Wonder Woman: Earth One Is No Boy’s Adventure

“This book has no fights. It really throws out all the rules of boy’s adventure fiction. I tried my best to do a book to pass the Bechdel test. For the first forty pages there are no men, it’s just women talking about science and art.” – Grant Morrison, on his and Yanick Paquette’s Wonder Woman: Earth One.

For many people, the thought of a superhero story without any fighting and violence is like having a candy bar without chocolate. It’s just not something you expect, and more often than not, pass by. (Not that there aren’t fans of Payday bars out there.) However, when you think about superheroes, especially characters like Wonder Woman, you envision warriors swinging swords and throwing country-rocking haymakers. Things that come standard when you’re DC’s Goddess of War—a trait that sets Diana apart from some of DC’s other girls.

Ambassador of peace, right?

Ambassador of peace, right?

Still, for Wonder Woman this isn’t that huge a change, or at least it shouldn’t be. Like many heroes, Diana has transformed with society, from the quasi-feminist, bondage-hampered heroine of yesteryear, into the Amazon warrior of today. What Grant Morrison seems to be getting at though, is that the Amazon warrior version of the character is indicative of a more masculine approach to a female character. Implying that what a typical male, writing or reading Wonder Woman would be more interested in reading than any other interpretation.

Wonder Woman was a character  who stood for peace, who came to “Man’s World” to temper our aggression. Today she’s more than often swinging any number of bladed weapons, and is seen as the “warrior” of the Justice League. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. These characters have changed with time, and sometimes for the better. Sometimes for worse. However, I think that critics of Morrison’s feelings regarding Wonder Woman’s current handling should be open to at least trying other versions of the character.

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Stories about Wonder Woman fighting monsters and aliens alongside The League have been going on for years, and it’s no secret that while popular, there exists a large gap between her, Superman, and Batman at DC. Throw in Marvel characters like Wolverine, Thor and Spider-Man and it gets worse.

More than anything, given Morrison’s record with comics, I give him the benefit of the doubt. I doubt we’ll be seeing any overly embarrassing scenes of Wonder Woman bent over someone’s knee and getting a spanking. Wonder Woman’s history, instead, should be a mix of modern portrayals of women in fiction, combined with the history and mythology that makes Wonder Woman such an interesting character and not just a superhero.

That sounds like something I would read regardless of the main character. The fact that it’s wonder woman, should be a huge bonus.



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