DC’s Epic Struggle To Find Wonder Woman

I think this image has become my Wonder Woman Movie or Bust banner. I feel like this needs a hashtag – #WonderWomanorBust. Some interesting develops over the past week. So here goes…

At The Guardian, Laura Sneddon talked to writer Grant Morrison about his upcoming The Trial of Wonder Woman, previously titled Wonder Woman Earth One.

“I thought: that’s Wonder Woman’s condition,” says the writer, who is this week appearing at Stripped, the sizeable graphic novel arm of the Edinburgh book festival. “She’s always on trial. It’s like, why isn’t she good enough, why doesn’t [the comic] sell enough, why isn’t she representative of this or this or this? And so I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to just base the story on an actual trial – have the Amazons put her on trial, and tell the origins story via that.'”

From “Grant Morrison: Why I’m Resurrecting Wonder Woman”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Graeme McMillan discusses the meta of a comic book trying to tackle gender issues within the comic book culture.

It sounds like potentially heady stuff — although Morrison’s repeated mentions of the bondage-related roots of the character and polyamory of creator William Moulton Marston does tend to suggest a sensationalism that undercuts the well-meaning ambition of the book, slightly — but the writer is hopeful that fans will understand what he and artist Yanick Paquette are trying to do.

From “New Wonder Woman Book Aims to Spotlight Female Diversity in Comics”

After a tip from a reader, The Mary Sue transcribed Bloody Disgusting’s recording of the DC All Access Panel at Fan Expo. Tony Daniel, the illustrator on the Superman/Wonder Woman project, made these remarks:

“I mentioned maybe, can we create a book that targets a little bit more of the female readership that’s been growing. And maybe a book that has a little bit of romance in it, a little bit of sex appeal, you know, something that would, for lack of a better example, that hits on the Twilight audience. You know, millions of people went to see those in the theaters because it has those kind of, you know, subject matter. The drama, the characterization with love triangles and forbidden love and things like that. Literally a month later they asked me, “Hey, what do you think of Superman/Wonder Woman?””

~ Tony Daniel transcribed by The Mary Sue in “DC Creator Tony Daniel Talks About The Romantic Superman/Wonder Woman Title At Fan Expo”

Liz, a Fan Expo attendee, also reported at io9 on her experience, including her thoughts on the Twilight comment and a rundown of the Women in Comics panel, which had a discussion of the term “Strong Female Character.” The Mary Sue’s Jill Pantozzi points out the upside that “Daniel approached the higher-ups about reaching out to the female readership,” then follows up with her opinion that “he’s just a bit off about what we actually want.” DC’s challenges with understanding what fans of Wonder Woman want has been on full display since San Diego Comic-Con this year, and based on the reaction since Ben Affleck’s casting, Batman and Superman fans may be getting a little nervous now, too.

I considered addressing the Twilight angle, which would mostly make points I’ve discussed previously, as well as on the perils of thinking Wonder Woman could ever be anything like Bella. But then Liz responded to The Mary Sue’s request for comment, so I’ll let her do the talking:

I know I don’t speak for every woman, but I think I can with this statement: All we want are good, well written characters and stories.

With the Twilight comment, as I understand it they want some of that sweet, sweet female teenager disposable income. I get it; there’s gold in them thar hills. I just don’t trust them not to go to cheap pandering.

This is Wonder Woman’s post, but Lobo news suggests DC Comics hasn’t understood why fans are throwing their support behind the Hawkeye Initiative either.

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Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and the intersection of women within Star Wars fandom. She is co-author of Ultimate Star Wars and Star Wars Visual Encyclopedia from DK Publishing, a featured writer for Star Wars Insider magazine with numerous articles on the Hero's Journey. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and Fangirls Going Rogue. Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.

One thought on “DC’s Epic Struggle To Find Wonder Woman

  • August 26, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Wonder Woman is a Greek goddess but she needs a lot more than most characters to help her escape the trap that top tier DC characters (other than Batman) struggle to escape from and that’s being a demi-god. Kal-El is, so’s Shazam, the Flash has hyper-human powers. They are not relatable in the way the Marvel characters are – that’s the genius idea Stan Lee and his Bullpen had, making the characters relatable to the teenage readers.
    But still, with folks like Joss Whedon having a go at screenplays you’d imagine somoene would have nailed a script enough to make casting the part a much easier proposition, but that patently hasn’t happened. Sure, she’s beautiful and intimidatingly strong, but to not make her smug and arrogant in her powers is a tricky task. Girl power is one thing but that can easily fall into being patronising, to both male and females viewers who will pretty soon be raising eyebrows once the initial cuteness has worn off. Diana needs to appeal to male and female viewers in order to survive as a TV/film franchise.
    The only other option – launch Wonder Women in Justice League and see where she goes from there. There’s the option (unless they go for a mega star lead actress who doesn’t need TV) for DC to use Arrow as a possible avenue to explore the character further (like Agents of Shield can if they choose on the Marvel front) and then progress from there. There’s nothing wrong in developing the character with caution, and using Arrow (for example) might be a smart way of expanding the DCU and giving the character and the actor who plays her time to develop.
    But it doesn seem crazy that it’s been three decades since a successful Wonder Woman. I can see why there have been struggles – she’s a tough character to get right – but surely the past 30 years should have more than just 1 heroic failure.

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