Comics Beat: Denver Comic Con 2013, Jimenez, Perez, Fradon, Kelly Find Wonder Woman ‘Problematic’

Comics Beat did a summary of a really interesting Wonder Woman panel discussion at Denver Comic Con:

My favorite piece of this, when talking about adapting Wonder Woman for TV/film:  “In [Phil] Jimenez’s reading of Wonder Woman stories, he sees a figure from whom humanity can learn a great deal, but in proposed adaptations, she has always been reconfigured as a character who needs to learn from humanity.  It’s a fundamental problem, he felt, that dilutes the character’s strengths.”


Many more great points there, so check out the article.



3 responses

  1. “He seemed to find a favorite in the Golden Age, however, largely due to the “sense of fun” that characterized her role during that period, something he finds “missing” from modern comics. Golden Age Wonder Woman, he said, felt that a “challenge was more important than beating up the bad guys”.

    That’s it, exactly. The problem with modern Wonder Woman, and why no one can get her back to the heights she used to be at, is that everyone wants to make her Thor with a golden lasso and tie everything into mythology — or make her a sword-wielding psycho with some nobility that’s not all that far removed from Wolverine.

    Wonder Woman should be a fun character that is constantly making winks at the reader — she started out essentially as the biggest hoodwink in comics history, a psychologist who managed to trick a publisher into letting him do a comic intended for young girls with messages of empowerment but was laden with submlinial fetish messages. Wonder Woman has always been about the ‘challenge’ because the intention of the male creator is that women are dominant over men. He was extremely clear about that in the very early stories that the Amazons were the perfect society because men weren’t around to muck it up. Even her original origin of being created out of clay rather than coming from a man’s loins was part of that theme.

    Then other writers started a gradual campaign of putting her in her place, making her the secretary to the Justice Society, taking away her powers entirely in the 70s. And now her main fuction is to be Wolverine in a corset and boink Superman.

    WW could be an awesomely fun character if they’d just embrace the fun parts — she’s got an invisible jet, deflects bullets with her bracelets, and hogties her adversaries with an unbreakable magic rope, for cripes sake, you can’t get much more fun than bit of inspired crazy. Yeah, there’s some ties to Greek mythology with her origin but it doesn’t need to be a class in classical mythology every issue. Let her be a superheroine, give her a rogues’ gallery, travel around the world taking on those kind of ‘challenges’. She doesn’t need to date anyone, she’s Wonder Woman, she doesn’t need a boyfriend. The stories should constantly be full of little winks and nods that they’re not taking themselves too seriously — it doesn’t need to go into direct satire or parody, but just be more light-hearted and fun.

    DC needs to figure out their characters are from a different era and roll with that, instead of trying to go the Marvel route of everyone having at least one or two deep-seated flaws that the readers can ‘relate’ to. Not everything has to be psychologically deep melodrama.

    06/05/2013 at 3:08 PM

    • Well said. Much of this is why I’m not reading the current monstrous incarnation of Wonder Woman–no thank you. I also don’t really understand the “relatability” issue that DC likes to throw around–because a traumatized orphan billionaire who dresses up as a bat at night is somehow more relatable than Diana? How anyone can read Wonder Woman as written by Greg Rucka or Gail Simone and tell me she isn’t relatable is an outright mystery to me. I’m interested (and a little scared) to see what Grant Morrison will do with her when his mini comes out, because in interviews he’s given about it, he referenced a lot of what you’ve just mentioned. It should be interesting, at the very least.

      06/05/2013 at 4:48 PM

      • Good point on relatability. Sometimes it’s fun to have a story where you don’t feel that ‘you are the character’ and it presents something a little alien, so you’re not just seeing the same viewpoint. And there really are few characters nowadays that have true relatability — even Spider-Man now with that whole ‘Superior’ angle is off that list.

        I hadn’t heard about that Morrison WW mini, I share the same feeling. I think Grant can be brilliant at really getting to the meat of what these characters are and represent — his Supergods book was mind-blowing if for nothing else that the parts that are essays on what Superman or Batman ‘means’ . . . but a lot of the time, I find, somewhere between that core idea and actually getting that stuff on the page he indulges a bit too much. But I might check that out, because if anyone can nail it, it would be him.

        06/05/2013 at 5:02 PM

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