As superheroes continue to win massive profits at the box office and graphic novels strengthen their literary credentials, the amount of comic book adaptation increase in turn. This year’s crowded slate kicks off on Friday with The LEGO Batman Movie. While the majority of these projects remain dominated by capes and tights, there is some cursory interest in exploring other aspects of the medium. What follows is an overview of 2017’s offerings loosely ranked by level of interest.
As a comic book that’s been continuously published over a seventy year period, several creators have had a significant influence on the character of Wonder Woman and her mytho’s. Like many of DC Comics superheros, Wonder Woman was redefined for the modern era following the line wide reboot that was Crisis of Infinite Earths. Like Batman with Frank Miller or Superman with John Byrne, Wonder Woman was taken on by one of comics greatest talents of the time, and within a historical context, one of it’s most important creative talents in George Perez. Fresh off his time illustrating Crisis of Infinite Earths, Perez would do a fresh take on the character that leaned into some of the most interesting and functional elements of her mythology without trying to overly define her in any particular direction or style. It’s not perfect, it’s not on the level of Byrne on Superman or Miller on Batman and it’s not essential in the larger context of the medium. But it’s well crafted, looks fantastic and straight up cool on an elemental level; that doesn’t make for a classic comic per-say but it does make for one that’s evergreen. Continue reading DC’s Post Crisis Rebirth: Wonder Woman, George Perez, Gods & Metal
On October 21st, the United Nations named Wonder Woman their honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls. Diana was cited for her decades long commitment to “justice, peace and equality,” all virtues which have defined the character since her 1941 debut. DC and their parent company Warner Brothers proudly celebrated the UN’s distinction, rolling the ceremony at the United Nations headquarters into another segment of their ongoing commemoration of Diana’s 75th Anniversary this year and promotion for her first solo film in 2017. Wonder Women past and present, Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot, were prominently featured at the festivities. Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins attended, as did DC artist/executive Jim Lee. Noticeably absent though were any decedents of Wonder Woman creators William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter. The lack of acknowledgement for their pioneering work should not come as surprise given DC’s decidedly mixed track record honoring their legacy.
However, there were more controversies roiling the halls than The Big Two’s continued stumbles with acknowledging creators and their families. Many criticized the organization’s choice of a fictional character to represent gender equality. Such a choice is not without precedent, as in the past Winnie the Pooh was chosen as ambassador of friendship, Red from Angry Birds ambassador of happiness and, in something that sounds like a rejected Grant Morrison Animal Man pitch, Tinker Bell ambassador of “green.” The more substantive compliant was leveled at Wonder Woman herself and whether her idealized figure was counterproductive in bolstering female self-esteem. Body image issues have long been a problem for the comics industry; anyone reading comics in the 90s could easily see how little effort it took to leap over the line dividing empowerment from objectification. In recent years, publishers have become more attentive to such concerns, as the voices of female fans and creators have grown stronger. Yet, the question remains: in a cultural moment marred by virulent sexism and rising teenage girl suicide rates, is a super-powered, sometimes demigod, heroine with a supermodel-like figure really the best role model? Does her appearance undercut those values she strives so hard to achieve? As is often the case with Wonder Woman, the best answer is found within the work of her creators.
In honor of Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary, I wanted to put my thoughts in at one of the most relevant and complex aspects of her character: what she wears when she fights for truth and justice… Continue reading Wonder Woman’s Stalwart Wardrobe