- Posted by Johanna on December 31, 2005 at 9:56 am
- Category: Superhero Reviews
- PUBLISHER: DC Comics
In Wonder Woman #224, the Amazons vow to leave this world “for a long time”, leaving Diana alone as the last of her kind. Like her, they’ve been tagged as murderesses — although unlike her, their situation was clearly self-defense. When a flock of OMACs attacked their home, they destroyed them all, which was apparently unforgivable. (Are the women supposed to have rolled over and taken it?)
Those of us who know something of the character’s history know that this isn’t a new solution to problems writers have with the DC’s best-known female character. It’s been done before, and it’s never lasted for long, because all most readers and writers know about Wonder Woman is her origin on an island of warrior women. Take that from her, and what’s left is inconsistent and nebulous. Her writers, mostly male, don’t seem to know what to do with a woman who’s the best at everything: fighting, peace-making, and inspiring others.
It’s also reminiscent of what they tried to do to Superman, making him the true last son of Krypton after Crisis. That didn’t last long, either, with his cousin and his dog back now. Both characters are hard to write for similar reasons: it’s too easy to smear them or misunderstand them, and it’s hard to be true to their essentials. They should be paragons, and that’s a tough fight in our society, which glorifies the base and unethical.
In the bigger picture, the removal of the Amazons is another example of the contradiction at the core of DC’s IC (pronounced “icky”) event — the stories revolve around historical events that are poorly copied or reinterpreted in ways that make no sense. Those that know the original stories are frustrated by the purposeful misreadings; those that don’t are left in the cold.
New readers are force-fed propaganda about the past to make the present comics look better, and old readers know that the stories are being mistold to serve the political purpose of the current regime. It’s the 1984 of the comics world, where “we have always been at war with Earth-2″.
Update: A conversation with a friend just reminded me of another key comparison. Older readers that I know support IC for the same reason they supported JSA: they love the concept, and they wish DC would do more, even if they can’t stand the execution. With JSA, they loved seeing those older characters they hadn’t forgotten, but the stories were disappointing and poorly crafted. With IC, they love the idea of heavy continuity and overarching storylines and guest appearances and a coherent universe, even if they don’t actually like the story they’re getting.