Friday, November 09, 2012

Friday Night Fights: Double M - Round 5: The Pros And Cons Of Wonder Woman!

For tonight's round of Friday Night Fights: Double M, I'm going to feature a scene from a comic series I conyinue to have mixed feelings about: Brian Azzarello's Nu52 Wonder Woman.

This new WW series is a classic case of "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how DID you enjoy the play?", except that in this case there actually IS an enjoyable theater play. There is a lot to like here: Azzarello presents a compelling Vertigoesque take on our Amazing Amazon. Strife is one of the breakout characters (in my opinion) of the Nu52. And then there's the beautiful art and design work of Cliff Chiang.

On the other hand, there's the 500-lb. elephant in the room. The "that" in "other than that, Mrs. Lincoln", if you will: The the downplaying of the "woman" in Wonder Woman. Many of the character's uniquely feminine elements have been diluted or replaced by more (generic) masculine ones. Whereas pre-Flushpoint Diana was essentially a golem created from clay and infused with feminine power by the goddess Aphrodite, in the Nu52 world she has a daddy, Zeus, who is now the source of her power as well. Yep, that's right: Wonder Woman now has daddy issues.

And that's not all. As Ragnell and Certain Shades of Limelight have stressed on Twitter, not only is the source of her power now masculine, but thanks to the "0" issue, so is a significant amount of her training, with much of her past combat tutoring now supplied by war god Ares, thereby de-emphasizing her Amazon training. (And honestly, Azz, if you had to have a god overseeing young Diana's combat training, you couldn't have picked Artemis instead of Ares? Her Roman name is even "Diana", for heaven's sake!)

Still, the series is full of scenes like tonight's fight from Wonder Woman#1 by Azzarello and Chiang of....

...Wonder Woman headbutting a centaur.

See my dilemma?

While I'm sorting out my inner conflict, allow me to link to tonight's fight music by Natalie Merchant.

For more wondrous walloping, click here. And don't forget to vote!


At 8:47 AM , Blogger SallyP said...

Headbutting a centaur will never not be a fabulous thing. But I understand the conundrum of the new Wonder Woman as well.

On the one hand, it is completely different from the REAL Wonder Woman. On the other hand...well, it actually IS a pretty great book...but only if you keep that little disclaimer in the back of your mind as you are reading it.

It is also completely different from the way that Wonder Woman is being portrayed in the Justice League, which makes the whole thing even more bizarre.

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