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Friday, September 30, 2016

Wonder Woman is Bisexual…Good Gravy.

DC has made it official: Wonder Woman is a bisexual. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Okay, there’s a lot wrong here. But it doesn’t have to do with Wonder Woman. It has to do with DC Comics.

Just when you thought Rebirth was going to change things at DC…They go back to the same old failed playbook doing the exact same things and expecting a different result. The rest of the publishing world calls this insanity, but this is business as usual at DC Comics.

Goeff Johns told us Rebirth was supposed to be a change from the Didio era. But here we have Greg Rucka following the same old approaches from the Didio business model that pretty much cost DC ten percent of its market share and thousands of readers. This whole Wonder Woman is bisexual gimmick is just another marketing stunt designed to generate short-term controversy but won’t increase sales for DC Comics in the long term.

It’s clear to me Greg Rucka is out of his depth. When writers like Greg Rucka can’t write good stories they resort to gimmicks. And they hope to deflect from their lack of storytelling ability by doing something flashy to overcompensate for their lack of substance. So instead of writing that great Wonder Woman story where we see her taking on a new menace or a fresh take on an old one…We get the revelation that she’s bisexual.  

Big Deal. Cassie Hack of Hack/Slash has been bisexual for over five years. Tara from the FemForce has been a lesbian for over 35 years. Xena has been rumored to be lesbian for 20 years. What makes this revelation so special? 

The big problem with comic book writers like Greg Rucka today is that they overthink everything instead of keeping it simple. Readers don’t need to know Wonder Woman’s sexual orientation. We don’t need to know what kind of tampon she uses. We don’t need to know if she masturbates in the shower or under waterfalls in Paradise Island. We just need to know what a wonder she is at kicking ass. 

Seriously, no one cares if Wonder Woman is bisexual. Readers care if she’s interesting. Readers care if she has a "voice" that speaks to them. Unfortunately writers like him can’t write Wonder Woman stories that get readers excited about buying the comic for close to 40 years. Instead of the gimmicks, give us a Wonder Woman story where she kicks the ass of the members of her rogues gallery like Cheetah, Dr. Cyber, Giganta and Circe and you’ll give readers an incentive to buy a comic. Heck, just give her some new rogues and maybe readers might try a comic. But instead of creating some interesting stories we get more of the same old gimmicks from DC that collapsed the comic book industry in the 1990’s.

Greg Rucka thinks that revealing that Wonder Woman is bisexual will make a profound statement for diversity. Unfortunately, most comic fans are indifferently responding to it. Many see right through the marketing stunt and many more are just wating for the next reboot to retcon this little revelation from the characters’ mythos. At this point comic fans and casual readers are just tired of the archaic 1990’s shock marketing approaches comic publishers continue to use and want them to do something different with their business model.

The big problem with Wonder Woman for 40 years has been that no one has been able to write her adventures in a postfeminist world. Yes Wonder Woman was an icon for feminism and a symbol for strong women back from the 1940s-1960s. But ironically after feminist Gloria Stienem demanded that she be changed back from the strong selling Diana Prince Wonder Woman concept back to the star spangled superwoman in the mid 1970s in Ms. Magazine she has struggled to find a direction, an identity and an audience with readers. These days with so many strong real-life women around like Hilary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Gina Carano, Mickie James, Chyna, Beyonce, and Carly Fiorina around and strong female heroines like Buffy, Xena, Sonya Blade, Elisa Maza, She Hulk, Rogue, Jessica Jones and The Powerpuff Girls in media, Princess Diana of Pardise Island has become another pretty face.

Now she’s bisexual. But still just another pretty face in a crowd of dozens of superheroine and fantasy characters. And there’s a lot wrong with that from a business perspective.

Seriously, What can Wonder Woman do that any of the characters I mentioned can’t?  What makes her special? Why should readers care about her? Those are the questions no writer has been really able to answer in Postfeminist America for over 40 years. Yeah Wonder Woman was the first female superheroine. But most people don’t buy her comic because no writer makes can make a person they can relate to today.

What Wonder Woman really needs a new direction. Something contemporary and relatable to readers of all ages. Something that defines her for this age. Give readers a story where Wonder Woman a story where she participates in an ultimate fight against a Greek Goddess like Isis did in The Ultimate Fight. Or she stands up for her principles against a villain who challenges her values like Isis did in The Beauty Myth and Wrath of the Cybergoddess. Or have her take on a more contemporary menace readers relate to like Vampires like Isis did in Night ofthe Vampires. Or have her and Batman take on Dracula like Isis did in Bride ofDracula. Those were some of the ideas I had for Wonder Woman stories. And I believe those are the kinds of stories that’d get readers excited about the character to start buying her adventures again.

I’ve never wondered about Wonder Woman’s sexual orientation. The only thing I wondered about was the action and adventure between the pages of her comics. Show readers what makes Wonder Woman great as a character people will buy Wonder Woman comics.



9 comments:

  1. Shawn I hope you are going to review the Luke Cage series on Netflix. It is probably the best the best of the Marvel Netflix series, and Luke is portrayed in a very positive light.

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    1. The Netflix Marvel series. Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Daredevil. All of them are pretty good in having a better tone than the Marvel movies. I like them more than Marvel comics right now, and that is sad.

      -John

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    2. How is this supposed to even be a surprise? To me it is more of something that did not need a revelation just to be known already by most people. The real question is whether or not this rebooted character actually has to use her head to win against villains.

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    3. Of course, which is exactly what Shawn was saying. Wonder Woman needs to be a heroine first. People have this screwed up perception that superheroes have to relate to themake in every way when that is not how they were meant to be. They are simple fiction. Not to say that you can't enjoy it as I enjoy kids cartoons now and then, but the fact that given your characters are being treated to cater to those who were growing up in the past, and they need to sell more and make more simple stories, and stop being so continuity obsessed.

      -John

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  3. Although Rucka hasn't done a stunt like this before it makes me wonder why he would resort ot it now although he later said that it's not official until it actually is shown in a comic so I guess right now it's not. I just don't like what they do with a lot superheroes lately putting them situations they normally shouldn't be in because it doesn't fit their tone, motivations, etc. which is why I don't think she should fight Vampires but that's not the point. The point is stop throwing your character around and hope it sticks. It doesn't even go well with the character's history which itself has been an inconsistent one. I also voice my voice on this on my blog.

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  4. Only thought WW should fight vampires because it could lead to new readers discovering the book since so many girls love vampires. But yeah, they need to treat their characters with a lot more respect than what they've done so far.

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