Memo to DC: Wonder Woman Likes People. Honest.

Comic Books GeekMom
From Superman/Wonder Woman #13. See Diana’s face in that next to last panel? That’s my face upon reading this scene. I think that Diana’s not-amused face should be turned on DC for being in this comic. Image copyright DC Comics.

Seriously, DC, WTF?

Wonder Woman is *the* iconic female superhero. She’s the Amazon princess trained in war, but with an endless well of compassion. She’s not there for cheesecake, she’s not Princess McStabby Sword rushing into a fight, she’s not disdainful of humans, and, most of all, she is kind. And as I said last week, kindness in itself is a type of superpower.

Yet, neither issue out today from DC, Wonder Woman #36 or Superman/Wonder Woman #13, seemed to remember that very well.

First, in Wonder Woman #36:

It begins with a shower sequence.

It includes Wonder Woman rushing into a fight and yelling all sorts of unsubstantiated accusations.

The scene between two Amazons, one who agrees with their Princess about helping their Amazon brothers and one who seems to be a parody of a man-hating “feminist,” is tone deaf.

Direct quotes from Superman/Wonder Woman #13:

“In my culture, this fragility would be your downfall. Here, it’s practically a virtue. I’ve been doing my best to help some of you since my arrival, but how will you ever grow stronger if you need us every waking moment.”—Wonder Woman, on helping rescue civilian casualties of a Parademon invasion.

“Why does this take so long? Do you need to learn more words? And why are you using this ancient relic of your laptop?”—Diana to Clark, complaining that he’s writing about victims of the latest Earth invasion.

“That’s the fourth taxi you’ve given to someone else.”—Diana to Clark, after he gives away their ride to an elderly couple because it’s raining.

I agree, Diana, that’s a lot of crap to deal with at once. And Clark won’t even get you a taxi either! From Wonder Woman #36. Image copyright DC Comics.

Now, granted, I didn’t expect a ton from inexperienced writer Meredith Finch on her first issue of Wonder Woman. Finch’s story is at least aware that this isn’t Diana’s normal behavior, so it does contain some mitigating factors. But the art by David Finch? No.

First, we have to start with a shower sequence. Given, Cliff Chiang started his run on Wonder Woman with Diana half-naked jumping out of bed, but at least that was because someone was invading her home. And Chiang’s Wonder Woman, naked or clothed, never looked less than powerful and in control. But in #36, we have the cliched “thinking about my life in the shower” scene. Not the best way to start a run that women are watching closely. Plus, David Finch’s Wonder Woman looks about 16. In fairness on that complaint, so do other members of the Justice League, and he does draw a nice Swamp Thing.

I put down Wonder Woman #36 and picked up Superman/Wonder Woman #13, wondering if it would feature a better Diana. And, to my frustration, it was worse.

The woman dating Clark Kent/Superman in this issue is entirely loathsome.

The first quote is from a flashback to when she first entered human society, five years ago in DC time, and, even so, it’s still not appropriate. It’s unkind and mean; two things Diana never was and never, ever should be.

If anything, that line belongs to Hawkgirl of the DC Animated Universe. She comes from a completely warlike society and is used to fighting for everything she has. She had to learn compassion for those who may have strengths other than being a warrior.

The writing quote? That’s part of a sequence where Diana just flat out bitches to Clark for two pages. Eww…why would he be with this woman? She’s just nasty. What happened to the Diana who could quietly observe Clark, wondering exactly why he’s so driven to write down his thoughts and fascinated by his need to do so, especially using a typewriter, which she’d immediately tag as far more tactile?

Everyone knows it’s impossible to get a taxi in the rain. Wouldn’t it have been more fun for Clark and Diana in their civilian guises to have a competition to stop the most taxis for those who clearly needed them? Then we could see them interact, watch what they have in common, and get some astonished stares from the taxi drivers.

This is the most unpleasant I’ve seen Wonder Woman ever read. Too bad, because I could like the Clark in this story. Perhaps DC should give Tomasi a Superman book instead.

I’m not sure what to make of Mahnke’s art. Clearly, there’s talent in the way he draws Diana’s various annoyed facial expressions and extra points to him for remembering that she’s at least as tall as Clark. But some of the full-page compositions look weird and off-kilter in a bad way. I expected better from Mahnke too, as he drew the Joe Kelly-penned run of the Justice League, which I enjoyed.

What is the problem with the monthly titles, DC? The stories in the Wonder Woman digital-first title, Sensation Comics, have been sensational. Why do these pale so badly in comparison?

DC should stop trying to make fetch happen and ditch the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship right now. Move Tomasi to that Superman title. For Wonder Woman, go get an artist like Phil Jimenez to properly draw the Amazon, and maybe then we can truly see if Meredith Finch has the writing talent to eventually handle Wonder Woman. Because the current art is doing her no favors. (Though likely, she would disagree.)

GeekMom received these comics for review purposes.

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8 thoughts on “Memo to DC: Wonder Woman Likes People. Honest.

  1. I just finished reading both issues. Wow. Superman/Wonder Woman was, I thought, the worst of it because Diana looked awful to make Clark look good. Their war of the words as they were fighting the Parademon invasion complete with Diana’s callousness was just horrible. I think they’re trying to show how different these two are and why it won’t work because neither understands the other. However it was so clunky and put the bad guy label squarely on Diana. The fragile comment you reference was hideous as was her attitude she was above humanity was just *ick*. Then her “We’ll, you’re most definitely not one of them” comment to Clark after he says “we’ll manage”

    Who is this woman? It’s not Diana. This reminds me of an arc years ago when Clark & Lois were married and she was acting like a loon, it turned out it was actually the parasite (who seduced Lex Luthor in the guise of Lois, that was so odd and they never referenced it again, sadly. ). Maybe we’ll find out something similar here, she’s been possessed by something because what I read has no resemblance to Wonder Woman.

    I think it’s gone beyond this ill conceived pairing in to how they are making a mess out of Wonder Woman and her alone.

  2. This is my observation, as well! The “Stop trying to make fetch happen” quote is my favorite and absolutely applies to not only this, but other aspects of the New 52, that DC just won’t let go of. Don’t get me wrong, I do like Superman/Wonder Woman coupling, but not this version. I think there is so much that could be done in a great way, but DC is missing the point, yet again.

    1. No there really isn’t great things to be done. What would be “great” is if they remembered that Diana was created with a human, non-powered love interest for a reason just as Superman was created with a human partner for a reason.

      This crap with Superman does nothing to challenge the gender roles. Nothing. It reinforces them. It just reasserts that there is always a powerful man as opposed to challenging that entire idea by truly giving WW a partner who is not powered and who is ok with her truly being the alpha. This relationship challenges nothing. It’s two super privileged, beautiful people being super privileged and better than everyone around them and shutting out the humans out of fear of being close. It’s not saying anything poignant about either character. It’s not a commentary on the strength and resilience of the human spirit like Lois/ Supes was nor a commentary on stereotypical gender roles like Diana/Steve. It’s terrible writing of a bad concept.

      The Siegel family is against this and has been from the start. How I wish there was something the Marstons could do about it.

  3. The Superman/Wonder Woman coupling is a blight to comics and so at odds with what both characters stand for that it actually makes me sick. It’s the ultimate stunt rooted in a leadership that doesn’t understand what they even own, what it means and how to treat it.

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