In geekdom, we see a lot of teasers. Sometimes it’s just an image or the name of a creator, other times it’s a trailer or a simple tag line. Whatever it is, it’s meant to get a reaction from you and start a discussion. Inspired by the anticipation and buzz caused by these teasers, we at Fantastic Fangirls present Skipping to Conclusions in which we speculate about the comics, movies, TV shows, or whatever we’re excited about but hasn’t come out yet.
With his New 52 run on Action Comics coming to an end, Grant Morrison is making the rounds with the comics press. And once again, Morrison is talking about his yet to be officially announced Wonder Woman project. He’s keeping the details very vague, but Morrison has been talking about Wonder Woman a lot. Well, maybe not a LOT. But enough that I can start skipping to conclusions about it!
Opinions on Morrison as a writer aside, he has written some defining comics for both Batman and Superman. DC giving Morrison the reigns on Wonder Woman means that maybe, just maybe, they’re taking Diana as seriously as Bruce and Clark. Yes, I know she’s part of The Trinity, but let’s be honest, the Amazon rarely gets the same red carpet treatment that Supes and Bats do. So seeing Morrison’s name attached to Wonder Woman means DC is treating this project as a priority. And that is a good thing.
Personally, I like Morrison’s work. He’s not necessarily one of those creators whose books I absolutely HAVE TO pick up, but All-Star Superman and Batman and Robin are some of my absolute favorite comics. So depending what the project is, I’ll at least check it out. The thing about Morrison is he GETS superheroes. He gets superhero comics. And he unabashedly, unironically loves them. And that’s what I Iike most about his writing; it’s what makes his stories compelling for me. I think Diana’s in good hands with Morrison.
Now. Here’s the controversial bit.
This is what Morrison told Entertainment Weekly on what he’s planning on for the Amazon Princess:
Wonder Woman came out of this alternative sexuality, and that’s why they were so popular. Once the editors realized, “There’s a lot of tying up in these stories, we should tell him to slow down on this” — as soon as they stopped all that stuff, Wonder Woman sales declined, unsurprisingly. When Marston died, the sales never quite recovered.
A lot of great writers and artists have worked on Wonder Woman. Brian Azzarello’s doing a great Greek Myth-flavored take right now. But something of what [Marston] brought to it was never there again. Especially when the TV series came along: Linda Carter did such a brilliant job of doing Wonder Woman for TV, but she was kind of Mary Tyler Moore, you know? She wasn’t a sexual creature, really. Wonder Woman’s had to represent women without really having much of a sex life. It’s ridiculous! Superman’s got Lois, and Batman’s got all these fetish girls he runs around with. Wonder Woman’s kind of suffered, because that aspect of her, a sense of her humanity, has been taken from her.
This sound bite has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. The first time I read it, my gut reaction was:
But when I stop and think about for a bit, I think maybe he’s on to something. Just hear me out.
Over the years, Diana has kind of been placed on a pedestal. At this point she’s up so high that she’s not relatable, and sometimes, not particularly likable. People get caught up in how much of an icon she is that they forget she’s a real person (not real-real, but you know what I mean). She has feelings and she loves people. She loves humanity enough that she’s given up her life in Themyscira to build a home in our world. A woman like that is going to get into some romantic entanglements. She’s going to have sex. Probably, occasionally, it’ll be with the wrong person. Diana is capable of great love. And with that comes some sexytimes.
On top of that, Wonder Woman is the embodiment of the empowered woman. I think seeing her in control of her sexuality would be a good thing. Portraying her as a chaste demi-goddess only perpetuates the idea that sex is something to be ashamed of. And believe, that’s not doing anyone any favors.
But. Because there is a but. She cannot, CAN NOT, be objectified in this story. If DC or Morrison pulls a New 52 Catwoman, there’s going to be a BIG problem. I’d like to think we’ve gotten passed the need to say that in the comics community; that we’ve learned the difference between sexy and objectification. But it’s still a gray area for a lot of people, so I felt the need to put that out there.
On the bright side, here’s another bit of what Morrison said to EW:
Usually I don’t do masses of research, but for Wonder Woman, I’ve actually been working my way through the entire history of feminism. I want this to be f—ing serious, you know? I want this to be really, really good, to reflect not only what women think, but what men think of women. I’m trying to do something really different from what’s been done with the character before.
I like this! He’s at least trying to get into the head of a woman who’s a feminist. This is a good thing. And I trust him on it. I really do. I think he can write her a story she deserves. I think he’ll give us a fun, sexy Wonder Woman, full of moxie.
There are still a lot of variables. The artist will play a HUGE roll in this project. It needs to be someone who’s not going to draw Diana in break-back pose every panel, with overly pouty lips and heaving breasts. I’d love, love, LOVE to see Amanda Connor drawing this book. DC’s senior editorial needs to be on board with Morrison’s plan and not try to crowbar extra sexyness into the comic. Everyone, not just Morrison, should probably read a bit of feminist theory before starting this project.
As far as Wonder Woman projects go, I’m probably a bit more excited about Allan Heinberg’s Amazon pilot. But this could be really good. Really, really good.