Jul 1 2010

Wonder Woman's tale isn't worth losing your head over

, Entertainment , ,

Wonder Woman's New CostumeAll over the interwebs the fanboys are wailing about Wonder Woman.  They have changed her costume!  She no longer looks like Lynda Carter's Wonder wman from the 70's. Her classic look has forever vanished from the world and we will never more be able to see her legs in that bathing-suit tunic!

Fer the love of Pete!  Get over it! This isn't the first costume change Wonder Woman has gone through. It certainly won't be the last. It isn't the first time they've changed Wonder Woman's mythos either.

But the part about this huge fan-wank that gets my goat is the line "They've ruined Wonder Woman."  No, they haven't.  They've tried to move forward.  Wonder Woman has always portrayed a mythical image of female empowerment.  And that image is more important than her costume or her backstory.  The character will shine through any trappings she is surrounded with.

This is what JMS is trying to do, show you the same character in the same universe shaped by different forces.  In other words, examine the roots of what makes "Wonder Woman" who she is.  

If you insist on keeping the character as an unchanged paragon, then you cannot allow the character to grow, evolve or even to advance you appreciation of the nuances of the character.  It is forever unchanging.  This is what Archie comics is all about.  Do you still read Archie Comics?

The last Archie Comics I looked at are identical to the ones I read 35 years ago. And the ones 35 years from now will be just as identical. Archie never changes, he's still in high school chasing the same two women and with the exact same group of friends. Which is exactly why both you and I got bored with it 35 years ago.

This is also at the root of the crapfest that was "One More Day" with Spiderman over at Marvel. Oddly enough, JMS was involved with that too, but he was asked to do it by Marvel Editorial, it wasn't his idea. The idea of resetting Peter Parker to a state that was the same as his life (in the comics) 30 years ago is a huge step backwards for that character.  Rather than allow the character to evolve organically he's been reset.

What is happening to Wondy has happened to Superman (Man of Steel, Birthright, Secret Origin) and Batman (Batman:Year One, Knightfall, Batman R.I.P.) and they are still going strong. And Evolvin.  And are well beloved. They've become stronger characters for the re-examination.

My father used to tell a bad joke about a dog who used to sleep with it's tail hanging over the train tracks.  One day a train came by and ran over the dog's tail an as the dog spun to bite the train, it's head got crushed.  The moral is "Don't lose your head over a bit of tail"

This is more like the literal (as opposed to punned) moral of that tale.  Don't get so worked up about a story that hasn't been told that you miss out on what could be a positively great bit of story telling. Don't lose your head over a tale.

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