Friday, August 31, 2007

Amazons Attack will not kill Wonder Woman.

Hey, everyone. I already spoke about those who seem to feel the changes in Amazons Attack were permanent.

Now I speak to two other camps.

First, to those of you who feel the changes are "permanent" because they are now in continuity, let me remind you -- so is Diana working at Taco Whiz, Hippolyta being Hercules' battered wife, Artemis as Wonder Woman, and Hippolyta arranging for Artemis' death. None of that killed Wonder Woman.

Second, to those who think that Amazons Attack is ruined because of simply how awful the story was, I just want you to know that you made me laugh. Do you know why? Because I started reading during John Byrne's Wonder Woman run. I also read through every crappy fill-in storyarc from Perez's reboot to Rucka's series ending.

There's been sexism (to an unbelievable degree at times), there's been shitty symbolism, there's been contrived plots, there's been stupid plots, there's been disrespectful ideas, there's been authors inserting themselves into the supporting cast and there's been downright crappy at times, but bad storytelling has never killed Wonder Woman.

This is not the worst Wonder Woman story I have read. This isn't even the worst Wonder Woman story that's been put out Post-Crisis.

Hell, this isn't even the worst Wonder Woman story involved that particular cliffhanger villain I've read.

She survived all that shit, and she survived the horrors of the 70s and the 80s.

Amazons Attack will not kill Wonder Woman.


  1. Its definately not going to help. Every person I've shown the ending to have been pretty well turned off. Which means something that should have attracted NEW readers to the character and her book are instead LESS likely to pick it up in the future. So no, it won't KILL the character. As long as DC keeps going the character will be around...

    On the other hand, cross-overs that actively HURT the sales of the books they tie into (and I'm getting that from the sales numbers off the Beat) MIGHT end up killing the current version of WW's comic. Again. And thats not good...

    So destory the character. Sure, very unlikely. HURT the character? Pretty likely...

  2. So wait, Wonder Woman isn't going to be hurt by the fact that it was relaunched with a story that shipped late on a "bimonthly" schedule and still hasn't finished, followed by a story where she fights the exact same villain from the still-unfinished first arc?

    Amazons Attack is really worse than all that?

  3. Lurker: Haven't you ever heard of the "How the heck are they going to get out of this one?" draw?

    First of all, new readers, probably not going to care about the gods or the other Amazons. If they know of Wonder Woman at all, it'll be the tv show. They'll be looking for lassos and adventure and maybe Steve Trevor.

    If they know of her from JLA, as they likely will, they STILL won't be looking for the Amazons/Hippolyta.

    Meanwhile long-term fans, at least the ones who understand the nature of serialized storytelling are going to twig onto the fact that while YES, the Amazons are in a bad state, and YES, Hippolyta's being influenced and YES, the gods are captured...

    They'll also realize, hey, wait a second! Diana's a hero! A superhero! And what do superheroes do?


    They save people? So odds are that since the Amazons, Hippolyta and the Gods are in peril...Diana's probably going to be saving them.

    And heck, this is accompanying a major writer change to a very high profiled and well recieved writer.

    Wonder Woman's survived stupider storylines. She's lost the majority of her supporting cast before...

    Hey, anyone realize that for the entire time BEFORE Amazons Attack there were no Gods/Amazons/Hippolyta either? It's not like Pfeifer just robbed the genre of important elements. They were ALREADY gone. In fact now, they're a lot LESS gone.

    Yeesh, perspective is a good thing...

  4. "And what do superheroes do?"

    They cry and moan to DC when people don't buy their book. And when the editors are tired of crappy sales and all the superwhining, they cancel the book altogether. :-)

  5. As I said before, Wonder Woman won't be ruined by a crappy mini-series. Crappy stories happen to good characters all the time.

    That said, don't expect me to keep shelling out $3.99 just because I like the character and hope somebody decent will take over the comic some day.

    Life's too short, and I'd rather read good comic books. (For example, I haven't bought Amazing Spider-Man in years, and I own a 250 issue run of that title that I'm rather proud of ...)


  6. They'll also realize, hey, wait a second! Diana's a hero! A superhero! And what do superheroes do?


    They save people?

    In theory, yes, but I think that's been sort of shoved to the wayside as of late- we're in another one of those "superheroes mostly are on the defensive against threats to themselves, as well as internal struggles", with innocent-saving mostly being used in brief asides of a few panels.

    And this was one of the criticisms of AMAZONS ATTACK that I heard more than a few times. Frex, we see the Amazons killing tourists and shooting pilots in the throat and the superheroes only show up to punch at them after the damage is done.

  7. Huh. I read all those same Woner Woman stories, and Amazons Attack still seemed like the worst to me. With the exception of the Picoult story. And the unfinished "Who Is Wonder Woman?".

    Whatever weaknesses came before, they at least had interior story logic and fit into the DCU at large. I honestly couldn't get more than three pages into any issue of AA without thinking, "Wait, why is that happening? That wouldn't happen. That's silly, it's impossible for that to happen."

  8. Ok. There is no way in HELL that a dumb-ass story line is going to "destroy" Wonder Woman. Do you realize the licensing that DC/Time Warner gets out of that character even today? No, they will just keep trying till they get it right. And I think they have with Gail Simone riding into town.

  9. I can't even bring myself to dislike Amazons Attack; it's like kicking someone in a coma. It just makes me scratch my head.

  10. It's true that Wonder Woman is pretty much bullet-proof as far as franchises go. Her status as a pop culture icon, and the money from merchandising, guarantee that she'll continue to exist in some form.

    But shouldn't one of the "Big 3" aspire to more than just survival? I can't think of another major character who's title has been so consistently underwhelming for so long. Batman or Spider-Man may go through bad patches, but when's the last time Wonder Woman had a "good patch"? The book just jumps from one "bold new direction" to the next, and nothing ever seems to stick.

    No, Amazons Attack won't break Wonder Woman... because she's already broken, and has been for ages (I'm tempted to say, since the day William Moulton Marston died). It's ironic that the storyline called "Who Is Wonder Woman?" remains unfinished... it seems that no one has a clear idea who Wonder Woman is, or how to make the character work in a modern context.

    Expectations are high for Gail Simone's run... maybe impossibly high. But even if she fails, she'll just be the latest in a long line of writers who couldn't make WW work. (and if she does manage to turn the book into a long-term success, she'll be a Golden Goddess!)

  11. Ragnell, you seem to think that DC's plans for Wonder Woman are going to be, you know, good.

    I think things will just get progressively worse.

    I need to ask you another question. Don't you recognize the inherent subtext that comes with making the strongest wome on Earth normal? It's like "putting the women in their place". Hardly a message I want to see in my WW comic.

  12. UP -- They put Gail Freaking Simone on the series. The crossover this leads into is going to be written by Grant Fucking Morrison.

    How much more optimistic an outlook do you want?!

    Oh, and how's this for symbolism? They went and made the strongest and most capable woman on Earth completely and utterly unachievable by the normal person at the Perez reboot. We had no "Clark Kent" fantasy for women anymore. No outer nerd/hidden god dichotomy. No seemingly normal woman who would turn out to secretly be a goddess. Just what you see is what you get -- if a woman looks like a goddess, she is. If not, oh well.

    Well, now we have thousands of that fantasy. All these normal women who will turn out to be EXTRAORDINARY over the coming months or years.

    Not only THAT, they are all minor and mostly unnamed characters and future writers can dig them up as a quick origin whenever the fuck they want to without the editors giving them shit.

    Putting women in their place? Dude, there's symbolism like that in the Amazons Attack miniseries (check out my last colum on Newsarama), but this move is completely and utterly redeemable. Its a fantasy that can be turned pro-woman with a snap of the right writer's fingers.

    I totally understand that you hate this series, but honestly, some good things can come out of it and it is NOT the end of the world. Polly's back, and fixable. The Gods are back, and rescuable. The Amazons are back, and findable.

    That's a HELL of a lot better than Jimenez and later Rucka left things. This franchise is not destroyed.

    We saw a bad story with an outcome that is something the next writer can easily work with.

    Your unwarranted pessimism (seriously, Diana is not Cassandra Cain, and Gail Simone is not Adam Beechan) only serves to irritate me, which will only lead to more mean posts about this idiocy.

  13. Actually, I loved the Perez Reboot. It made WW more than just a female Superman clone.

  14. I think that Perez did a lot for WW, such as making the Greek gods recurring characters, giving her an identifiable archnemesis in Ares, ditching some of the more ridiculous elements of the mythos (the Invisible Jet needs to stay in the same Silver Age limbo as Krypto and Streaky), but removing Diana Prince from the picture was a bad move, IMHO.

  15. Okay, just to add a bit to the pessimism, Gail Simone is a well-LIKED writer on the Internet, and I think she's very talented at superhero soap opera stuff, but she's not exactly a popular writer. Her best selling book of the past, what, year, has been BOP, which is just above cancel range (it's in the 20K range at the end of her run). So, I don't exactly see WW becoming a hit.

    And she's not given carte blanche with the character, she still has to tolerate all the 180's that the last two "regular" writers threw into the character.

    Re Diana Prince, she works as long as Wonder Woman's just a superhero and not a super-famous ambassador/celebrity from a soveirgn nation. I don't think she works post-Perez, particularly as a member of the U.S. armed forces, even made up armed foces, like the DEO or whatever they call her new bosses.

  16. Well, now we have thousands of that fantasy. All these normal women who will turn out to be EXTRAORDINARY over the coming months or years.

    ...extraordinarily vicious killers of children and other civilians.

    No thanks.

  17. Tav, you're one of those people who said that Hal Jordan needed to be held accountable for his crimes after it was revealed to be mind control, aren't you?

    Dude, Apokolips is at the heart of that war. It'll all be undone faster than everyone forgot the Bana-Migdall Amazonss started as bloodthirsty child killers and that Hippolyta's set up Artemis to be murdered in the past. Even Earth-Angel Supergirl got vicious just being on Apokolips, these women had Granny Goodness and Circe manipulating their every move.

  18. AWB -- There was a lot of cool stuff about the reboot, but there's a lot I don't like about it too. Steve Trevor being aged and removed in favor of a crush on Superman sucked, and the franchise still hasn't recovered from the loss of the major love interest and comics still hasn't recovered from the loss of the prototypical "dude-in-distress."

    Also, Perez made the origin of the entire Amazon nation that they were enslaved and raped in ancient Greece. SO did not need that.

  19. One line. That's all they need. One line. Granny Goodness is now powerful enough to capture gods.

    Any time they want to restore the status quo, that's ALL they need to do. And they will eventually. Because it's comics.

    Yeesh, it's like people haven't learned ANYTHING about superhero comics over the last sixty some odd years. :-)

    Guys, they'll fix it. They fix everything eventually. And then they mess things up differentially. Se-quen-tial storytelling. Yeesh. :-)

  20. Jiminez tried to bring back the "dude in distress" as Trevor Barnes. The very next writer, in the first story after Phil left the book, killed him off.

    You don't realize how much the "dude in distress" is hated by some people in comics.

    Steve Trevor was killed off repeatedly pre-COIE. He also came back repeatedly, because there were writers willing to bring him back. I get the impression that Steve was like Hillary Clinton; where he was hated, he was really despised.

    It's a constant struggle to show a strong woman with a normal man.

    While I'm not crazy about everything Perez did, I don't blame George for pushing ol' Steve aside & playing her off of different guys, if only because Steve's original status was so 1940's shallow: the presumptive boyfriend in the origin story. I like a Wondie that doesn't stay stuck on the first handsome man she meets.

    So while I want her to have a boyfriend, I don't want it to be ol' Steve.

    The problem is, she never really got a replacement beau until Phil Jiminez's run. Now there are fans who think she should be virginal. Or that she's really lesbian, but it's all off-panel!

  21. Here's the thing, Phil -- He also came back repeatedly.

    I do blame Perez for pushing him aside, because the guy could ahve been updated along with Lois. Lois got to be EXTREMELY idiotic in the 50s, and they revamped her as a career woman when they got a chance.

    WML tried to give her Micah, actually. Heinberg inserted Nemesis. Luke gave her Rama. Most of her writers have tried, at least once or twice, to give her a replacement beau. Even in JLA and guest-star stuff, she's been paired off with Batman and Beau Smith said something about wanting to have her date Guy during his run (and he was hinting at it).

    Rucka's the one who was eerily insistent on her virginity, even as he was the closest one to giving her a lesbian love interest.

    Playing matchmaker didn't begin and end with Jiminez. It just NEVER worked. Everybody wanted to make their OWN supporting cast because Perez took Diana's traditional supporting cast -- her Jimmy and Lois -- aged them and married them off and sent them away.

    Now she has NO iconic supporting cast because no one has stuck with it, and its all because Steve and Etta were changed during the reboot.

  22. Heh. I STILL think that Diana and Guy together would have been hilarious. Doomed, but hilarious.

  23. I actually like the fact that Wonder Woman is allowed to date. It keeps the focus on her. She has freedom and she gets to enjoy it.

    Superman has no freedom, he is chained to Lois Lane. He never really got to go on dates.

    Don't you people find it strange that Clark was single in the big city and he never went on dates?

    Don't you find it strange that Clark's single days are just one big retcon?

  24. By being so "in" to one woman Superman just comes off as...well..creepy

  25. Silver Age Clark got to date. Lana Lang, Lori Lemaris... I know Busiek used an old girlfriend besides Lana for a part, but I don't know if he retconned her or not...

    I bet if we went back to post-Crisis pre-marriage we'd find Clark out with other women too.

    I think the problem, Avatar, is that he's been married so long that we forget his single days.

  26. Hi everyone,
    Avatar! said, I actually like the fact that Wonder Woman is allowed to date. It keeps the focus on her. She has freedom and she gets to enjoy it.

    I Enjoyed Greg Rucka's run of Wonder Woman very much, and particularly, I liked that Diana never had a love interest. Showing a strong woman's "romantic side" or her disastrous dating history (a la Buffy or Sidney Bristow) never seems to go well, but in order to show that she is "A Normal Woman" she must *have* a love interest, so says Pop Culture. Focusing on Diana, her strangeness, her Otherworldliness really made for an interesting storyline.

    I've finally (!!!) finished the Amazons Attack storyline. To quote Kitty Pryde:


    I agree that it won't kill Wonder Woman, nor is it the worst Wonder Woman story we've had, but it could have been 1) so much better, and 2) so much more interesting. That, more than anything, disappoints me as a fan.

  27. If it were me, I'd use the widespread distain/disinterest in Amazons Attack to completely jump the shark and just disregard everything in favour of a new hard-right turn of direction.

    Black Adam: Angry at the world, recruits Wonder Woman and Aquaman to bring HARSH justice to a third-world crying out for a hero.

    ENTER the NEW DC trinity!

    Give her bike shorts, and have her kill genocidal Africans. It makes PERFECT sense.