Franciscan Focus

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23 August 2012

The New 52 Wondy: Blugh 

I recently (finally!) finished reading through my backlogged stack o' Wonder Woman comics, which ended at #1 (21 September 2011) of DC's 52 reboot. Because that was the last issue I have, I'm now reading folks' synopses/reviews of the rebooted series, which is currently at #12 (15 August 2012).

It's slow going because, since she's not as popular as Supes or Bats, folks aren't as passionate about sharing issue-by-issue plot details. But from the bits I'm finding so far, I'm not regretting my decision to ditch the title, mainly for the following gigumbous bits:

Pre-52 (Post-Crisis) Continuity

Amazons' history. Amazons are created from clay and brought to life by the Greek gods: "A cavewoman [later Queen Hippolyta], and her unborn daughter [Diana], are murdered by her mate. On Mount Olympus, Ares opposes Artemis' plans to create a new race of female mortals to set an example to other mortals, and Zeus doesn't care. Artemis and four other Goddesses go to the Cavern of Souls where they use all, except for one [Diana], the souls of perished women to create reborn, ageless Amazons." (source)

Amazons' culture. While trained in combat, they maintain a peaceful, idyllic culture of sisterhood. Themyscira is also known as "Paradise Island".

Diana's creation. Diana is also created from clay and brought to life -- and endowed with special powers -- by the gods, after being sculpted by the Amazon Queen Hippolyta: "Centuries later, Hippolyta prays for a daughter and after making a baby out of clay, the last soul is reborn as a new Amazon blessed with gifts from the gods named Diana." (source)

Diana's character. Diana conducts herself with dignity, kindness, diplomacy, self-awareness, maturity, and self-restraint, as befits a princess and warrior. She also has a great sense of humor.

Amazons and Diana. All the Amazons feel somewhat motherly towards Diana, and love her wholeheartedly as a special gift to them all from the gods.

Gods. The Greek gods genuinely care about humans and the Amazons in particular. When addressing Diana and the other Amazons, they speak to them respectfully, referring to them as "Daughter".

Faith. Diana and the Amazons devoutly practice their faith, respect and love the gods, and strive to serve them to the best of their abilities.

Right there, that's all pretty counter-cultural, wouldn't you say? And dang creative. I always liked Diana's unique "parentage", along with that of all the Amazons. 

Now we have ...

Post-52 Continuity

Amazons' history. The Amazons are no longer immortal, and maintain their population by searching out sailors (rapey) so they can get preggers, then kill said sailors, and keep the girls but exchange the boys for weapons.

Amazons' culture. "[R]eaders have never seen Wonder Woman's world so bleak, for better or worse, than they do here." (source)

Diana's creation. Diana is now the product of adultery -- Zeus and Hippolyta. And wow, that's creative! Now she's just one among a gajillion of Zeus' offspring from affairs. How unique!

Diana's character. Diana is now "more approachable". "Azzarello strips some of the majesty from Wonder Woman's origins, and in that way perhaps makes the character more approachable -- to illustrate, Azzarello takes Diana from Paradise Island to drinking in a heavy-metal club." (source) Look, they're superheroes. We don't need them to be "approachable", dammit! That's not the point!

Aaand there's now a thing between her and Supes. Joy.

Amazons and Diana. Diana's Amazon sisters taunt her: "Azzarello's story has Diana bowing in fealty to her mother, and facing challenge if not outright revolt from her fellow Amazons. Azzarello reveals that Diana left Paradise Island for Man's World not on a quest for great adventure, but because she never fit in with her fellow Amazons, who called her (mistakenly, we know now) 'Clay.' "  (Ev'rybody sing! "All of the other reindeer / used to laugh and call him names. / They never let poor Rudolph / join in any reindeer games.")

Gods. Hera is all pissy towards any chick who shacked up with Zeus and actively seeks revenge against them all, including Hippolyta. And the gods are now just a bunch of amoral, self-absorbed, Game-of-Thrones-ish jackasses who see humans as nothing more than pawns (at best) and playthings.

Faith. Faith? What faith? Nothing that I can see so far.

So. No way in heck am I going to read this bleak, depressing, non-unique iteration of Wondy. They dorked up her history* in such a major, unappealing way that all I can hope for is to wait this out until the next, inevitable reboot or retcon.

UPDATE: I've got more thoughts after caving and reading the issues. And here's why I hate her post-52 outfit.

= = = = =
* Something I highly doubt they'd even think of doing with Supes or Bats. Minor tweaks, sure, but not such a fundamental mess-up.

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