Tuesday, October 11, 2011

All The Best Wonder Women Have Daddy Issues


I just read about Wonder Woman's new origin at DC Universe's "The Source".

In DC COMICS-THE NEW 52, Wonder Woman will have a new origin, in which she is the daughter of Hippolyta … and Zeus! In recent interviews, writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang have teased that readers should expect the unexpected in this edgier, horror take on the superhero genre ­and the king of the gods will ensure that nothing goes as planned for his defiant daughter.

Originally created by the goddess Aphrodite and raised to perfection on the Amazon island of Themiscyra, the newest incarnation of Wonder Woman has a new costume and now a new origin ­ but she remains Wonder Woman. Strong. Proud. Fearless. WONDER WOMAN is the 12th title in DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 to sell more than a 100K copies.

And once again, DC pisses off its Golem-American readers.

Thing is, they also managed to piss off some Wonder Woman readers, including some veteran Wonder Womanologists.

As a big Diana fan and a frequent Wonder Woman reader, I have some mixed feelings on the whole deal.
Let's start with some of the huge red flags here.
1. The father is Zeus. How. Original.
2. The overzealous PR involved in the timing of this release. WW#1 was released less than 2 weeks ago and they're already spoiling WW#3?? This makes me wonder if this move was Azzarello's idea or yet another editorial mandate.
3. It eliminates much of the uniqueness of Diana's origin. Now she joins the the long list of heroes and heroines with daddy issues.
4. By pushing these previously-nonexistent daddy issues to the forefront, this could become yet another case of a writer disregarding Diana's character history to morph her into someone who better suits their comfort zone, a trend that has already severely retarded her evolution over the decades.
5. It elevates Zeus to center stage in the book. This could be troubling if Azzarello makes Zeus a "pet character" who overshadows the rest of the supporting cast. Wonder Woman has been one of DC's more "female-centric" books. Increasing Zeus' panel time makes the book more male-centric. Not that I'm saying WW should have no prominent male supporting characters. I'm looking forward to the reintroduction of a certain blonde-haired colonel as a love interest myself. But Zeus's presence could make it all about him. This could be especially problematic if...
6. It potentially takes precious panel time away from Hippolyta and her relationship with Diana. Let's be frank: Diana's mother has not been treated too well, especially in the last 10 years or so. There's the whole "raped by Hercules" reboot in the 80's, for starters. Then there's the fact that she's been killed off TWICE in just over 10 years. And when she's been alive, she's sometimes been written extremely out of character.
Does Amazons Attack ring any bells???

Courtesy of Ragnell
7. Speaking of the Amazons' origins, exactly how much of their prior history is still intact in the current continuity? This could be the biggest minefield of all. Will DC's Hercules' role be the same as it was? For that matter, will Zeus and Hippolyta's "coupling" be completely consensual? And I'm not just talking potential forcible rape here. I also mean: Will there be informed consent as well? Will Zeus mate with Hippolyta as himself or will he use a false identity? The latter still constitutes rape. If handled wrong, this could cause major problems, to say the least.
8. It erases this story from JLA#54 out of continuity. (Special thanks to Saranga for the scans.)

Actually, scratch that last one. The fact that the story already contained Wally West and a married Clark Kent voided it already.
Still, this may not end badly after all. Remember all DC's excessive overly-spoiling hype over creating a new "lesbian Batwoman"? Eventually, it gave us THIS...
And the most recent series about a superheroic offspring of Zeus? It was THIS....

From Herc#6
Also, there is a bit of story potential here. If Zeus fathered Diana, then that means her very existence gains her a vastly powerful enemy: Hera, Zeus' long suffering wife and queen of the Greek gods.
Think of the possibilities there. A pissed-off Hera is pure storytelling gold. Just ask Sam Raimi.
For now, despite my reservations, I'm going to have to trust Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang on this one.
Hey, it could've been worse:
Diana's father could have been Jor-El.


At 2:01 PM , Blogger Saranga said...

I'm kind of on the fence about this reboot. I mean, Zeus is an obvious God to go for, but there are others who could be the father, althought Zeus would probably get narked had he not got to bed Hippolyta.
Anyway, I'm hoping they somehow keep the child of clay origin as well And that they wipe out the Amazons being raped backstory. That still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

At 2:13 PM , Blogger SallyP said...

Yup...Zeus does manage to get around, as the saying goes, but does it always HAVE to be Zeus? Why not one of the other Gods for a change?

At 2:42 PM , Blogger notintheface said...

Reasons why Zeus would be a logical choice:

1.Zeus' womanizing and infidelities even dwarf Tiger Woods'.

2. Zeus is the most powerful Greek god. Wondy is Earth's most powerful superheroine. See the connection?

At 2:37 PM , Blogger JestersJoker said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2:40 PM , Blogger JestersJoker said...

This is stupid
In Greek myth Ares the god of war is the son of Zeus and Hippolyta's father.
This rings too much of an incestuous relationship between a grandfather and his granddaughter.
Plus when you consider Hercules who is the son of Zeus had a relationship with Hippolyta.
Just seems too sick and perverted.


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