Thoughts on Azzarello’s Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman means a lot of things to a lot of people. She’s iconic and has permeated the collective consciousness in probably a million different ways depending on the person. So naturally, when Brian Azzarello comes along and changes every damn thing about her save her looks, it is most certainly going to make waves. In the instance of Wonder Woman #7 … he made tidal waves. I am definitely on Team Kelly when it comes to the horrific tradition the Amazons have apparently practiced for centuries, but that wasn’t enough for me to drop the book.

See, when I started buying comics, Wonder Woman was the first and only title on my pull list. I somehow fell into a group of friends who had collections of comics and trades to borrow for YEARS (I still haven’t read all of their libraries), but I wanted to support Wonder Woman. It helped that Gail Simone would be writing the character soon after, but I did it for Diana. Since then, many books have come and gone from my pull list. Wonder Woman is the only title that has been constant. For better or worse (JMS), I have been buying and reading Wonder Woman every month since I jumped down the comic book rabbit hole.

I am also one of many who, as a little girl, watched episodes of the TV series and did my damndest to spin into something more wonderful than my four-year-old little self.

“When I grow up, I want to have an invisible plane!”

The character and qualities of Wonder Woman inspired me then and has come to mean something very special to me today.

In the last three issues of Azzarello’s Wonder Woman, I find myself less than inspired. What started off strong is now bringing diminished returns in the form of Diana’s intellect, or lack thereof. Diana is repeatedly being tricked or lied to in some monumental way, and she’s falling for it.

I recall a conversation I once had with my grandmother. As matriarchs do, she had questions about the guy I was dating at the time. I answered her questions, but she was skeptical about him. While she would never dictate who I date, she did look me square in the face and say, “You are very smart, Vanessa. Don’t you dare dumb down for him!”

I didn’t.

We aren’t together anymore.

Now, everyone isn’t my ex-boyfriend, and I am certainly not Wonder Woman. As Azzarello’s Wonder Woman is selling better than the title has in a very long while, I wonder: Is a naive and easily manipulated Diana more palatable to the masses? Do we like our Wonder Woman better stupid?

“OMG! Did Hades just trick me?”

“Yup. Hades totes tricked me.”

“I was born yesterday. The Amazons have been doing what for centuries?”

“What’s Stockholm Syndrome?”

“Dead people attacking me. In hell?”

Yeah, Diana. I’m shot through the heart too … with that damn look on your face. Also, Hades tricked you. Again.

I know there are various methods in fiction writing that make the protagonist interesting. One of them is creating conflict and struggle in order to build the character back up, and to give the audience something to root for. But Azzarello’s “deconstruction” of Diana’s personality is irritating the living shit out of me. Diana of Themyscira as a dumbass has got my goat far worse than the vilification of the Amazons. Apparently being one of Zeus’ bastards throws Athena’s wisdom out the door. Perhaps it’s a punishment from Hera.

How do you grow up in a culture and not know the Amazons give away their sons? How do you worship, study and interact with these gods, yet not know how treacherous they can be? How do you go to hell and be duped in such a grand way when you once walked through Hades blind? Why the fuck did you hand Hades Eros’ guns!!!?

At the beginning of Azzarello’s run, I was singing the praises of his Wonder Woman. She seemed capable and self-possessed. Even with the revelation that her birth was not divine magic, I did not feel that was forced or incongruent with the Diana that we know and love. But the barrage of naiveté in Wonder Woman is just plain disappointing.

I look at her counterparts in the DCU. Batman is inherently flawed, so maybe that’s why the masses worship him so. Superman’s easy. Corn-fed white boys are always in style in America, even if they don’t know it. But Wondy’s key persona has been put through the wringer over the past two years in an attempt to sell books or reinvent the character, and I am tired of it.

Let me make it easy for you. Wonder Woman is compassionate. She is skilled at war and diplomacy. Wonder Woman is brave. She is strong – physically and mentally. She is fair. Wonder Woman is determined. She is regal. Wonder Woman is wise.

Azzarello, you may very well be a genius writer. OR … you could be a Blorgon in disguise. I sure as hell don’t know. I don’t know you. But I want you to know what you are dealing with. Yes, Bat-followers are just about every dude in America and Supes fans are far and wide. But Wonder Woman fans are different. She is our leading lady, and there are few in all of fiction as powerful as her. So, we are invested in her future.

Kevin Smith can write Bruce admitting to pissing his pants, and it gets laughed into the ether. We’ve all but forgotten about Superman walking. But I have a feeling what you are doing with Wonder Woman is going to stick. You are moving books for DC on this title for the first time in a long time (save #600), and that means money. Money means power. Power to do what you will with Diana. I know you’ve got the ending planned already, but I hope to see her offered a bit more wisdom and grace along the way.

Please take care of our Amazon Princess. Not for her (because she can take care of herself), but for us.

74 thoughts on “Thoughts on Azzarello’s Wonder Woman

  1. I haven’t been following Wonder Woman, or the New 52 for a number of reasons. Even if you took those other reasons away I wouldn’t be reading WW because Azzarello is on is on the book.

    100 Bullets wasn’t bad, but I think it got a lot of unmerited praise. His run on Hellblazer, while far from classic again was tolerable.

    What made me decide to never read another word Azzarello wrote was the Cage series he wrote for Marvel Max. As I was reading it I could get a vague shape for what I think he was trying to do, which was some kind of fusion between noir and classic blacksploitation films.

    That isn’t what happened, though. What happened was an incredibly stereotypical, racist mess. I really can’t think of any other way to describe it other than as it being a sort of avatar made up of every reason Dwayne McDuffie hated Luke Cage distilled into a single mini-series.

    I’m willing to give dude the benefit of the doubt, and presume that he isn’t a racist, and that it wasn’t his intent to produce something like that, and it was mostly just an artifact of there being certain things that he as a writer, or the style he writes in, not being able to handle at all well. Maybe Diana is another one of those things. I’ll never find out for myself, because like I said, I’m no longer interested in reading anything his name is attached to.

  2. Vanessa, once again I sing your praises! THANK YOU for acknowledging what’s been digging at me these past few months and putting words to it… I was starting to think it was JUST ME!!! I have been a WW fan since I was very young, I too read her comics and I too watched her TV show… and although I’m MUCH older than you; I valued her just as much! I have daughters now, ages 25, 14 and 9 all of whom LOVE WW and they too are becoming disillusioned with what they are reading in the new 52… I am hopeful that WW will be redeemed and that the writers and artists will remember her awesome-ness and restore her. Thank you again… I’m off for more coffee!!!

  3. Very nice post. I am glad that you are enjoying WW. For me, I find it deeply misogynistic and will stop reading it. However I am so glad that others enjoy it. And I love Wonder Woman too. Long may she reign!

    • Thank you. I have enjoyed parts of this run, and I love Cliff Chiang’s art. But as of late I am not enjoying it so much. I’m not sure how much longer I will stick around to see what happens. For now, it remains on my pull list.

      I am curious, what parts of the Azzarello’s run have you found to be misogynistic? Mind you, I am not disagreeing with your assessment … I only want to know which aspects feel that way to you.

  4. Enjoyed reading your comments, I too am a long time Wonder Woman fan who finds that even if there are more fans reading this new version of Wonder Woman, she’s not at all like her earlier character or personality. I would like to hasve the OLD Wonder Woman back, and hope it will happen soon.

  5. I say we go over to Azzarello’s house with pitchforks and torches and demand to bring back our favorite daughter to her right-full place. YEAH! GO TEAM WW!

      • @ l.a.amaro, if you want to get a bus tour so we call all do this pitchfork and torches thing, I am there! :-)

          • The only thing I come away with is that WW fans are no less rabid and irrational as other fans. It somewhat surprised me, but I guess it was an unfair presumption. Even after #7, Azzarello’s work doesn’t deserve all the hate he’s getting. Batman and Superman’s mythos has been shaken up much more. This kind of negativity is why WW hasn’t been developed or attracted different writers as much.

          • The fact is that Batman and Superman haven’t been as messed with as WW. Yeah they have been given tweaks here and there but who the are has basically stayed the same. No one has given Bruce a different father or made his parents savage murderers. Clark is still an alien boy raised by caring and loving farmers in the midwest. No one has made them seem so naive and stupid. I get characters evolving over time but that is not the same as having their mythos destroyed to the point that the character is unrecognizable without a care in the word.

          • That’s not a fact, because it’s not close to true. Superman has been messed with A LOT. Birth Right, Secret Origins, New 52. They changed his powers, his Kryptonian past, and yes his upbringing. They killed Pa Kent, they made him a vegetarian, they made Kryptonians warlike, etc. Now look at all the changes done for the Man of Steel movie. New costume yet again, red hair Lois, Black Perry White, new Krypton past. And yet, Superman has a dedicate website of fans that stuck by him no matter what. Even with Smallville and other interpretations. Where is the Wonder Woman homepage? She has no dedicated fansite. Her fans abandon her so easily because they aren’t used to changes, and they grossly exaggerate the changes Azzarello has done. It just shows how narrow her fanbase was.

          • Did you read my essay above? Changes … no changes … whatever. Wonder Woman’s fan base is plenty “wide.” There is something duplicitous about your comments that I can’t quite put my finger on …

          • Well I have read plenty of message boards and forum of Superman fans hugely complaining about everything you listed above and them some so to say they are above it all is completely false and biased. And never in canon have the Kents been turned into murders or complete assholes. Most of the changes are pretty superficial and the main core of the character is still intact.

          • I loved the first couple of issues and was even ok with his dark take on the Amazons. But something is missing for me with this series, and it’s gotten progressively weaker in my opinion. Lots of people seem to disagree, but I don’t think it’s irrational at all to say that this version of Wonder Woman is disappointing.

          • Well, a lot of the disgruntled readers were negative before the first issue came out, and they keep looking for something to fault each issue. The take on the Amazons is only darker compared to past comics, and it’s not like it came out of nowhere. It’s the traditional mythic take on the Amazons.

            Fans who disagree with the change constantly refer to them as savages. That’s like calling Native Americans or Aztecs or other undeveloped societies savages. Is that right? There’s a lot of bitter resentment against this new take that I just find unwarranted. Some of they go as for as to call it misogynist and sexist which is beyond ridiculous.

          • … and until Azzarello bothers to elaborate further on the giant can of worms he opened FIVE ISSUES AGO with the Amazons seemingly raping and murdering men, and selling their male children into slavery for weapons … people will continue to think that story has tones of misandry, misogyny … maybe the presence of both is just apathy. What’s ridiculous is leaving that story in the wind for half of a year.

            Yeah. I know. It’s all planned out. Bated breath, then.

          • Please look up the original Greek myths of the Amazons which was also depicted in the popular D’aulaire’s children’s book.

          • To that I quote a thoughtful blogger by the name of Colin Smith:

            “Not only are there a host of ancient takes on who the Amazons were and how they behaved, meaning that “continuity” is a far more problematical business than the flakkers assume, but the Amazons were a creation of a profoundly sexist culture.”

            His entire essay is quite well-written. If you fancy a read, here is the link –> http://toobusythinkingboutcomics.blogspot.com/2012/03/on-wonder-woman-7.html

          • You’re just buying into an opinion you already believe. If that culture is “profoundly sexist”, then using any myths from them would promote sexism, right? Therefore, Wonder Woman stories have always been guilty as its mythos have co-opted a LOT from the “profoundly sexist culture”. Why even let kids read their myths! Colin Smith’s essay is actually written poorly because he doesn’t back up claims with any references and it’s horribly one-sided. Besides, he idolizes Marston who himself has very controversial ideas. The Ancient Greeks weren’t profoundly sexist because you have to consider the context of their time IN RELATION to other cultures. If you compare them to the present, you might as well call ALL the ancient cultures “profoundly sexist” and equally reject any of their stories for adaptation. The Bible is “profoundly sexist”!

          • To begin with the myths vary based on different authors and translations. So his point is some stories have the Amazon as less savage. But let’s put that aside and talk about the 70 years in which they are portrayed as an evolved culture that has discovered peace over time wishes to spread that message to the outside world. That was the DC Amazons and that was tossed away like garbage. The great thing about the myths is they are great stories that can be reimagined and interperated for a modern audience. Is it so hard to believe that a once savage culture could evolve over time into an peaceful society. I mean it has happened in our world many times. Is it because they are women that it is impossible? And let’s just talk about all the plot holes this reinterperatation creates. One they are immortal women and not many are ever killed so why would they have to go out and basically rape themselves to get pregnant in the first place. Second wouldn’t Diana wonder where all the little girls that are slightly older than her came from. It just really makes her look beyond naive to stupid. So you can justify his writing all you want by saying it is how they were portray in a myth that you once read but it isn’t unreasonable for fans that are highly invested in the WW mythos to not like it.

          • Part of the goal of new 52 was to attract new readers. There’s nothing wrong with the old Amazon background, except that it was very complicated with its many generational changes. It takes a long while to explain. Using the mythic Amazons is better for new readers to approach since it’s already familiar. There are plenty primitive cultures existing today (I would never call them savages). It is hard to believe they would evolve since they are stuck on an island with its limited resources and they don’t communicate with the outside world.

            Many if not all perceived plot holes have been debunked in forums. These Amazons are not immortal. Diana is only 23 years old, so she wouldn’t have known and some naivety is to be expected.

            It’s perfectly acceptable that older WW fans are upset, but this is a reboot. A new story. It needs to be looked at on its own merits. Most new readers like this run because they don’t compare it to past interpretations. They can jump right into its familiar but different Greek-inspired mythos and related to a younger Wonder Woman who has a good heart but isn’t perfect.

  6. You have me scared Vanessa. I am well behind on Nu52. WW kept me buying at least one Dc title during the dark years of that horrible Batman TV series (If you are old enough, when that premiered it just seemed to justify comics were low brow) but eventually Roy Thnomas began writing WW and I gave it a try. I did not buy any other DC until Frank brought some credibility back to DC (This is just my opinion at the time) I did not feel BA would be a good fit for WW at the time but I will usually give good, experienced professionals the benfit of the doubt. You seemed to confirm my suspicions. What a lovely photo.

    • Thanks. There was a lot of skepticism among my friends when Azzarello was announced as the writer. They were all convinced he would do a terrible job. I was quite the opposite. I was optimistic. Another reason this could all be so damn disappointing.

  7. I must say, from the start I have had a BIG problem with Azzarello’s Wonder Woman. I couldn’t exactly pinpoint what it was. I think what you said is part of it. I hate that she seems so stupid. Diana was never stupid. NEVER. Not even when she abandoned the Amazons and decided she wanted to be a ninja or something. That might have been impulsive, reckless, a bit insane, but not stupid. She wins fights because of strategy. She is SMART.
    Something that also bugs me to no freaking end is the complete disregard he seems to have. Daugther of Zeus therefore demigod and not really Amazon princess? Diana using guns? Really? Is that needed?
    The way I see it, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman really are the big Trinity in DC. The major characters, if you’ll allow me to put it like that. Whereas they all have iconic status and are recognizable virtually anywhere I fell that Batman and Superman comic books, specifically, are more “mainstream”. Lot’s of people read them. They are Batman and Superman after all. Wonder Woman is a bit different. Not everyone reads. She has never had incredibly groundbreaking storylines like the other two (ok. “never” is a lie, but I’m being hyperbolic). I agree with you in that the people who read her are the people who honestly love her. It might be a silly thing to say, but I hate seing Diana being treated like this and I honestly hope things come around. I just miss Gail Simone writing Wonder Woman. I really do.

    • I had mixed feelings about Gail’s run on Wonder Woman at the time of print, but after enduring The Odyssey and now this weak representation of the character … I value Gail’s time on the book much more. She gave us a strong, kind and smart Diana. Even if some of the plot lines didn’t sparkle, she most assuredly maintained the integrity of the character. Something Azzarello has not done … yet.

  8. Vanessa, thank-you so very much for writing this article.
    Your words actually moved me to tears because the loyalty and love that you show to Diana/WW is the same that I have, and its nice to know that there are other “Amazons” out there. :-)
    I have not been a fan of Azzarello’s run, in truth I loath it, even more so than when John Byrne wrote and drew the book.
    I honestly hate what he has done to Diana, one of my friends has even said that he has turned her into Heracles with boobs.
    It may sound over dramatic but this is not the Diana/Wonder Woman that I grew up with and watched on tv, nor is she the superhero that I dreamed to be best friends with when I was little, she is not the super that I just loved even more when I read how George Perez revamped and made so amazing, she is not the Wonder Woman who would follow the Hiketeia as her customs dictated and would stand up to and defeat Batman (in a rather sexy way), nor is she the Wonder Woman who did what had to been done when it came to Max Lord. That is the Diana that I miss and long to see again, but alas I think that Azzarello has just jacked her up.
    I find it rather sad that she has been dumb down to the point of incredulousness, and I also find it rather sad that this is the Wonder Woman that is appealing to the masses.
    I have noticed that it has been mostly males that like this new Diana, most women that I know or have broached about the subject do not care for this Diana.
    I collect her books still but with a kind of jaded ennui.
    I just hope that it will get better.

    Again thanks, your writing this means a lot and I am glad that you said it.

    Pax
    Hepburn3

    • I find it rather sad that she has been dumb down to the point of incredulousness, and I also find it rather sad that this is the Wonder Woman that is appealing to the masses.

      YES. That.

  9. I’m curious to know, does “DC Nation” have any clue that a lot of people dislike Azzarello’s writing? Why bring him on board if he has a negative history with fans? Or could it be that DC is testing the waters with Wonder Woman, again. Making sure if people are being loyal to the character and are paying attention to the way she’s being written. If not, why even bother with Azzarello?

    • If you are correct in your musing l.a.amaro then this just peeves me even more. Why are they always willing to jack around with Wonder Woman so readily?
      Change her books to 600, give her pants, take away the pants, mess up her whole creation… CRAPTACULAR!
      For part of the iconic Trinity she gets short shrift big time.

      • Trust me, I know what you mean and its hard see and hear what these knuckleheads are doing to our favorite characters, but think about it. How many times do we have to deal with another rendition of Superman and Batman in television and movies until we’re satisfied? And even though Wonder Woman is indeed an iconic character, she still does not get the true respect she deserve from DC. Instead, she gets a disrespectful pilot, “PILOT!” that doesn’t even get aired.
        DC needs to get their shit together and give Wonder Woman her due, cause she’s overdue. Mothafuckas need to bring her book back and pay their goddam late fees.

          • Like Vanessa said, he’s selling books. DC doesn’t care if anyone loves or hates the guy if money’s changing hands. It’s a sad fact of business with the Big 2. Marvel’s no better. I guess I see their point, but I’m more long-term. If you sell crap, you may break records this month, maybe even next month. Eventually though, people will get sick of crap and stop buying from you. Short term solution to a long term problem? Don’t sell crap.

          • if things have already gone downhill in 10 issues, how long before the title is gone altogether?

          • I highly doubt that the title will be gone altogether.
            DC will not throw away Wonder Woman, they may treat her like crap, but they won’t throw the title away.

          • No, but I’ve seen many a title temporarily shelved due to lack of sales. They’d bring it back in a few years as a reboot, but still a slap in the face.

  10. There are quite a few things I don’t like about the new 52. The first was the loss of my beloved Donna Troy and the second the end of Lois and Clark’s marriage. Then there was the craptacular Justice League (seriously I didn’t thing a writer could do a more worse job than James Robinson but Geoff Johns proved me wrong). I won’t go into Bruce being the world’s worst mentor by going through 5 Robins in probably 5 years. But no they had to kill the WW comic for me as well. Like you Vanessa, when I started reading comics WW was the only one I read and it remained the only one I read consistently. I always found something to like about the book even when it was that good. I was Wonder Woman so I could forgive a lot. But now I can even read the book because I want to cry when I am done and it just pisses me off. No more enjoyment just the hope he hasn’t fucked her up to badly each time.

    Azarello has basically admitted he no nothing about Wonder Woman has has never really read her book and it shows. I mean besides being dumber than rocks she is almost secondary to the gods and other characters in the book. And as my dear friend Hepburn stated, I think he writes her like a female Hercules. Hercules was the dumb ass of the Greek heroes. He was always doing stupid crap that got him into trouble and he only got out of it by luck and brute strength (and in Hippolyta’s case by being pretty LOL). And absolute arrogance of his greatness even when he has pretty much been a dumb ass.

    Also the bullet from Eros’ gun should never have penetrated her vambrace. Her vambraces were made from Zeus’ Aegis and are impenetrable buy force or magic. It is why the fuck she wears them. Azarello is trying to imply that she was very sheltered from the true facts of her people (yes we all know she has a special kinship with truth and can sense when people are lying to her). But if their last pregnancy party happened 30 years ago and Wonder Woman is at least 25 would she wonder where all the other little girls came from. Especially when the Amazons mock her and call her clay. Wouldn’t she wonder why they don’t call the other little girls clay as well. I mean she is just naive, she is mentally challenged at that point. All I can say is FU Azarello and FU DC and this stupid reboot.

    • The only answer to all theswe problems can be that we are not actuaLLY REAding about Wonder Woman, or if we are its in a topsy turvy universe. I feel sad to say so after having collected every WW book, (or in some few cases of the earliest issues, reprints) but I simply cannot breing myself to the comic store on the third Wednesday to say how will her legend be further deterioriated THIS MONTH?

      Its just not fair to me, to her longtime fans, to here creartor or his family, to keep the name, but cmpletely change the focus of the charactewr and the stories and her cast. I am definately hoping for no movie or TV show untill the old style WW has been restorred, NSD i Hve swoen off buying any books, figures ands so on of this psudo-WW. Kerin (amazingamazon)

  11. DC is losing me completely these days. I was skeptical of the “reboot” and when the look of the DC characters came out I was even more troubled. There’s a great deal to like about many of the DC characters, but I can’t find it in me to actually pony out my hard-earned money (especially these day!) for something that I know I’ll not really enjoy. I’m not really boycotting them, but right now they have to do an awful lot to make me buy.

    • Agreed, Some sasy they had to do something, but their heroes are not inspirational role models for me any more, or posessing an innocence I could recommend to young children… Its a shame, cause thats what we need in todays world… And I do believe it could be done without all the emphasis on violence and destruction.

      • My husband and I were talking about stories and characters seeming magical. The DCU used to be magical to me. Now it seems to have lost the magic and Diana is just the most blatant example for me.

        • I have no idea what they DC think they are doing or what it is they were trying to accomplish.
          I would have thought that if they really wished to garner a new reading audience then they should have gone the route of doing excellent animated series which I think they do far better than Marvel.
          For example the new Young Justice cartoon is rather good and could be a gateway to get people to enjoy and read or rediscover these characters that we love. For I know of quite a few people who started to pick up the books because they liked watching Justice League and JLU.
          I am so disappointed with what DC has done to the female characters, WW. Catwoman, Starfire and even Barbra Gordon who is Batgirl yet again, ( anyone can be Batgirl but no one can be Oracle, she was amazing) and also to the visible minority characters like Mister Terrific who I do not think go a good go of it, he is a great character and should be right up there but alas no. : (
          I loath the new 52.

          Yes DaisyJane the magic is gone, and now we are stuck with the pedestrian.

  12. Pingback: Where To Draw The Line for Wonder Woman? « fangirlblog.com

  13. Pingback: G3 Review: Wonder Woman #9 | Girls Gone Geek

  14. Thanks for the posting. I stumbled across the site and read the post above. I’ve now bookmarked and will frequent.
    Sadly, DC has no intention of taking action to ease all of the dissatisfaction from their readers. From what can be read online from different creators coming and going through the DC doors, sounds like editorial is being dictated to from higher-ups. And if its any indication, that’s Warner Bros. and their film-makers. DC has placed themselves in a no-win situation, leaving the fans embittered and burnt. It’s a shame.

  15. Thank you so much for writing this, I´m a little late to the discussion, but in short I agree with everything you´ve said. I hope when they bring out a WW film/TV series they stick to the old origin, cast and character. By the way I´m a man and I hate it. All the underlying feminist and mythical elements to the story have been corrupted.

    Anyway if you get this please have a look at this petition to DC.

    Jean Paul Mokuolu http://www.comicvine.com/wonder-woman/29-2048/vote-for-ww-on-justice-league-battle-forum-make-sure-she-wins/92-749335/#16 Use this link for an organised tweet campaign for wonder woman movie.
    Please join, and share.

  16. Pingback: Goodbye For Now, Wonder Woman | Girls Gone Geek

  17. It’s funny because I never read into Diana’s mistakes and shortcomings throughout the series as indicators of stupidity or lack of intelligence. I saw it all as aspects of the new personalty Azzarello had given her.

    For me, it’s all summed up during her speech with Hades in issue 10 with the little line “Hell…I love. Everyone.” Azzarello’s Wonder Woman is pretty much like a saint out of the Bible (a warrior saint in this case), driven by deep love, compassion, optimism and striving to see the best in everyone despite their flaws.

    It’s these qualities that in turn also make her naive, susceptible and possibly the most vulnerable and humane interpretation of the character to date. Her greatest asset is her boundless love but it comes with drawbacks; she’s easily manipulated because of her loving and trusting nature and we’ve seen it with her enemies (Hermes, Hades) or her friends and family (Hippolyta & Amazons).

    Azzarello’s Wonder Woman is perhaps the most idealistic vision of the Amazon, virginal purity of heart and character, childlike naivete and an overall distinct and general immaturity that leaves plenty of room for development on Azzarello’s part and other writers.

    All in all I love the New Wonder Woman and don’t understand the hostility. It all seems to be borne of nostalgia for the old and classic takes on the character, and the possible fact that Azzarello hasn’t written her as some feminist propaganda mouthpiece pushing the female superiority agenda.

    • If you ‘read’ and understood Wonder Woman before this run you would glean that it was NEVER about female superiority or being a feminist propaganda mouthpiece. It was about being equal, capable, powerful, loving, not about one gender being better than another. I find your assessment of the previous books rather misogynistic.
      Azzarello has taken that away from Wonder Woman and the Amazons and made her and them lesser than what she was and they were in away which I guess is far more palatable and easier for new readers to digest.

      No one would ever put up with any of the changes that Azzarello has done to Wonder Woman if they were say done to Batman. Fanboys and Fangirls would be screaming anarchy.

      • “If you ‘read’ and understood Wonder Woman before this run you would glean that it was NEVER about female superiority or being a feminist propaganda mouthpiece.”

        That sure as hell hasn’t stopped a majority of women from holding the character to feminist ideals and defining her almost exclusively as a symbol of female empowerment and equality. I mean come on man, the feminist undertones are all over this write up and prove my point:

        “I recall a conversation I once had with my grandmother. As matriarchs do, she had questions about the guy I was dating at the time. I answered her questions, but she was skeptical about him. While she would never dictate who I date, she did look me square in the face and say, “You are very smart, Vanessa. Don’t you dare dumb down for him!”

        What is this if it isn’t feminist posturing leading aptly into an article criticizing Azzarello’s run on Wonder Woman for supposedly ‘dumbing her down’ and degrading her worth as a strong woman?

        It’s this kind of crap that needs to be phased out and forgotten; Wonder Woman is a woman– so what? get over it. How many guys do you see holding up Superman as a pantheon of male gender equality? How many?

        Maybe I was too quick to accuse fans of wanting a “feminist propaganda mouthpiece” out of the character but in all honestly I feel Wonder Woman has to carry to much of this baggage.

        • Feminist posturing?
          Superman not being touted by men as being a male gender equality symbol?
          There is so much off with what you have just said.

          Congratulations on finally finding a version of Wonder Woman that fits your world view.

          p.s. Feminism not crap.

          • “Feminist posturing?”

            Then find me another phrase for it but I think it fits just fine. The author turned what is supposed to be a simple article detailing what she doesn’t like about Azzarello’s Wonder Woman and turned it, in part (a small part), into a feminist musing about dumbing down women in society.

            Why is that necessary?

            When is Wonder Woman just going to be about Wonder Woman and not about BEING a woman?

            “Congratulations on finally finding a version of Wonder Woman that fits your worldview”

            If by worldview you mean an interpretation of Wonder Woman that isn’t obsessed with her being a woman, and encouraging feminists to throw it in my face all the time then yes. You’re damn right I like that version.

    • “It’s funny because I never read into Diana’s mistakes and shortcomings throughout the series as indicators of stupidity or lack of intelligence. I saw it all as aspects of the new personalty Azzarello had given her.

      For me, it’s all summed up during her speech with Hades in issue 10 with the little line “Hell…I love. Everyone.” Azzarello’s Wonder Woman is pretty much like a saint out of the Bible (a warrior saint in this case), driven by deep love, compassion, optimism and striving to see the best in everyone despite their flaws.”

      It’s these qualities that in turn also make her naive, susceptible and possibly the most vulnerable and humane interpretation of the character to date. Her greatest asset is her boundless love but it comes with drawbacks; she’s easily manipulated because of her loving and trusting nature and we’ve seen it with her enemies (Hermes, Hades) or her friends and family (Hippolyta & Amazons).”

      Being loving and compassionate does not make you unaware of the flaws in people it just means you love them the way they are and hope they will get better. The definition of “Christian Love” such as a saint would have is to choose to give service to another whether you like that person or not. This does not make the person who practices stupid or naive or necessarily easily manipulated. It just means being open to helping someone whether they do terrible things or not and looking for the good in that person even when it is hard to find. That is not what Azzarello in portraying in Diana.

      The huge plot hole he raises in makiing the Amazons so vile is that Diana is so clueless that she never questioned were the little girls that were slightly older than her came from. I mean why would they call her Clay and not the others. Most children of average intelligence have questions about where babies come from and Diana is supposed to have the wisdom of Athena. It just makes her seem stupid, not naive.

      “Azzarello’s Wonder Woman is perhaps the most idealistic vision of the Amazon, virginal purity of heart and character, childlike naivete and an overall distinct and general immaturity that leaves plenty of room for development on Azzarello’s part and other writers.”

      This would be great if this was an origin for the character but she has been in Man’s World for five years. Again, it makes her seem stupid that she hasn’t a clue about anything and hasn’t shown any growth as a character. She can remain loving and hope for the best in people but she would have an awareness of the realities of the world after five years.

      “All in all I love the New Wonder Woman and don’t understand the hostility. It all seems to be borne of nostalgia for the old and classic takes on the character, and the possible fact that Azzarello hasn’t written her as some feminist propaganda mouthpiece pushing the female superiority agenda.”

      The hostility is that he gutted the character and her mythos. I get updating a character but carte blanche throwing away everything about her is writing a new character and sticking an old characters name on it. It will piss off fans. Seventy years of her coming from an island full of loving and high evolved (emotionally) women being thrown away is a betrayal to the character and her origins.

      Add to the fact that we are hardly seeing her character growing and learning as she seems to be a side character in her own book. It is a book about Gods and Monsters where she gets to join in the fun. It is not her hero’s journey where she grows as a character. So sorry I am going to have to agree to disagree.

      It is hard to believe that character was not changed just to make her more appealing to the male gaze (dumbed down and a side character in a book about Gods and Monsters) when you have the top guys in comics saying they are not for women. This myopic reasoning is why in the long run WW will never be sucessful for them when she should be.

      • “Being loving and compassionate does not make you unaware of the flaws in people it just means you love them the way they are and hope they will get better.”

        That’s what I said. She strives to see the good in people no matter their immediate disposition.

        “The definition of “Christian Love” such as a saint would have is to choose to give service to another whether you like that person or not. This does not make the person who practices stupid or naive or necessarily easily manipulated.”

        Firstly I said Diana was LIKE a saint in Azzarello’s interpretation not that she IS one. I don’t need a definition of ‘Christian love’ because Diana is not a Christian and love doesn’t need a category label. Secondly I never said love makes ALL people naive I just believe it’s part of the explanation of Diana’s naivete and penchant for being manipulated.

        From the start of this series she’s shown an innate trust and respect for everyone. She doesn’t question Hermes’ motives for protecting Zola even though realistically this would have been the most prudent course of action as later events demonstrate. Her goodness and love never thought to doubt Hermes’ integrity for a second as they fought side by side protecting Zola and Zeke, and when Hermes finally makes his play Diana’s reaction tells you all you need to know:

        ” I will not rest my dear friend we are BOTH betrayed this day.”

        Hermes made a mockery of her trust and respect and she has suffered for it; even he has in a small way admitting to agonizing over the deception and “what [she] thought about [him]” issue #18

        This same trust is extended to Lennox. She admits to letting him “have some control over [her]” even though they just met. issue #15

        She gives Hades Eros’ guns out of misplaced TRUST, she took him at his word:

        WW: “What about my promise of Hera as your queen?”

        Hades: “You mean your lie? Give me the guns, and it’s forgiven.”

        WW: “I have your word?”

        Hades: “Of course. I’ll have what I want.”

        And it’s the same old story. She’s too loving, trusting and therefore naive and easily duped. I don’t see it as stupidity although sure, it can be called that. I see it all as Azzarello’s unique spin on the character, a virtuous paragon who hasn’t learned to balance her goodwill and idealism with pragmatism and realism. She’s a young green horn who’s still wet behind the ears and has a lot of growing up to do.

        So yes, she isn’t displaying the “wisdom of Athena” but I think that’s intentional of Azzarello’s part and integral to HIS vision of this character in what is after-all a REBOOT.

        I think you people always miss the point of that word.

      • I see it all as Azzarello’s unique spin on the character, a virtuous paragon who hasn’t learned to balance her goodwill and idealism with pragmatism and realism.”

        And interestingly enough you see this in action when she tries to ‘rescue’ her Amazonian brothers from Hephaestus. The love for her brothers and their suffering propels her to what she believes is righteous action but it turns out she’s read the situation wrong and causes more heartache.

        Her ‘liberation’ is not wanted despite springing from good intentions. What she fails to see is that her brothers are not being held captive but have been given a place to live, work and most importantly to be loved. But her naivete and lack of realistic perspective blinds her from the truth of the situation. SHE may call them ‘brothers’ and love them but she glosses over the fact that they have no place with her or their mother Amazons who abandoned them.

      • For all my long argumentation trying to prove to you people Diana isn’t stupid, I didn’t even notice a direct statement from Poseidon himself (issue #19) in which so simply and eloquently he summarizes what I’ve been trying to say about her character perfectly, in a single sentence.

        Poseidon: “She’s capable. But her heart…It drives her mind.”

        • That line is so sexist and part of why I cannot abide Azzarello’s take. That line is not a compliment, it is backhanded compliment.

          Poseidon: “She’s capable. But her heart…It drives her mind.”

          Just like all women. ( a sarcastic response)

          • “That line is so sexist and part of why I cannot abide Azzarello’s take.”

            I didn’t know it was an insult let alone sexist for compassion to be said to drive someone’s actions.

            “Just like all women. ( a sarcastic response)”

            It’s quite clear Azzarello doesn’t share that sentiment if Hera’s vendetta against Zeus’ illegitimate offspring is anything to go by. You’d do well to stop projecting your own imagined prejudices on other people.

            Brian Azzarello doesn’t hate women.

            You feminists have got to be some of the most bigoted and hateful people around. Your whole agenda is discriminatory, hypocritical, and self-obsessed. The first sign of things not going your way, where you can’t dictate and control everything, you cry misogyny. Doesn’t matter how far from the truth, irrational or unfair it is.

  18. Pingback: DC Ruins Wonder Woman, Twice in One Day | Girls Gone Geek

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