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?