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Special Wonder Woman Land o’ Links


§ Why is this totally AWESOME quote by Dan DiDio not getting the attention it deserves???

The pants are really intentional for the actual story itself, again

§ JMS notes an odd dichotomy:

It’s not a case of either/or. What I found fascinating recently was a Wonder Woman reader, a woman, who pointed out that the difference between male and female superheroes is that male heroes are idealized in their appearance (muscles, skin-tight, but not being overtly sexual or posed in sexual ways), and women heroes are objectified (the posing and what’s shown is more overt). I thought this was absolutely fascinating, and dead on. So what we’ve really done here, I think, is move her from objectification to a more idealized appearance. But she remains strong, and attractive, and, I think, that makes her even more sexy, in a tough-minded way.

§ The moment the Wonder Woman news broke, did you just KNOW that When Fangirls Attack would go into hyperdrive? There’s even a part two. We esp. like the links on how feminism and a lack of patriotism destroyed Wonder Woman.

§ Humor: Variant WW origins by various writers.

§ The Project Wonder Woman’s take on WW’s costume from a while back. Above, Daniel Krall.

§ Johanna Draper Carlson sums up some of our own problems with WONDER WOMAN #600:

In amongst these tales comes generic pinups of a fighter in a too-small bathing suit who usually leads with her breasts. Very few seem to understand the properties of metal, what the front of her costume is supposedly made of, preferring instead body paint. It’s that conflict, between Wonder Woman as sexual fetish and Wonder Woman as role model with unique personality, that traps most creators. I enjoyed reading the stories, but then I’d turn the page and there was someone else’s fantasy fodder.

§ Fashion guru Tim Gunn likes Wonder Woman’s new costume, so that case is closed, then.

§ Gloria Steinem is not a fan of the new take.

§ James Hudnall’s Strident Feminism Is the Problem, Not the Costume prompts us to ask for the thousandth time why feminism is always strident but never bombastic:

So, the characters origins come from a somewhat warped dude. And then, through the years DC has tried to make her some kind of ersatz feminist icon, spouting the usual clichéd bromides, basically saying “you can look but don’t touch!” Hostile, icy women may appeal to some, but are generally not going to win people over unless we’re given a good understanding of them as people. And writers over the years have failed to do that.

While the commenters at the rightist site Big Hollywood go for broke with examples of WW’s anti-American, pro-feminist agenda, no one seems to accept the idea that maybe a superhero that girls and women can identify with is an inherently valuable thing:

This is one of the best comic book-related articles I’ve ever read, Mr. Hudnall. Very perceptive. Wonder Woman lacks Superman’s stoic heroism, Batman’s psychological pathos, the Flash’s sense of fun, or the Green Lantern’s boundless sci-fi backdrop. In the eyes of most comic fans, all she has going for her is nostalgia. As a major draw, she’s doomed to failure; she’s too goofy to be an effective Batman-esque churl, and too churlish to be a Flash-imitating goof.

  1. “Time travel. Space flight. Undersea adventure. SIDEWAYS time travel. Insect kingdom. New powers incl. telepathy but it only works on herself. STATIONARY time travel. Flashback: Everyone’s dead WAIT another flashback: everyone’s alive! Alien donkey turtle monsters attack, Bracelets off, BERZERKER RAGE. Wonder Tot behind it all, revealed as the big bad of the series. When do I start? -Grant”

    Now THIS – I would read this. But only if there were a Seaguy/WW x-over with sly references to The Smiths, bricklaying & Camus.

  2. Man, I used to be a HUGE James Hudnall fan. ESPers was brilliant, as were a lot of his other projects. And I suppose they still are, but now that he’s off on his Rush Limbaugh Jr. schtick, I feel no desire to revisit his stuff. Ugh.

  3. The reason the DiDio quote isn’t getting much play on the ‘net is because JMS has been more strident in his ignorance of the new character he’s supposed to be writing. And also, it’s redundant next to the last uninformed comment of DiDio’s that made the rounds.

    A huckster like Tim Gunn will support pretty much ANYTHING, as long as he gets paid for it.

    James Hudnall’s article is from a notorious Breitbart site? That’s already an author who’s entirely missing the point of humanity itself right there.

  4. All I know is the illustration at the top suddenly makes me wish there was a Wonder Woman video game in the style of God of War

  5. The dichotomy JMS talks about rears its ugly head with the preview available via iApp. While JMS may be going on and on about his view of the character, the artwork still manages to focus the eye straight at her cleavage. The costume, while nice, is now dark enough where the comparative lightness of Diana’s skin still causes the eye to focus on her chest. (It reminded me of Jennifer Love Hewitt in certain episodes of Ghost Whisperer in that way.) Meanwhile her Matrix-esque assailants are dressed in 3-piece suits.

    Not sure if there was some message or commentary I was missing…

  6. Gloria Steinem’s quotes are interesting in a weird way because it show’s while she may be a fan she’s not a knowledgeable one. For one thing WW hasn’t worn a skirt in quite a while. Under the hands of mostly male creators her costume has gotten skimpier over the decades while her bust size has grown. I would think one of the most known feminist in the world might have an opinion on that but it goes unmentioned.

    Also she’s under the belief that WW’s golden age comics were less violent then Superman and Batman’s and her comics never came up in the comics censorship hearings of the 50’s. Not true, WW was singled out in Seduction of the Innocent particularly the bondage aspect which Steinem doesn’t seem to mention, (if it ever occurred to her).

    Her comment about the pants “give us the idea that only pants can be powerful” is odd. Wonder Woman’s costume was always pretty much a bathing suit even in the 40’s (it’s just swim ware has gotten skimpier since then), so if wearing pants implies only pants can be powerful wouldn’t wearing a bathing suit imply that only a bathing suit can be powerful? Or am I missing some sort of feminist subtext there?

    I do agree with her that the new origin, as described is way close to Superman’s and takes away the stuff that made Wonder Woman unique.

  7. Sort of taking off from Darren’s point, I think it’s very interesting how much has been projected onto the character of Wonder Woman. It’s hard to deny the fetishist undertones, but I think she does command respect from large chunks of the comics reading community. I don’t know this for a fact, but I doubt very much that Gloria Steinem reads Wonder Woman, or any comic, on a regular basis. This whole media cluster@#$% reminds me of when Captain America was killed and suddenly you were either supposed to outraged or think that the death was some kind of comment on the state of America itself (at least, if you didn’t read comics). I can only laugh and hope that the stories will be good.
    There should definitely be more gender diversity in our entertainment because it exists in the world, but why is it all on Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman has become a feminist symbol because of her popularity, but Sue Storm has been largely ignored. Sue is a superpowered adventurer, manages the family business, and is a mother of two. She might even be the most powerful memeber of the team. AND, see has (except for that embarrassing period in the 90’s) worn a costume that makes her look sexy but not slutty. Why does one character have to embody everything about her gender?

  8. I like the idea of the new outfit. Not the outfit itself, in all particulars. But I’ve long advocated either leg coverings or the Xena-style skirt, as in New Frontier, for Diana. I really want Diana to be portrayed and perceived as a woman who’s completely sexy and attractive and admirable and mysteriously alluring, exactly because some things about her are left to the imagination, and not openly–intellectually, emotionally, or visually–displayed, and because she has integrity, and intelligence, and a sense of humor.

    But there’s one very particular segment of protesters in this new controversy who really puzzle me: those who seem to advocate overt sexualization, or sexual objectification, with empowerment. Perhaps my problem is that I imagine true empowerment as being mature, restrained, self-confident without being brash, arrogant, or aggressive. Empowerment also includes being kind and compassionate. Christopher Reeve said it very well of his Superman: “He’s strong enough to allow himself to be vulnerable.”

    Those who say being overtly sexual shows power by being able to throw sexuality in peoples’ faces, by being provocative and daring them to say or do anything about it, don’t seem to me to fit that idea. In my mind, people who do that are being selfish, immature, ignoble. They really, deep down, don’t respect themselves. They’re bratty, not sassy.

  9. I think GS was saying that while traditionally masculine imagery can be powerful (trousers) traditional feminine trappings like a skirt should be able to project power as well. Her lament seems to be just an elaborate way of saying “they made her Superman and dress her like a boy. Why is this seen as > classic WW? Or maybe what needed to be asked was “if you were going to get rid of the shorts, why did you choose pants instead of a skirt? What is wrong with skirts?”

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