The announcement of a female writer on Wonder Woman would, under most circumstances, be met with praise. But the announcement that Meredith Finch, who has only a few comic credits to her resume, would be writing the book while her husband, well-known artist David Finch, would be on art was met instead with skepticism. Wonder Woman is an important character to put in the hands of a newcomer to comics and Finch’s art has been criticized as overly cheesecake-y, an opinion that I share.
It didn’t help that David Finch gave an interview in which he seemed to be shying away from Wonder Woman’s essential feminism. With the character’s visibility as high as it’s ever been, it seemed odd to not use the “feminism” word in regards to one of the icons of feminism.
With the first issue of the new creative team, Wonder Woman #36, due out on Wednesday, 11/19, DC offered me a chance to interview Meredith Finch about the controversy, her view of Wonder Woman, and what she hopes to accomplish with the run. She also talks about why she believes her husband’s art is well-suited to the character.
GeekMom: Gail Simone said about her take on the character: “If you need an army, call Wonder Woman.” What’s your take on her role in the DCU?
Meredith Finch: For me, Wonder Woman is the epitome of love. Superman is good. Batman is brilliance. Wonder Woman brings the strength of unconditional love.
GM: What kind of storylines will be featured in your run?
MF: Our first arc will be focused on introducing a new villain to Diana’s life and we plan to explore more intimately how Diana is affected by the different roles she plays in her life–she’s a member of the Justice League, she’s in a relationship with Superman, she’s The God of War and has siblings and she’s Queen of the Amazons.
GM: What do you hope people take away about Wonder Woman from reading your run?
MF: I really want people to feel even more connected with Diana at the end of our first arc. I want them to be able to relate to her on a personal level and say yah, “I’ve been there, or felt that.” Yes, she’s a superhero, but first and foremost, she’s a person.
GM: What Wonder Woman story do you think best demonstrates her role as a feminist role model?
MF: Being a relative newcomer to comics, I have really tried to stay away from past incarnations. I don’t want to look too far back on what has been done because looking at the incredible history and trying to live up to it can be crippling. I want to move forward and continue to explore what has been established for her in the new 52.
GM: What is your favorite Wonder Woman run and why?
MF: Definitely the Brian Azzarello/Cliff Chiang run [the creative team that rebooted Wonder Woman in the new 52] has been the most influential to me. What they have created, the characters, the settings, the conflicts… they have all been great stepping stones for our story.
GM: What do you think is Wonder Woman’s one over-riding characteristic?
MF: Again, I have to go back to the virtue of love. I really believe that Diana does what she does because she has such a deep and abiding love for humanity. I always try to keep that central in my thoughts when I’m writing.
GM: You have written one comic book story to date. Why do you think you are the right person to write Wonder Woman at a time when her visibility has never been higher?
MF: I don’t know that I can unabashedly say that I’m the right person for the job.
However, I do know that I have a deep affection for the character and feel really connected to who she is and what she’s all about. Being a mother is such an amazing, joyful, intense experience, and it’s that unconditional love that I feel for my children that I’m bringing to the character of Wonder Woman. It takes us mortals a long time to garner the kind of wisdom Diana seems to have been born with. Hopefully I can share some of my knowledge and experience with her as we get to know each other.
GM: Wonder Woman is an Amazon and therefore has a strong physical presence and a maturity beyond her years. Why do you think David Finch is the best person to portray her, especially as his art been criticized as too much T&A in the past?
MF: When you have a career that is a long and as successful as David’s I think that it is clear that the majority of people are simply enjoying the beauty of the artwork that David puts on the page. When I first met him I was absolutely blown away by his talent. It comes very naturally to him and he only has to decide he’s going to do something, like painting for example, and suddenly he’s a painter. The longer I’ve known him, the more I learned about how seriously he takes his craft.
I hope that people look at this book and really appreciate his level of talent and the beauty of his art.
GM: What’s your creative process? Do you storyboard your scripts or use another method?
MF: The great thing about working with your spouse is that you can do a little of everything. For the first couple of scripts, I wrote the setting and the dialogue and then David drew the pages from that. Issue three was a bit of a challenge for me. I had been away from writing for the summer, with the kids, and it was hard to get back into it. I knew what I wanted to do, but wasn’t sure about the pacing. When I talked to Dave about it he suggested we lay out what I already had and it was a really positive experience for both of us. I’m sure our working style will continue to evolve the more we work together.
GM: Where would you like to take your writing in the future? Dream job?
MF: I’m writing Wonder Woman! I don’t know if it gets better, in terms of comic dream jobs. That being said I have always had it in my head that I would write a book about the experience of raising my oldest son. He has CHARGE Syndrome and a crystal ball or “How to Guide” would have been a great thing to have 13 years ago.
When you are going through the experience of raising a child with special needs you don’t have a What to Expect in the First Year book to turn to. If a book about my experiences gives even one mother a sense of relief and comfort, then I’ll consider myself a success.
Wonder Woman #36 goes on sale this Wednesday at all local comic shops and at Comixology.com.