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Over at his vlog, Linkara has stated that he's stopped buying the new Wonder Woman series. Given he's such a fan of the character, I find this surprising.
His main concern seemed to be that they changed WW's origin so that, instead of being a clay statue transformed into a human (by the gods) she's now another of Zeus' bastard children. While I understand where he's coming from (it makes her less unique) I never particularly cared for that part, it's obvious it was invented to justify Diana growing up in Paradise Island, a place without men. But that hardly seems important these days (couldn't Hippolyta have been pregnant when she reached the island?) In fact having her be the daughter of an actual mythological figure (besides Hippolyta) has good story potential IMHO.
(Though I agree that making Zeus the father is unoriginal and even tasteless, given how many women he fooled or outright raped. Hercules would have been a better choice -and no, Hercules never raped Hippolyta in the myths, that was a bad DC retcon.)
That is not the only thing that bothers him, however. It seems the new Diana is also less interesting (and more violent) than before. While I have never been a big Wonder Woman fan, I must agree that she has been brought down a lot over the years, going from a Martial Pacifist who specifically had Wisdom as one of her attributes, to just another 'warrior hero' with a kill list that includes several beheadings. While fans defend this by stating that she's an Amazon and thus a warrior, it takes away another, more important unique aspect of the character. (Besides, she's supposed to be a superhero first, an amazon second.)
Of course, given that DC is still going through a new Dork Age with *several* of their characters in the post-Flashpoint continuity, none of this should be a surprise. Honestly, I don't think most modern writers "get" Wonder Woman- they just can't handle wise characters very well. But instead of waiting for the right one to come along, DC just keeps trying to reinvent her. They should remember the mess that happened with Hawkman precisely because of the same attitude.
edited 22nd Nov '11 4:37:30 AM by Sijo
"Hot Babe killing Monsters with a Sword" beats "Ambassadress wants to teach and help us all for peace"
Brought to you by the people from "Comic Book Fans can't identify with happily married people."
So do you agree or not?
Well, I think this rebooted Wonder Woman is actually a good thing! I mean, she has tanned skin, which would make sense considering that she spends a lot of time outdoors. Now, that part about her being a demigod...I think why not? Greek myths have a number of demigods, like Herakles/Hercules who had to face vengeful Hera. It ties into the Greek myths much more strongly than before. She's got a home base now, and I would like to think is being put on equal ground with Batman and Superman!
Yeah, but how many characters are there that *already* fit those characteristics? I've never been a fan of the "update the character to modern times" idea. Instead, why not create wholly-new characters for that and put away the originals until someone with a good idea for the character comes along?
In Diana's case, the fact she's wise in addition to powerful is part of what made her unique. But I guess Most Writers Are Writers and modern writers are too cynical for that.
edited 22nd Nov '11 5:47:00 PM by Sijo
I agree that this new modern Wonder Woman is nothing particularly interesting and the less I say about her look the better. Personally though, I always thought that the best interpretation(s) of the character was from Kingdom Come and Justice, both of which manage to make her strong, capable and, above all else, wise. In fact, both stories feel like a natural progression; from a character who is still very staunch in her beliefs to someone whose had them tested.
Problem with having your Main Character be wise is that they can easily fall into Canon Sue territory, particularly if narration or some other supposedly objective source comes out and calls her wise.
Personally, I find it much more interesting to watch a character gaining wisdom than to see someone who already has wisdom lecture it into others.
edited 23rd Nov '11 3:19:10 AM by RavenWilder
Depends on the type of wisdom. I read Justice League #3 last week, and the thing that kind of turned me off to Diana's character was that she was a Fish out of Water trope played completely straight. A trope that's been played out ever since Beastmaster 2. I get that she's not from around here, but the producers of Thor said it best: why does that mean a character has to turn into a complete moron when they're away from home?
edited 23rd Nov '11 5:03:52 AM by KingZeal
Let me ask you this question: how wise is Wonder Woman at this point in time? It's only been a few issues so far. That means that if she doesn't have a lot of wisdom right now, then perhaps she will gain it as time goes on. We'll have to wait and see!
That's kind of the point.
A very good point and, on reflection, one I would have to agree with. That being said, I think a character who is already wise can be just as interesting and dramatic. In the case of Diana, who was granted wisdom from Athena I think, the drama comes from how she can apply her wisdom to the case at hand. It's relatively easy to outwit a minotaur, but it's another animal entirely to prevent two nations with nuclear capacity from going to war without resorting to violence.
Oh, wise characters can certainly be interesting, I just don't think having one as your main protagonist is a very good idea. I mean, Mr. Miyagi was a cool character, but a movie told from his point of view probably wouldn't have been as interesting.
That being said, I do think it would have been interesting to see a greater focus on Wondy's work as an ambassador, provided that other supernatural beings (merpeople, lost dinosaur civilizations, the Legions of Hell, etc.) also sent diplomatic reprentatives out into the world, and the series became more of a Fantastic Comedy focusing on the bizarre issues Wonder Woman encounters in this messed up geo-political landscape.
edited 23rd Nov '11 6:55:00 PM by RavenWilder
That actually sounds like a pretty damn good read. Add in some classic Wonder Woman villains, some colourful realism and you'd have a best seller.
I think the problem is that many people don't get what Wisdom means. They think it's knowing a lot of things, instead of using what they know positively.
It doesn't help that Diana's wisdom has been described at times as a superpower rather than a characteristic (like Captain Marvel, who has the actual Wisdom of Solomon as a power.) How does that work? Does the character automatically know the right thing to do? Can they contact their patron for answers?
I agree that a wise character can be seen as a Mary Sue, but again, that's poor writing. Diana should neither act like a country hick on Man's World, nor should she be Holier Than Thou. Instead she should be shown as competent, but occasionally having to come to terms with issues such as Gender Inequality in supposedly liberated societies (like America's.)
Also, if Diana is a founding member of the League, she should by now have *vast* experience with the modern world and not be fazed by things like ATMs.
And for the love of God, she's a hero, not just a warrior. She should be wise enough to know that violence isn't always the answer, and killing sentients, much less. There's plenty of sexy barbarian characters for that.
You realize there's a big gap between "Doesn't adhere to an absolute Thou Shall Not Kill rule" and "Thinks violence is always the best answer", right?
Oh, definitely. Plenty of heroes are like that.
However, Wonder Woman lives *in a superhero universe* where such behavior is not well liked and, more importantly, the existence of alternate options -even in VERY desperate situations, since nearly anything is possible there- should be well known to her by now.
I'm not saying it's impossible to set up a situation where killing is unavoidable to her; I am saying that most of those she's been in (most definitely including the Max Lord one) didn't really fit the bill, in my opinion. It's just that DC likes her more as a killer, for no good reason. So much for wisdom.
To be a devil's advocate, perhaps a truly wise person doesn't care about what's "well-liked."
They like making her a killer because Batman and Superman fans seem a lot more uptight about that sort of thing.
See, it's that kinda attitude that I think is the only way to make Diana a killer, at least in comparison to Clark and Bruce. That being said, I never appreciated just how willing writers have made her to do so or how she is able to justify such an act to herself in the end.
Personally, provided it's a self-defense situation, I'd have no problem with Superman or Batman occasionally killing opponents. The whole "no killing" rule was originally created to appease the Moral Guardians, and now that their power over comics is significantly lessened, writers shouldn't keep censorship imposed story elements around unless they benefit the narrative.
Particularly in Batman's case, it would make a lot of sense for him to use lethal force on occasion. It makes so much sense that scores of writers have bent over backwards trying turn Thou Shall Not Kill into a Justified Trope, but have, in my opinion, constantly failed. In fact, not only have they failed, but all their attempts to justify Thou Shall Not Kill draw even more attention to how little sense it makes, while at the same time making it such a big part of Batman's character that the status quo throws a tantrum if anyone tries to do away with it.
So I say, if you're a Wonder Woman fan, count yourself lucky she doesn't have all the same narrative shackles that B & S have.
edited 25th Nov '11 9:35:26 PM by RavenWilder
I agree that Batman should be a character who shouldn't be hung up on the No Killing rule, but I feel that some of that justification of having him not break it does work. I think the Nolan Bat films do a particularly good job of doing it.
I actually think Batman would work better if they had it and it was the only thing that let him claim to cling to his sanity with it.
Superman is likely never to resort to lethal force simply because he quickly starts breaking stories.
Also, it strikes me as likely that one of the reasons heroes never kill is so that the writers don't have to come up with new villains all the time, because they're lazy gits.
I think a lot of the issue people have with Batman's refusal to kill is due to Joker Immunity and Cardboard Prison, so it's not a problem in adaptations that don't have the Status Quo Is God problem.
Agreed. Individual stories can work really well with the no killing rule in place (or they can explictly ask whether or not it is the right thing to do), it's when you see mass murderers break out of Arkham for the millionth time it starts to seem kinda dumb. Nolan!Bats can get away with it, because he only deals with each baddie a couple of times (...and the majority of them have ended up dead so far).
That seems to be the most likely reason that it's okay for heroes in films to kill first ask questions later.
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