The new 52 Wonder Woman has been rebooted, re-shoed and reimagined in her own book. And there’s been some bits and pieces about the character revealed in Justice League. But we’ve to date not had a run down of all those changes and who, exactly, is this new Wonder Woman.
Earlier this year I spoke to a creator close to Wonder Woman and they told me the biggest mistake they made was not just admitting they were flat out rebooting the character from the ground up.
When Azzarello was asked if he was redefining the character when the book was about to launch he said he wasn’t:
“we don’t want to redefine the character, we want to tell a good story.”
And as far as her history?
“We’re not erasing her history. We’re just smudging it a little!”
So did they just smudge it? Since the book launched there have been significant changes including two big ones:
2. The Amazons were shown to not be ageless but kept their population alive by taking off every 30 years or so to seek out sailors to get pregnant, kill the sailors and then bear the children but keeping only the girl babies and exchanging the boys for guns.
Both of those were controversial. Some people loved the new origin. Others, including myself, didn’t.
But what exactly is the new “elevator speech” about Wonder Woman. What is her “story”? Well, we know have it in Batwoman. Blackman and Williams introduce each issue of Batwoman with a short, concise description. And with Wonder Woman showing up, they give one to that character too.
So Wonder Woman is now a “symbol” of justice.
Oh, and in case you were wondering about any other stuff about her, the character deflates some myths:
Hmm, well we’ve already been told she was not born of clay. And the belonging to America? That’s been suggested by the costume change and having her operate from a home base in London.
But that Sister of Sappho being a myth, hmm what ever could they be saying?
Of course, we know what they are saying. Sister of Sappho is a term used to communicate a woman is a lesbian. So I guess if any reader ever thought that Wonder Woman was gay (unlike the Batwoman, who of course, is) than that is a myth.
Discussing Wonder Woman’s sexual orientation is practically a parlor game on the internet. Is she straight? Queer?
There’s been enough from different writers through the years to make a case for both.
The thing is I’m not really sure why this being brought up here in Batwoman? I’ve been very happy with the way Williams has handled Kate being gay. But why the need to declare the idea that Wonder Woman could be gay a “myth”? If you’ve read the Justice League book you can see they have been having her flirt with Steve Trevor so it’s not like they had her flirting with, well, Etta Candy.
Is it that don’t want Wonder Woman interactions with Kate to be misread?
In her own book, the writer hasn’t really addressed the issue. In fact he’s been ambiguous:
What’s Azzarello saying there? Or what about this as Diana is being forced to marry Hades?
Well, what ever he was trying to say we now know this preview of Batwoman #12
Batwoman = Lesbian, Wonder Woman = not Lesbian.
I haven’t read the whole issue so I don’t know if this is further addressed. Maybe there’s a whole conversation between Kate and Diana about the topic. I can’t imagine Williams woudn’t be able to make it compelling and wonderful.
Still it’s disappointing to see this aspect of Wonder Woman tossed off as a intro line in a book that’s not her own. And her character summed up as well.
Disappointing and surprising.
But not too surprising. The new 52 has revised Wonder Woman to ensure the bits of her history where there were was once just women there are now men too. The powers that be, I’ve been told by more than one person within DC, never felt the Amazons “worked” before. And the “peace” aspect of Wonder Woman has always been an issue of debate.
What is clear is that Wonder Woman is still being defined. What do you think? Should her sexuality be non-ambivalent? Do you like the summation Williams has for the character? Let me know.