Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Hoopla About Wonder Woman

After Identity Crisis #2, I was of the mind that if I NEVER, EVER bought another DC Comic I wouldn't give a damn, I was THAT disgusted and angry at them. Chris and I had dropped all our pre-orders on every DC book we used to buy (quite a few) I had lost such complete respect for their policies on story and character treatment, even after having worked there. (Maybe especially because I'd worked there. I felt especially betrayed as a fan and ex-staffer. I dunno.)

Only recently Chris and I put on our comics pull list the new Jeff Smith's Shazam (we like Jeff Smith and I really enjoyed issue #2 of this new series) and just last week we added Brave and the Bold. It's a big step for me, trying to trust DC again. Frankly I dunno that I can or should. The rest of our pull list is comprised mostly of indies like BPRD, Fell, Futurama and Buffy Season 8. I enjoy all these very much. We also get She-Hulk and Astonishing X-Men, but aside from Powers or Astro City, that's about it for the more traditional superhero type titles.

I just felt burnt. And just sad about superheroes. They haven't been very heroic lately, it seems.

But I gotta tell ya, reading off the When Fangirls Attack site all the hoopla amongst fellow comics bloggers about Wonder Woman and Jodi Picoult's new run writing this book made me REEEEEEEEEALLY curious. Especially when people started to freak out about how WW was being poorly written.

I got SO curious I actually went and bought issues 5, 6 and 7 off the rack!

And somehow by doing that ... somehow by buying those issues and reading them -- just to understand what my fellow fans were so peeved about, mind you -- actually defrosted a part of my heart that had become frozen and numb and really, really bitter and really, really angry about superheroes.

No, really! I actually wondered if I could ever enjoy creating superhero comics, I had become so generally depressed over their bad treatment.

I didn't have enough money with me to buy WW issues 1 through 4 right then -- but I will if our retailer still has them in stock next time I stop by. I'm curious what's happened, because fan bloggers had been so excited about the previous writer (who had to get replaced after he fell off schedule.) It seemed like such an emotional see-saw for fans to go through (maybe a little dramatic just for reading a comic book, but we're fans, after all.)

So then I read issues 5 through 7 and suddenly I understood.

Now I kindof understand what Ms. Picoult was aiming at here. Diana is probably not used to doing some minor details some humans are used to. I mean, if I remember correctly she was some kind of ambassador before, wasn't she?

Did you know how to pump gas the very first time you owned a car? I sure didn't. Nobody taught me. I grew up in NYC, where we don't need cars. My parents don't own a car, either. I went to service stations with attendants to get the tank filled for months before I got the nerve to finally fill the tank myself. And I didn't even learn to drive until I was 30! Wonder Woman can fly -- she doesn't need to know the mechanics of working or maintaining a car, let alone how to fill it with gas. SHE CAN FLY.

So I can relate to Diana disguised as a "normal human" not REALLY knowing how to put gas in the car (issue 6, story page 9) but having her say "Pump?" in panel 6 just made her come off sadly stupid, and not simply unfamiliar (just one example of that dumb vs. simply unfamiliar, too.) So yeah, it's kinda frustrating to see a superhero/goddess type character being less than ... magnificent ... really ... so I get why some folks are upset.

I'm behind on continuity now. I hate that they had her kill -- was it Max Lord? -- and am curious what will happen with Wonder Woman now. Killing is such a basic anti - superhero action.

Chris and I had also been discussing the other day how Batman and Superman both seem to have better and larger supporting casts, but Wonder Woman really doesn't have much of an interesting one, even after all these years. Batman has Robin, Nightwing. Batgirl. Oracle. Alfred. Commissioner Gordon. Superman has Lois, Jimmy, Perry White. And they both probably have slews of new folks I don't know about cause I don't read them anymore. But that's kinda my point.

Wonder Woman sure could really use a nice supporting staff ... where did Etta go? And can we do something with Steve where he doesn't have to be the Man Who Utterly Loves her or something? Why is it WW seems to have a so much less interesting supporting cast?

I know people are excited since writing chores have recently been reassigned to Gail Simone. I haven't read any of her comics, but I hear good things about her Birds of Prey writing from my friend Daniel.

Still not putting the book on the pull list. I'll take my chances on whether I can get them off the rack.

Trusting DC is still a huge issue with me. But it's nice to have that part of my heart unfrozen now.

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