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Headscratchers: Wonder Woman
  • Sometimes she has a daughter, sometimes she has a wacky sidekick, sometimes she has an invisible jet, sometimes she can fly, sometimes she can sense magic, sometimes she can only trust women, sometimes her arch villain is a were-cheetah, sometimes it's just a woman in a cat costume, sometimes she has a love interest but sometimes he's a father figure, sometimes Wonder Girl is a ascended fangirl... nothing is ever consistent in the series. It's in a constant state of reboots and retcons, the only thing that seems to stay the same is that Wonder Woman inexplicably dresses up in her American flag swim suit, and even then there was a time when she didn't even wear THAT. How can one of the most well known superheroes have practically nothing that stays sacred about her?
    • If you want a somewhat sociological answer, I think it's the fact that she's one of the most well known superheroes as well as the most well known female superhero. Each version of her reflects the time it was made in and what was expected of women at the time, and each author that comes on to the title has their own idea about what the "ultimate woman" represented in her should be, which also shows how much in flux the idea of womanhood in itself has been for the last century.
    • Also, the inconsistencies aren't anywhere near as bad as you make them out to be. While her stories were in a bit of flux every now and then from the Golden Age to the 80s, there were pretty long stretches where, plot-wise, things followed the same set up and formula before the next shape up. And ever since the Post-Crisis era began, her continuity has been pretty good and her characterization and the characterization of her supporting cast has been pretty consistent, changing of course with actual character development. There have been some issues, especially recently, but no more so than any long running and popular franchise.
      • Seconded. There are a lot of difference between the Golden and Silver Age versions and the Post-Crisis version, but past the Crisis, she is fairly steady with changes happening subtly over time. (Let's not bring up what happened in The Bronze Age of Comic Books). In fact, some writers are unhappy with how little the DC Editorial department will allow them to do with the character. Now, if you want to see a Superheroine who has been through a lot of changes, check this out.
      • I call your Supergirl and raise you Power Girl. Fun fact: sometimes she's from Krypton, sometimes she's an alternate universe version of Supergirl, and sometimes she's a time traveler who gets ALL her powers from her outfit.
    • I've made a thread on this; apparently there's been about ten zillion 'New Direction for Wonder Woman!' comics and none of them stick. Writers as a whole seem to have no agreement on how to write Wonder Woman nowadays.
      • I'd say part of that is probably because Wonder Woman is supposed to be one of the "Big 3" superheroes at DC Comics, so expectations for her are very high. When a title starts underperforming, it's pretty common to go, "since this isn't working, we'd better try something new and different", but what's considered "underperforming" for Wonder Woman would probably be seen as perfectly acceptable for less famous superhero titles.
      • Wonder Woman's a "Big Three" in name only. There's really a "Big Two" and a whole lot of second-stringers, with WW being somewhere in the middle of the pack. The problem with Wonder Woman is that the "iconic appeal" inherent in a lot of DC's heroes really doesn't apply for a lot of reasons, so there really isn't much justification not to Re Tool if they think it will increase sales.
  • There's also a meta-reason: for a long time there was a contractual requirement that for DC to keep the rights to Wonder Woman, she had to stay in print. That guarantees she's going to stay well known.
    • Actually, that's just a part of copyright law. If a copyright holder doesn't make use of the copyrighted property within a set timeframe, they run the risk of the copyrighted character moving into the public domain. That's also one of the reasons for old team-up books like DC Comics Presents, The Brave and The Bold, and Marvel Team Up (affectionately—or not—referred to by many creators as "copyright renewal theater"). Also, regardless of any changes made to the character, their backstory, or their appearance, they will always appear SOM Ewhere in their original form, or else their copyright holder runs the risk of losing the rights to whatever iteration they aren't using.
      • No. Copyright isn't renewable, and isn't tied to making use of the property. You're thinking of trademarks. There were some legal issues involving reclamation of works by their creators, but a.) that concerned Superman, not Wonder Woman, and b.) publication status wasn't an issue there either.
      • DC doesn't own Wonder Woman. She belongs to her creator's estate, and a condition of his will is that they lose all rights to her if she doesn't have a regularly published comic. I'm not sure if that stipulation is still in force, but DC does not own Wonder Woman.
      • They own her lock, stock, and barrel now, although the "four issues a year" thing was true until about 1986 or so.
    • It is worth noting that the other two members of the Trinity have had some really notable Dork Ages of their own. Batman has the whole campy 60s thing and Superman has the Silver Age Superdickery, along with minor ones. Wonder Woman's most notable Dork Age was when she lost her powers. When you have a character who's existed for as long as WW, inevitably writers will try out different things to see what works. The Post-Crisis Amazonian Warrior persona seems to have stuck. I will say that the two things that Diana lacks is a really iconic Rogues Gallery and big-name adaptation(s). Most people think of the Wonder Woman TV series... and that's it.
  • If the Invisible Jet is invisible, how does she find it?
    • She keeps hitting the "Unlock" button on her alarm fob.
    • Holy Fridge Brilliance! I think that you solved the mystery!
    • She's very careful to remember where she parked.
    • I think she has a telepathic link with it, or something.
  • So, this might belong under Teen Titans or Wonder Girl (does she have a series?), but anyway... Cassandra "Cassie" Sandsmark is a child molester. Her "boyfriend" Kon-El/Conner Kent is about 3 years old. Maybe 4. And he isn't an alien with weird alien psychology, he's just a Half-Human Hybrid (and the other half is Human Alien). Of course she is also a Half-Human Hybrid, and the other half is the king of Jerkass Gods... but she's still in her teens.
    • He may be chronologically 3 or 4, but he was physically and mentally aged to and given the knowledge appropriate for a 16 year-old (if I remember correctly, one of the storylines in his comic book was that he had to attend high school, but that was quickly dropped). You raise a somewhat squicky, fridge-logicy point, but for all intents and purposes, he is physically and mentally 16-17 even if he is chronologically much younger. Although some of us desperately try to forget the whole Half-Human Hybrid thing.
    • Don't you think you're being a bit ridiculous here? You're applying real-world laws to a setting where human clones can be grown to adulthood in (at most) a single year.
  • Why in the hell was she made a Star Sapphire in Blackest Night? For those of you who don't know, Star Sapphires are basically Green Lanterns, but in regards to love, not willpower. I'm asking this because of her attitude towards Nemesis. So, he loved her, she loved him, but not enough to care about him any more than having kids? And she's made a Star Sapphire?!
    • I don't know nothin' about no Nemesis (isn't that the name of a goddess?!?!) but the reason she was made a Star Sapphire was explained in Blackest Night. Apparently she loves the entire world more than anyone else...or something. Bugger me if it makes any sense but there you have it.
      • The Nemesis in question is Tom Tresser (Diana's love interest during Gail Simone's run). He and Diana became partners working at the Department of metahuman affairs in Allan Heinberg's story "Who is Wonder Woman."
  • I think somewhere in BN it was said that "no one loves Earth more than Wonder Woman", so her love is for the entire world, not just one person. As for the "loss" part of the requirement, well, she did spend a year or so with most of Earth's public opinion against her (because of the whole Max Lord fiasco).
    • Just how is that supposed to be the same love as what powers the Star Sapphires? "Loving Earth" seems too platonic...
      • While I agree that it was stretch of logic done only because they wanted her to get the ring, not because it actually made sense (especially because the ring had to bring her back from being a Black Lantern to do it!) that much at least can be explained (whether it jibes with what the writers would say or is strictly fanwanking, though, I can't say). The Violet Rings are attuned to love in general; it's the Star Sapphire Corps that chooses to recruit based only on romantic love. When the rings were looking for bearers in Blackest Night, they were acting independently of their Corps, so the Violet Ring just looked for love, not romantic love. By the same token, the Indigo Ring looked for someone compassionate even though the Indigo Tribe specifically recruits people who lack compassion and let the ring force it on them. And the Orange Ring sought out a bearer even though Larfleeze forbids Orange Lantern Corps rings from doing that. Atrocitus actually mentions being upset that the Red Ring was allowed to find a bearer without his input because that meant it would just search out someone filled with rage while he only recruits people whose rage is directed at someone who's done them injustice, but once he meets Mera, he approves of her. Presumably, if Ganthet hadn't claimed the Green Ring, it might have sought the nearest person with great willpower even if they didn't necessarily have "the ability to overcome great fear", like someone with a really strong work ethic, or even someone like Deathstroke or Ra's Al Ghul.
      • In Post-Crisis continuity, she was given the beauty of a loving heart by Aphrodite. Thus, Wonder Woman has a superhuman ability to love.
  • The excessive violence in the Wonder Woman film raised a question for this Troper. Didn't Wonder Woman have a no-kill code? Or is that only in some incarnations? Because I was under the impression that her murder of Max Lord in the Comics was so huge BECAUSE she'd never done it before.
    • Apparently, the idea was to make her distinct from the other big two superheroes (Superman and Batman) in that she can and will kill if absolutely necessary (the one time the Post-Crisis Superman consciously killed someone � when he executed the three pocket universe Kryptonian supervillains � it was huge deal to him and haunted him for a long time afterwards, which doesn't seem to be the case with Wonder Woman). Even if this was a Retcon, it kinda makes sense, as (unlike Superman and Batman), WW was raised in a warrior culture. During Gail Simone's run, WW explicitly states that she can kill to save innocent lives, but not for selfish reasons, such as revenge.
    • George Perez made it explicit very early in his post-Crisis reboot of the character that she will kill, without remorse or self-recrimination, if the situation requires it, though she can usually manage to find less drastic solutions. The problem with Max Lord, for the fans, was that the situation was nowhere close to requiring it. In-universe, the problem was the wide-spread belief that superheroes never kill.
      • Nowhere close? The creative team powered up a telepath to create a rampaging mind-controlled Kryptonian situation, with the threat of recurrence if the telepath lived. However much one may want Diana to be so overpowered she can work around that, that's still pretty close.
      • She could just knock out Max and maybe mind wipe his knowledge on how to control people,or use the Lasso of Truth to show wiping out all superheroes will allow guys like Darkseid to wipe out or conquer mankind. There were other options (not to mention that Max seems like a Well-Intentioned Extremist in that book), which is why fans are angry about it.
      • "Wipe his knowledge?" How? I don't recall Diana having mind erase powers. And if you say Zatanna or Martian Manhunter, I'll point you to Identity Crisis, a series that (whether is succeeded or not) showed that mind-raping supervillains into forgetting things is a very grey & unreliable area. Besides, at that point, Max was sure that Checkmate & the OMAC army he created could handle any alien invasion off, New God or not. There may have been options (though I've been remiss to see any that actually could have held water) but Diana didn't have time since she was in a room with a mind-controlled Superman who was in danger of attacking her again.
      • Furthermore, Maxwell Lord was, and is, a complete monster. While Zatanna got vetoed and banned from mindwiping anyone because, last time she did, she turned Doctor Light into "Rapist McRape, the Rapist Therapist", Maxwell Lord proved during the Brightest Day storyline to be not above killing superpowered children, getting Magog explode in a crowded city just to get a Kingdom Come thrown at the JLI and sending his creations to get some petty revenge over Wonder Woman herself while claiming to be the world's savior. Basically, he was in Diana's eyes a deeply disturbed man handling the most powerful humanoid on Earth. And she doesn't seem pained by killing him, but rather by the realization that Brother Eye, broadcasting her actions without relaying the context, actually turned her mission to spread peace in the Patriarch World into an instant failure.
      • An important and often overlooked factor here is that she used the Lasso of Truth - the thing that makes it literally impossible to lie - on Maxwell Lord and asked him how to free Superman from his control (after Max had forced Superman to beat Batman to a pulp and told Wonder Woman that he planned to use Superman to kill his enemies) and Max's response was "Kill me." Max point blank told her that the only way to save release Superman from a life as Max's personal assassin was to kill him, and the lasso guaranteed that he wasn't lying (it's possible there was some way to do it that Max was unaware of - like powerful magic - but clearly just knocking Max out wasn't enough). As mentioned, the reason it was controversial was that footage of her snapping Max's neck while Max was tied up was broadcast out of context, making her look like a murderer.
      • People can't consciously lie while under the lasso's influence, yes, but their responses will still be colored by their prejudices and personalities. The kind of personality that Max had (at the time), it's not exactly surprising that he went for the most bloodthirsty option first. Then, if I recall correctly, Diana snapped his neck before he had a chance to say anything else.
      • Lots of people bring up alternatives to killing Max Lord, but consider the information Diana had access to: there was one person who knew more about how Lord's powers worked than anyone else, and who, as head of Checkmate, had extensive knowledge of unconventional methods of containing metahumans, who was very, very motivated to think of a non-lethal method to stop Lord, and who was divinely compelled to speak the truth: Max Lord himself. And the only thing he could come up with that was certain to work was was "kill me," much to his own obvious horror.
    • She usually doesn't kill, she just doesn't adhere to her code as strongly as Superman or Batman.

  • Aquaman exists in the same universe as Wonder Woman, right? So where does Poseidon fit into all this?
    • In regards to the comics - first of all, he rarely appears. You'd think that Posiedon would take on the Atlanteans as his patron people, but actually he's a huge dick who sees them as upstarts who step on his toes. Ocean Master, Aquaman, and he basically have a constant rivalry to each gain control of his Trident. In his first appearance, he basically tried to rape Mera. So, yeah.

  • Cheetah's Barbie Doll Anatomy. Her fur is thin enough to look like skin, but thick enough to cover her naughty bits. (Which she does have) What's up with that?

  • I haven't been keeping up lately, but I know the New52 says that Barbara Minerva was a criminal even before she became the Cheetah. But I can't find anything that says what specific crimes she committed.

  • Does Athena exist in the New52? Given how she was Wonder Woman's patron pre-reboot, the fact that her responsibilities and personality are very similar to Wonder Woman's, and how Wonder Woman's now part of the Olympian family, her absence from the story (based on the first two trade paperbacks, this headscratcher may be out of date) is kind of jarring.

  • How the heck was the classic Cheetah, Priscilla Rich, able to go toe to toe against Wonder Woman back in the 1940's? The golden age was weird. In present time, I can't picture a powerless woman in a cheetah costume beating our amazon heroine no matter how crazy, rich, and skilled she is.
    • Wonder Woman herself was also less powerful back then. What I want to know is how she made the tail in hr costume move.
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