2012 Memorable Moment: Azzarello’s Amazons

For better or worse, comic fans knew that DC’s relaunch would bring changes to beloved characters. As Brian Azzarello took on the daunting task of writing Diana of Themyscira, Princess of the Amazons, he had a devoted fan base to appeal to. At first, he was fairly successful. I was sold.

In my defense, the beauty of Cliff Chiang’s art goes a long way. Also, despite Phil Hester’s admirable attempt at redeeming The Odyssey story line, that was not a hard act to follow. I may or may not have been a bit hungry for another writer on Wonder Woman.

I digress.

As Azzarello added more and more characters to the cast of Wonder Woman, the old gods started overshadowing our princess. Diana’s path was becoming foggy. So, it wasn’t quite clear how Azzarello was going to characterize the leading lady who was becoming more like a supporting actress in her own book. The story-shine of Zeus being her father was wearing off. So, Azzarello brought the thunder in another epic reveal in Wonder Woman #7.

Wonder Woman #7 - Thrice a century

Wonder Woman #7 - Amazons Procreate

Wonder Woman #7 - Amazons dispose of their mates

Wonder Woman #7 - Sons as slaves

What does this mean? The Amazons ritualistically force men to procreate with them, and then dispose of them? They keep their daughters and trade their sons as slaves for weapons? All of this was kept from Diana, their Princess? Rapists. Murderers. Slave traders. Liars.

It was all so shocking. Some fans were wildly offended.

While Azzarello’s depiction of the Amazon’s has left a funky aftertaste, the real kicker is that it hasn’t been mentioned since. We are up to issue #15 and Azzarello has the Wonder Woman audience captivated with the arrival of the New Gods.

Will he ever elaborate on the giant can of worms he opened in issue #7?

I guess he is saving up to make that a Memorable Moment for 2013.

9 thoughts on “2012 Memorable Moment: Azzarello’s Amazons

  1. I have not liked it from the start and I still do not like what he thinks he is doing.
    For me there was no shine of Zeus being Diana’s father, just a hackneyed old plot device trotted out for some unimaginative “sensationalism”.
    I hate that Diana is a bit player in her own story, and as you can tell I am not a fan of Azzarello’s work, as for Cliff Chiang’s art I kind of grew tired of the thick outline of it, reminds me too much of colouring book art.
    I have no faith that this storyline is going to be smoothed out or that there will be the big epiphany. DC’s new 52 has been such a mega let down for me on so many levels, I do not think that there is a method to their madness.
    As David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tufnel once said:

    David St. Hubbins: It’s such a fine line between stupid, and uh…
    Nigel Tufnel: Clever.
    David St. Hubbins: Yeah, and clever.

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  2. I’m glad the upset fans are vastly outnumbered by the pleased fans. Thank god the early blogosphere noise didn’t reflect reality. It’s the narrow group of fans that are left boisterously offended. Wonder Woman’s mythos isn’t going to richly expand as much as Batman and Superman if she isn’t having these types of stories written. This is a zeitgeist for Wonder Woman and for new fans. Wonder Woman is more of a rock star than ever before, because her appeal is more universal than ever before. She’s being written as a great character in a complex world that avoids simplistic bad vs. good. Yet, some readers are having trouble digesting the grey. The truth is there is no grey because there’s no black or white. It’s a world full of opposing motives, agendas, and perspectives. Azzarello’s run has been consistently critically acclaimed.

    BTW, the sailors look quite consenting. Rapists? Probably not. Murderers… well that’s one way you can say it. Another is to say they’re warriors. Survivalists. Nature is full of murder. “Civilized” people forget how superficial their rules are. Wonder Woman isn’t Super Barbie anymore.

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  3. I must agree with Hepburn3 on this one. The New 52 Wonder Woman lacks the charm, style and awesomeness of the character and has replaced all that was wonderful about Diana with hipster garbage that caters to the Jersey Shore short attention span iphone crowd

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  4. What gets me about the new WW is that she is almost a side character in her own book, and actually she is more Super Barbie now than she has ever been – her origin has been dumbed down, her wisdom and inner strength have been replaced by insecurity and naivete…she really doesn’t do anything for me. Azzarello’s plotlines might work extremely well in a story purely about the Olympian gods and their foibles. They don’t work with Wonder Woman. Or rather, they could work just fine without her being there at all. The respect and love for the character is palpably missing.

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  5. Haters gonna hate. Critics and readers agree Wonder Woman has new life and a bigger status/respect than before. Purists be damned.

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    • Suggesting that the opposition to Azzarello’s Wonder Woman is just “hating” is dismissive of what have been valid and articulate points. Also, I am a critic, and I do not think that the current incarnation of Wonder Woman has new life, a bigger status or more respect.

      Cliff Chiang certainly has one of the most beautiful renderings of Diana to date, but the majority of Azzarello’s run – thus far – is ridden with bad puns, apathy and relies so heavily on established Greek mythology – which is quite purist of him – that he has even incorporated the distasteful bits like the one mentioned above. Why not let that fall into history? Why dredge up such misanthropic notions? It hasn’t served the story one bit besides making Diana look like a fool and explaining Hephaestus’ slaves. It feels like Azzarello is bored with the character and uninterested in applying any creative gumption to the story.

      Were it not for the introduction of the New Gods (which I love and find to be the only clever part – albeit easy, obvious and probably editorial mandate – of this entire run), I’d be more harsh.

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  6. If one likes the new way WW is now portrayed … more power to them, but what I really cannot abide from the “Lovers” (and I use this term because we who do not care for it are “Haters”) is the snide, petty, disdain that they use to disparage those who do not care for the revamp.

    The way they seem to argue their points basically comes down to juvenile name calling and damning.

    How about we all try to say why you dislike or like something without dragging others down?

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