There’s some great work being done on television, and there are a number of shows I’d watch gladly before forking over $10 for a paint-by-numbers blockbuster. The big screen isn’t always superior, and lots of comic book characters would be well-served by a thoughtful TV vehicle. Just look at Smallville.
And yet, when the story broke that David E. Kelley was developing a new Wonder Woman TV series, I was somewhere between indifferent and disappointed. And it has very little to do with Kelley or his previous work, though I did hate Ally McBeal.
There have been five major Batman releases since 1988, and the sixth is in the works. Superman’s live-action movie career dates back to the 1970s, and his sixth outing is on the way. That’s not even counting the animated television vehicles and God knows how many major comic book stories — many of them modern classics. But while her fellow DC Trinity teammates are riding high in first class, Wondy’s still flying coach, despite having her own damn plane. To further extend the metaphor, why is one of the best-known comic book heroes ever, male or female, languishing on the runway? I’m sure the Green Lantern movie will be somewhere between workmanlike and very good, but he gets a film franchise before Diana? Really? (And please don’t tell me that her costume is the problem, because all superhero garb is essentially ridiculous.) For a more detailed version of this rant, click here.
I’m not privy to anything happening behind the scenes at DC-Warner Bros., so this is baldfaced conjecture on my part. However, I think this speaks volumes about the character’s importance, or lack thereof, to her keepers. Joe and Jane Sixpack know who Wonder Woman is, but it’s entirely possible that they’ve never heard of Hal Jordan. However, he, along with Bats and Supes have benefited from a great deal of corporate nurturing. Even in her own $2.99 comic book, Wonder Woman has been diminished for a gimmicky, generic story that, trust me, will not stand alongside Hush 50 years from now.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that a Wonder Woman movie would be good, and the new TV show could turn out to be a winner. Like every other Gen Xer in the late 1970s, I was glued to the screen when Lynda Carter spun and transformed into the Amazon Princess. It’s cool to think that a new generation of kids could be inspired to rip some tinfoil and form it into bracelets. But it would be a lot cooler if Wonder Woman got the respect and attention that a hero of her caliber truly deserves.