell through the roof.
You and I both know this. It may not be "right." But we know this would happen.

From the DC Message Boards:

"> Wonder Woman under Mr. Marston had a psycho sexual
> (i.e. kinky) component to her, but somewhere along
> the way, she lost that sexual edge. She's become
> plain 'virgin' vanilla in exuding sexuality. She's
> also become too much a part of the establishment,
> instead of challenging authority and cultural norms
> and turning things over their heads. I really wish
> that DC would allow WW to be portrayed like Mr.
> Marston had her portrayed, but updated for 2009. I
> think if DC allowed such a thing to happen, she'd be
> a lot more popular with writers, including Mr.
> Morrison. Diana was always meant to push the
> envelope, and not be just one of 'the guys'. DC made
> the mistake of trying to keep WW 'safe' like they do
> with Supes. WW was never meant to be a the ultimate
> girl scout.
> So I don't put most of the blame on the writers
> doorstep (except for extreme cases like AA!), I blame
> the idiotic DC editorial team for neutering WW and
> making her less interesting 'to play with' in stories.

as I mentioned a few days ago
DC = Diana Castrated"

and this one too:

"Diana's a T-shirt picture, something the corporate owners will never allow to be associated with anything too controversial."

and my favorite:

"Maybe since most writers have rejected the current version of WW and avoid her like the plague (no pun intended) or treat her like 2nd or 3rd class, then its time to revamp WW. I know many of you would disagree, but Diana should fill the niche of Wolverine in the DCU. Wolverine is Marvel's most popular superhero - his popularity even outshines that of Spider-Man, Hulk and Iron Man. Make Diana into a bad@$$ killer like how Marvel continually and consistently portrays Wolverine. Love, mercy and empowerment don't seem to be resonating with most of DC's writers, so focus on Diana's lethal warrior and combat side and skip the touch feely stuff altogether. Leave that emotional baggage to Donna Troy instead."

which, of course, is sorta like...

Which wasn't successful at all...


  1. Anonymous1:10 PM

    For (I think) my first comment here, I have nothing much to say, except: 1) I'd forgotten how much I miss Xena, and 2) the lovely chirpy background in that WW panel is awesome and I want the whole thing on a t-shirt, or possibly as a tattoo.

    - Klio

  2. No real surprise here, since it's probably all men who are saying these things, and it's by far men who buy the comic book. Men who've probably never had a girlfriend, or any meaningful relationship with the opposite sex in their lives.

  3. I said the same thing a few posts ago-- losing her sexuality is a sad loss.

  4. Sooo...

    How DO you feel about DC comics?

    We all know talking about the same thing over and over will never stop being interesting.

  5. I think the best way to handle Wonder Woman would be to put her in the same position as Alan Scott and Jay Garrik. Put her back in the original JSA, and let her be the one that really broke down the gender barrier for superheroes the same way she actually did for comics themselves. Having Wonder Woman arrive after other female heroes like Black Canary in continuity makes very little sense. Make her the Susan B. Anthony of superheroes and give her the respect she deserves as the one who proved that the women could be just as tough as the men. Then you've give her a firmly established role in the DCU, a reason to interact with all the other heroes, and a position of respect that she's actually earned in character, rather than through her publishing history.

  6. I thought her portrayal in Kingdom Come juxtaposed her against Superman and Batman in a very interesting way. She was a pragmatist as opposed to Superman's idealist and Batman's pessimist.

  7. Jeez, why couldn't they have made that WW movie ten years ago? Lucy Lawless was BORN to play her. Yo, check it:

  8. Also: I always champion "rock, paper, scissors."

    Batman can beat Superman.
    Superman can beat Wonder Woman.
    Wonder Woman can beat Batman.

  9. Anonymous3:00 PM

    Yeah, What Popcultblogger said...

    While I was kinda playing Devil's Advocate in the other WW post from yesterday, I'm not sure that this is the direction WW should go. I think her being a poster girl for bondage and feminism is, frankly, outmoded and obsolete. She should be powerful, firm-minded, and regal; certainly a leader and warrior, but not in a way that relies on sexuality or "allure", but on the other traits that are uniquely strong to women. Those would be grace vs. quick judgement, endurance vs. brute strength, patient reason vs. quick temper. Certainly, these are stereotypes and must be coerced into a character that is real and multifaceted, but these are the types of things that would make her a Wonder WOMAN, as opposed to a Wonder Male-Power-Fantasy.

  10. So in a time when people are complaining about DC comics becoming more violent and darker, they actually want a MORE violent and darker Wonder Woman?

    It's strange to see complaints on it, but it's stranger to see it wanted.

  11. Pragmatist - exactly. That is how Gail and Kurt are porttraying her - diplomatic, but a warrior who can kick ass when she needs to.

    I would prefer a her more sexual as well as that would be more human, but in her lack thereor, she is being treated no differently than Bats or Supes.

  12. I would be curious to see how many people commenting on the handling of Wonder Woman have actually regularly read the title.

    You might want to actually try reading the comic before making a lot of broad assumptions (which is probably why you weren't reading Jimenez or Rucka's runs in the first place).

  13. Anonymous4:55 PM


    How DO you feel about DC comics?

    We all know talking about the same thing over and over will never stop being interesting."

    I bet his mother died in the Lollercaust.

  14. "No real surprise here, since it's probably all men who are saying these things, and it's by far men who buy the comic book. Men who've probably never had a girlfriend, or any meaningful relationship with the opposite sex in their lives."

    Geez, Matt, do you really have such a low opinion of male comics fans, or is this projecting?

  15. "(which is probably why you weren't reading Jimenez or Rucka's runs in the first place)."

    I got to observe Jimenez first-hand on his run on WW at the DC offices. It was not a perfect run, but it had a lot of heart, as it was obvious that he had a deep love for this character. He was going (in my opinion) for a George Perez vibe, which, all things considered, was not a bad way to go.

  16. Rucka's run really built on what Jimenez had done and pretty much gave everyone the exact Wonder Woman everyone describes wanting. But nobdy could be bothered to read it.

    I highly recommend picking up the trades.

    And, btw, nice call on the "virgins that live in their mom's basements". That's really accurate and adds to the dicussion.

  17. Re: the first image - ah memories...

    When I was a kid (i.e., grade school) I loved Golden Age reprints, and happened upon an oversized paperback collection of Wonder Woman stories from the forties. The ones w/ Etta Candy and whatever that gang of girls was called, Army Air Corps Steve Trevor, blatantly misogynistic Dr. Psycho ("zzz-Zut" as he kept muttering), and LOTS of what I would later come to realize was freakin' bondage play.

    It was just weird. I didn't even really get what I was looking at, but it was definitely some strange stuff that didn't try all that hard to veil Marston's inclinations.

    This panel was even more out there - holy cow.

  18. I thought the warrior thing was what editorial tried for and gasped when Rucka had her kill a guy. Ask him about it, I'm sure he has lovely things to say. The xena thing with the sword and cape didn't happen. Gail gives her an edge and a social life, yet less people read less people read. hmmm

  19. With Clark Kent we know from an early age he wants to belong. He pines after Lana Lang, he follows Lori Lemaris around begging her to love him and Rao dammit if he could only get Lois to notice him and forget about superman... Clark has a romantic history and like anyone he tends to make the same mistakes - er - choices with each entanglement.

    You can trace a similar thread through Bruce Wayne's life. Silver St. Cloud, Selina Kyle, Talia... these are bad girls who know Bruce's secret. The way Morrison describes it Batman can't help but be attracted to dangerous women.

    But what's Wonder Woman's romantic history? Steve Trevor was ret conned away from her. I hear she's sort of dating Nemesis for some reason now. And I kind of recall a diplomat that only liked her as a friend.

    I really dig the golden age Wonder Woman. But outside of the pseudo bondage stuff I'm not sure what Wonder Woman's sexuality is supposed to be. How/where was it developed? On the island of perfect women where no one grows old or needs to reproduce? When she first comes to man's world and battles evil male super villains? Is Wondy omni-sexual like other ancient Greek Champions? As a creature born from clay does she have physical needs? Does she pretend not to?

  20. I've long thought the same thing about WW.

    Johnny Zito asks what distinguishes her romantic history. As he notes, after Marston she didn't have much of one.

    Marston's WW considered all of life a game. Fighting, friendship, and sex all were pursued for amusement. His Wonder Woman always seemed to be having fun.

    Part of her concept of fun was dominance/submission. I don't think Marston's WW ever found a man she respected enough to submit to, but even when bound and captured she didn't seem too distraught.

    The post-Marston covers with WW cowering before some threat were very inappropriate. Much more so than her lack of a love life.

    She ridiculed things she found stupid. She wasn't subtle or polite. In short, she was NOT a diplomat. I suspect she'd gladly MC a gay pride parade. She understands camp.

    In short, she likes mocking and pissing off stupid people. She always has fun, even in a crisis. No panic attacks, drama queen, or temper tantrums.

    God bless him, but there's no way Paul Levitz is gonna try to market that version.

  21. Totaly 100% in agreement. I thought the worst thing DC did to the character in recent history was having her get all emotional and weapy over killing Max Lord (and then retconning her desire to kill in IC with the "I was going to pin him to the floor"). She's a warrior. Warriors kill people when it's needed. She need not be as dark and murderiffic as Wolverine, but for the love of god(s), let the woman cut loose and use lethal force!