Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Counting Down

And thus, the Sword of Damocles has come that much closer to finally dropping.

Having threatened us with it since 2008, although no official release date has (yet) been made, Grant Morrison's Wonder Woman: Earth One—now titled, Wonder Woman: The Trial of Diana Prince—is going to be released this coming 2014.

And just writing that statement made my stomach churn. Not since Mortal Kombat 9 have I anticipated something involving a character/property I love with such cringing, soul-crushing, fatalistic dread.

This is going to suck.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

And We Have Our Wonder Woman

For better or worse, it seems the time has come...the walrus said...

Wonder Woman has been cast in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel / Batman vs. Superman movie / semi-Justice League precursor. Gal Gadot—model-turned-actress, as of now best known for some of the Fast & Furious movies (none of which I've seen)—is going to be our Amazing Amazon.

Huzzah...I guess.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ewoks Ruin Everything

Well, I’m back. Been busy through the summer. And when I wasn’t busy, I was being lazy—so I hadn’t been giving much time to the ol’ Void here.

Anyhoo, as you might have deduced from this blog’s title, I’m going to talk about Star Wars a bit.
More specifically...those damn Ewoks.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Good, Old-Fashioned Ghost Story

Okay, let's break away from Wonder Woman topics.
Although there's still plenty to discuss about the character, I thought I'd shift gears a bit

And since the majority of my posts pertaining to Wonder Woman have been pretty negative and pessimistic, I thought I'd switch it up with something a little more upbeat. Something a bit more positive and lighthearted, and discuss a character that actually cheers me up....

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stop "Fixing" Wonder Woman

I’ve written a lot of criticism about the portrayal of Wonder Woman in this blog. I’ve taken issue with she being portrayed as a sword-wielding barbarian. I’ve ragged on the idea of her being Superman or Batman’s girlfriend. And I’ve harangued over the retconning of the Amazons into rapists and Zeus into being Wonder Woman’s father.

A common response I've encountered to such complaints—as other fans have as well, I’ve no doubt—is that Wonder Woman as I believe she should be, Wonder Woman as I want her to be, simply “doesn’t sell.” And therefore, the justification for all the things done to/with Wonder Woman that I hate are, not only necessary, but needed in order to make her relevant and popular.

Essentially, the Wonder Woman I know and love doesn’t work, won’t sell, and needs to be fixed.

This is where I call bullshit on that.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Daddy Issues

Seeing as I already devoted a post to the so-called “Deconstruction” of the Amazons, and I made a passing reference to it when DC Failed Me, Yet Again, I should weigh in on the other major Nu52 retcon Wonder Woman’s been subjected to.

Zeus is now Wonder Woman’s daddy.

For decades, the circumstances of Diana’s birth were that the gods told Hippolyta to mold a child out of clay and they then made it a flesh and blood, living girl.
One of the big “shockers” of DC’s Nu52 reboot is that was a lie. The truth, it turns out, was one day Hippolyta and Zeus met and banged…for some reason. I guess no reason is really necessary—those who follow Greek mythology know Zeus was notorious for his inability to keep it in his pants, as it were.

The clay origin, in actuality, was a ruse to prevent Hera—who had a tendency to take out her frustrations with Zeus’ man-whoring on everyone except Zeus—from swearing eternal vengeance on the Amazons, and Diana in particular. 'Cause them bitches be crazy, I guess.


Friday, April 5, 2013

The Star-Spangled Bathing Suit

Well, I suppose I might as well throw in some thoughts on Wonder Woman’s costume. That does tend to be a hot-button issue that always seems to come up when discussing her.

The subject of her costume has been a point of contention especially for the past couple of years.  Notably, the Odyssey story arc that had the audacity to put Wonder Woman in (gasp) PANTS. The pants/no pants issue was also a sticking point with the failed pilot from David E. Kelley. And right now, there’s the coming Wonder Woman XXX porn which features a very accurate translation of the costume that’s been fairly well-received.

And as the prospect of a future Wonder Woman movie—or more likely, an appearance in a Justice League movie—looms over the horizon, the debate of her costume and adapting it comes about more and more.

Monday, March 25, 2013

For Want of Rogues part II: Nemeses

As we know, the villain in a story is just as—and sometimes even more—important than the hero. Often, when dealing with a hero that faces a variety of foes, there is one that emerges as the villain of them all. The Shadow, the arch-nemesis, the antithesis. Sherlock Holmes has his Prof. Moriarty. Neo has his Agent Smith. And in superhero comics, Batman has his Joker. Reed Richards has his Dr. Doom.

I've talked a lot about the lesser known, less used Wonder Woman rogues. But who stands above them all as the Amazon's greatest enemy?

You Fail Me Yet Again, DC

Okay, I was working on my next post when I came across this and felt obliged to stop what I was doing and rant about it.

It’s just been announced a new DC video game titled Infinite Crisis is being worked on. Some kind of MMO or some-such, I don’t really know or care—my gamer days have been over for some time now.
What I want to discuss is the little bio the developers have created for Wonder Woman:

"Born of Zeus and Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons, Wonder Woman protects those in need with sword and shield.
"The Amazons lived in isolation until pilot Steve Trevor crashed on their island paradise and Diana fought to accompany him back to civilization as Wonder Woman. Expecting a world of peace and prosperity, she instead discovered war and hate, vowing then to enact change. Viewing conflict as an ugly necessity, Diana offers opponents mercy if at all possible."

I want you to soak this in.
If you’ve been following my ongoing ramblings about Wonder Woman, you might not be surprised to find I am at a loss. This little blurb here, this little summation of who Wonder Woman is, illustrates so much of what I’ve been saying is wrong with how Wonder Woman is portrayed and advertised by DC Comics.

And I’m going to break it down, piece by piece.

Friday, March 8, 2013

For Want of Rogues part I: The Gallery

The old saying goes, “A hero is only as good as their villain.” And this is especially true for superhero comics, where the hero usually accumulates a colorful cast of antagonists we like to refer to as a “Rogues Gallery.”

Unfortunately, Wonder Woman isn’t held in high regard for her Rogues Gallery.
Granted, like any character, she has her share of duds—like Angle-Man, Blue Snowman, and (yes) Mouse Man. But there are some potentially interesting villains if the writers bothered to look and actually use them.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"Deconstructing" Amazons & Practicality

For all I’ve written about Wonder Woman so far, one thing I’ve tried to avoid is delving far into sub-text. I find sub-text does tend to be a large factor when discussing Wonder Woman, because there is a great deal of symbolic and iconic value in her character. Critique of her portrayal, presentation, and role in stories often leads to discussion of feminism, sexism, and a variety of other “isms.” And those discussions can get very heated.

But my main reason for not indulging potential sub-text is actually very practical. More often than not, when people get into debate about sub-text and the meaning of a work—intentional of the creator or not—they lose track or ignore some very basic, fundamental things.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sinking Ships

Believe it or not, there are other things I plan to write about aside from Wonder Woman. I was honestly thinking of taking a small break from Wonder Woman subjects, but I'm figuring I may as well get most of what I want to say out of the way.
And besides, this one is actually rather topical.

So, if you've been following DC recently, the latest stink regarding Wonder Woman is this...

Oh yes. This.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Not So Perfect

I’ve written a good deal about Wonder Woman’s motivations and backstory. I’ve emphasized her upbringing in an idyllic land, her compassion and generosity, and inclination toward peace and diplomacy. As such, I fear I make her sound like an idealized figure—without flaws, foibles, or pathos.

To hear Diana grew up in a paradise as the beloved Princess of a peaceful people, you might think there’s no drama to her origin. While I don’t adhere to the belief every hero needs to be riddled with tragedy or angst, I can appreciate the feeling there should be some form of loss (for want of a better term) for the hero—as opposed to having a protagonist who came from sunshine & lollipops, and risked nothing in becoming a hero.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nigh—Kinda, Sorta, Almost, Maybe, But Not Quite—Invulnerable

It is the ongoing curse of the Wonder Woman fan, the tendency for there to be a large discrepancy between what Wonder Woman is supposed to be and what we often get.
For all I’ve rambled on about Wonder Woman’s characterization and her portrayal, there’s no denying another significant issue that tends to plague her: her powers.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Goddamn Shield

Look at the images above. Notice something? Obviously, they’re all of Wonder Woman, but they have something else in common.

No..? How about a few more:

Got it yet?

Monday, February 11, 2013

What a Wonder Woman Wants

Let's take it back to Wonder Woman, shall we..?

Now, I've discussed how for all people complain about how un-relatable Wonder Woman is, I contend it's largely because she's so rarely written as a relatable character. Further, the key to making a character relatable or not lies mainly in the abstract, intangible, but universal concepts that can be found in a character's motivation.

Wonder Woman most certainly has a motivation and one I would argue is relatable enough. And her backstory is critical to that motivation. But I think, like Superman, it’s one that works better when actually seen played out rather than summarized or distilled into a simple sentence or blurb.

So...what is Wonder Woman’s backstory and motivation anyway?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Dreaded "R" Word

In my previous post, I wrote of Wonder Woman and how the issue of her being "relatable" was an ongoing problem for her.

But you know what…if you’ve been a fan of the superhero genre in general, you’ve probably encountered the “relatable” issue. Superman is often plagued with the complaint he is too “un-relatable.” Spider-Man has long been praised for being the most “relatable” superhero. And if things aren’t going so well, or if sales aren’t so good, the battle-cry of it being not “relatable” anymore—or at all—is often heard at least once.
To the point where, honestly, I think people put way too much stock in what's "relatable" or not...but that's a whole other discussion for another time.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Why Doesn't Wonder Woman Understand Ice Cream?

If you consider yourself a Wonder Woman fan, sooner or later you’re going to find yourself confronted with this statement from other fans, writers, editors, producers, creators, and Bob:
“Wonder Woman is not relatable.”

Yes, the dreaded “R” word. And if you’ve encountered this proclamation, what usually follows is a discussion of all the ways in which Wonder Woman is apparently so un-relatable. “She’s too powerful!” “Her costume is stupid!” “I don’t get the Amazons!” “She doesn’t have a secret identity!” “She’s a girl and girls have cooties!”
…and so on.

But I, not unlike Agent Smith, would like to share a revelation I’ve had in my years following Wonder Woman. May I present to you a small scene from Justice League #3 (2011), which served as her introduction to the book:

Really look at this scene. Soak it in.

Now ask yourself: how is anyone supposed to relate to this woman?