The Big Picture: All The World Is Waiting

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Great video all around this time. I knew quite a bit of that, but there were details I wasn't familiar with.

Honestly I think Wonder Woman sort of suffers from people trying to modernize the character a bit too much and turn it into some kind of icon for a form of feminism it arguably was never supposed to represent. I've mentioned the connection to the whole bondage/lesbian thing for a while, along with the simple fact that I think Wonder Woman would do better if she was say shifted to a Vertigo/Mature Audiences title (this does not have to mean outright porn though as people who read those labels can attest), and less time was spent trying to promote her as being iconic (when really she's iconic for being iconic rather than the character standing on it's own, sort of like people being famous for being famous. She's like the Kim Kashardigan [SP] of comics on a lot of levels). For a long time the attitude has seemed to try and make her like a Superman or Batman for girls/little girls, when that wasn't the idea. Getting "back to the basics" so to speak could very well lead to the character becoming popular on it's own merits, even if it isn't the crowd DC has been trying to appeal to.

Of course I haven't been following DC closely enough to know for sure they haven't already done this, but then again I'd be surprised if they did since marketing has rarely been one of their strong points.

I always wanted(and by always I mean ever since the new costume came out) an updated costume to be more like, I dunno, hoplite armour? I was never bugged by the old costume, but then again, I read Witchblade growing up. You get jaded, dammit*! I never saw Diana as sexually appealing, and I never felt that the costume was titillating. (Oh yes, the Dark Age has a lot to answer for). As far as I am concerned, the only thing the old costume lacked was pteruges**.

Seriously though, although Marsten's views on female empowerment have aged (really, really, REALLY) badly, it must also be judged by the standards of the time. It was very contrarian, to say the least. And more importantly, Wonder Woman created a framework that allowed writers to write stories of strong women at a time when those frameworks didn't exist, dammit***! Of course, times have changed, and we rightly expect Wonder Woman's mythology to have changed with it. It would have been really bad today (Would have blown M:oM out of the water) but a superhero(ine) is always more than a single writer's work. Diana is mythology in more ways than one, she is interesting as a literary character mainly because of the entirety of her canon, that constantly shifting, quickly torn down and eternally rebuilt status quo.

To put it another way: Do you know who my favourite Marvel Superheroine is? Spider-girl! WHO IS NOT AN INDEPENDENT CHARACTER****,dammit!***** Superhero comics has few superheroines that is not either part of a team or tied to a male character. Diana has her own origin story, her own villains, brand recognition that is up there with the "guys", and that goes a long way dammit******!

*Dammit!
**The studded leather skirt used by greek warriors to protect their lower bodies.
***Dammit!
****Also, she will not receive any new storylines, and was never even a part of the main timeline, dammit*******!
*****Dammit!
******Dammit
*******Dammit!

Looking back on the Wonder Woman origin story makes me think that the evil version of Wonder Woman, Superwoman in the animated justice league movie "Crisis on Two Earths" better represents the original thinking behind her character than the modern characterizations of her that I had been familiar with and bored by. So much of the Wonder Woman that I am familiar with is merely present on screen and doesn't offer much to the story, except as a way to refer to other details of her origin and demonstrate that she is more of an unwanted, amazon reject than a proud flag bearer of her kind.

This has convinced me to check out her recent animated movie. Hopefully without other characters consuming the focus of the writers, she will be able to stand out well on her own.

Also, this is on topic!

http://nonadventures.com

A while back (2004), there was plans to make a Wonder Woman movie... with Ann Hathaway?!

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,679465,00.html

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Personally I'm rather glad it never happened.
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Like the Superman LIVES movie.

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Nice "disco suit" huh!

I really prefer the New Frontier and Frank millar versions that basically despised Man and wanted to decapitate us all.

Wow, and I thought the fuss about the costume change was because of nerds losing access to titties. Now I actually see how relevant it was to the character. Also yes, I can see how he pulled off double-whammy. Ironically I bet the change was in part to move to a look for fictional women that placates the feminist movement! Nice episode.

As someone who isn't terribly into comics, especially not DC, I don't get why people hate her new costume. Maybe the whole deal with a swimsuit in the colors of the American flag had some relevance in the '40s, but to me it's always looked ridiculous. The new costume looks like something you can take at least somewhat seriously.

Primus1985:
Bob....You really need to take a course in DC history bub.

The first Wonder Woman was Queen Hippolyta who had traveled back in time to the 1940's and taken up her daughters mantle after her actions lead to Diana's death..

Also...WTF her bracelets, tiara, and lasso where forged by the gods to protect her and where givin as rewards for her beating out all other amazons in combat. They wherent chains.

The origin described in the video is the original one from Marston's original run on the title, a lot of the details have since changed. Stephen Hawking couldn't keep functional track of DC history, at this point ;)

Hippolyta time-traveling to the 40s was a late-90s retcon from a John Byrne book to patch fix the continuity hole left by WW's post-Crisis reboot in the mid-80s, subsequently undone by Infinite Crisis bringing back the Multiverse and then undone again by the current Stracyzinski series (which is probably going to "erase itself" at the conclusion.) Likewise, the bracelets being just another weapon from the gods is from the same George Perez reboot, post-Crisis.

Now I'm a guy who's looking at this from an outsiders point of view, and has always looked on with disgust for any DC female character. I will conceive that their is a good story in wonder woman, but with every interesting part theirs a giant WTF that comes after it. The story would need a complete make over. I've never been able to see wonder woman as a strong female, just an outdated character who got skankier as time when on. She doesn't look like an amazon, she looks like a stripper with an American theme. As for the new costume, all though it doesn't make her look like a super hero, she does look like a self empowered woman.

So... trousers and a shirt doesn't scream courage and virtue, I'll give you that. But a leotard does? Really?
IS there a famous super heroine with a non-fetish outfit? Marston wasn't a radical feminist, just one of the greatest con-men in history. What a lad, we salute you.

dastardly:
The original idea of women's empowerment, at least through Marston's presentation, reads more like male wish fulfillment that pays lip service to women's rights. Basically, wrap the story around how women can be strong and cast of chains and blah blah blah... and use that as an excuse to put some eye candy in there for the dudes. An island full of (exclusively) beautiful women untouched by men? Loads of bondage? A superhero built out of legs and cleavage?

I think that right there highlights the disconnect between what Marston was trying to do with the comic, and what it actually became popular for.

[edit] Snipped the quote down to the relevant part.

Wonder Woman is a living breathing antique. Her Ideals are good (although the creator definitely invites some skepticism; read: kinda comes across as hypocrite) but the presentation is antiquated as hell.

In the 40's Women were forced to wear conservative clothing.
Hence WW was 1/3rd nude, even though the only purpose of that is to attract men, which she isn't supposed to be trying to do in the first place*coughHypocrite*cough*

In the 40's Lesbianism (well, homosexuality) is taboo and shunned.
Hence they are all lesbians : If they are supposed to be so "independent" why would they find the need to pair up and have Girl-on-Girl action when it is biologically useless?

In the 40's Nazi's were the obligatory evil plot device.
Hence...well, duh. Also, Rosie the Riveter? Really? Wasn't she just an outlandish icon made to inspire soldiers while they.....you know....had their alone time?

Point is: Wonder Woman as you and i know her, won't work now. In a way this is because her ideals were successful: Women aren't generally forced to wear conservative clothes, and homosexuality is now accepted for the most part. So portraying her in those ways today....doesn't really say [i]anything[/]. there's no message?

If anything the new costume is trying to say: "you don't have to have your thighs and boobs sticking out to be a strong woman in today's world." because that's true. At-least that's my interpretation. Want another of my interpretations: Make a Wonder Woman movie about her dealing with the fact that she's an antique.
Mind=Blown

I actually liked the new uniform:
1- Anyone could tell the change was temporal. Like the time they introduced the red and blue Supermen. Even if one could argue it could lead to some interesting characters, it was a sure bet that the classic look was going to return.
2- It is not the worst thing the character has wear, by far...
3- She actually looked like a believable woman, not something that "scream courage and virtue" by showing that she is fashionable enough to shave her bikini area before fighting crime.
3- The bright red and blue bathing suit doesn't work in movies or TV, it would look ridiculous to have such a character running around the streets of the city. The reason it works on comic books is because the human body is usually stilized (Rob Liefeld style) with proportions that are hardly possible for any actor.

Say what you will about Marston, he was pretty right on.

Now I know, and knowing is well you get the idea.

Meh, sounds boring. Wonder Woman is about as interesting as the fucking Superman. Not at all, and I'm pretty sure there are better female superheroes out there. I guess...?

The_ModeRazor:
Meh, sounds boring. Wonder Woman is about as interesting as the fucking Superman. Not at all, and I'm pretty sure there are better female superheroes out there. I guess...?

Better, I would say yes. More iconic, No.

OT: Great vid Bob, glad you mentioned the costume change, although it's nowhere near as bad as what they did to poor Superman.

In more recent Wonder Woman wierdness, we have "Wonder Woman was made out of clay so Clayface eats her" Storyline. gee, I wonder why the books don't sell better.

Every time I hear people talking about Wonder Woman's new outfit, I can't help but think of this: http://www.shortpacked.com/2010/comic/book-11/06-sister-tact/starspangledpanties/

Protip: Wonder Woman did have a brilliant animated film released in 2009 direct to DVD. Just imagine if the Wonder Woman material got the Batman Animated Series treatment, or in other words: It is quite a movie which doesnt hold back with its message and maturity.

(Somebody gets decapitated and quite a few people die).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1186373/

Also if you cant wait for the Green Lantern Movie they made an Animated movie called Green Lantern: First Flight.

lightyears is not a measurement of time but distance, so unless you meant that he was trillions of kilometres ahead of his time you are wrong, i know this is nitpicking and to be honest had anyone else from the escapist said that i would have thought nothing of it, but i expect more from you my sweet bob, other than that it was a good episode, my knowledge of Wonder Woman was previously limited to the few episodes of the Justice League cartoon, and she never seemed like a man hating warrior, flirting with almost every male character in the show.

Very interesting, but I do think her new costume is better, granted it is exactly what you say but somehow the pinnacle fictional character of feminism in hot pants and a corset never really got through to me as 'convincing'. It's almost as bad as claiming sex in the city to be the franchise of the modern woman

Thank you for the history lesson Bob, really interesting.

Insert mandatory "I don't think either gender is superior" comment.

D0WNT0WN:
Protip: Wonder Woman did have a brilliant animated film released in 2009 direct to DVD. Just imagine if the Wonder Woman material got the Batman Animated Series treatment, or in other words: It is quite a movie which doesnt hold back with its message and maturity.

(Somebody gets decapitated and quite a few people die).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1186373/

Also if you cant wait for the Green Lantern Movie they made an Animated movie called Green Lantern: First Flight.

is it as good as Batman : Under the red hood, or at least any where near it, cause frankly i thought that "under the red hood" was a mark hamill away from being perfect (the other guy does a good job), and it the best batman movie made, and since i have to order these kinds of movies home from the UK at quite the cost and i have never been a wonder woman fan i would like a little more detail from such a handsome guy like you ;).

GrizzlerBorno:

In the 40's Nazi's were the obligatory evil plot device.
Hence...well, duh. Also, Rosie the Riveter? Really? Wasn't she just an outlandish icon made to inspire soldiers while they.....you know....had their alone time?

I'm 90% sure she was used to inspire the females back home to go work at the factories making supplies for the war effort.

They did have pin up girls though.

Wow that's really something. I had no idea Wonder Woman had such an interesting creation and origin story.

Nicely done, Bob. Acurate, informative, AND amusing. Just the way I like my videos to be.

So...what was the big picture, again? That we need a Wonder Woman movie, or that we need a sincere re-imagining of women's lib?

I don't have a problem with the desire for an empowerment-driven, radically-politiized superhero...

BUT HOLY SHIT THE CHARACTER CREATION AND IDEAS BEHIND IT ARE HORRIBLE... Seriously, this guy was brilliant, but had a personality disorder, where his views and opinions were shaped by his job and his home life. He might have had two women, but it's pretty obvious from extended reading (I read up on his "homelife" a year or so ago), that he enjoyed being dominated by women, and the bondage-centric early comics, as well as the "ruling class" philosophy were a manifestation of that. So it doesn't take a psychiatrist to figure out who willingly placed themselves on the bottom rung of that household (and who knows what went on behind closed doors), and the fact both women stayed together after his death, pretty much shows the relationships were all mutually enjoyed.

But then, like Bob said, he was a radical, not really enlightened. I like the sounds of the character when she was still politicaly driven though.

However, these people were way ahead of their time with their bisexual polyamorous relationships, which were tolerated because he was rich and no one really understood the concept.

Swaki:

D0WNT0WN:
Protip: Wonder Woman did have a brilliant animated film released in 2009 direct to DVD. Just imagine if the Wonder Woman material got the Batman Animated Series treatment, or in other words: It is quite a movie which doesnt hold back with its message and maturity.

(Somebody gets decapitated and quite a few people die).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1186373/

Also if you cant wait for the Green Lantern Movie they made an Animated movie called Green Lantern: First Flight.

is it as good as Batman : Under the red hood, or at least any where near it, cause frankly i thought that "under the red hood" was a mark hamill away from being perfect (the other guy does a good job), and it the best batman movie made, and since i have to order these kinds of movies home from the UK at quite the cost and i have never been a wonder woman fan i would like a little more detail from such a handsome guy like you ;).

More info.

Steve Trevo a Pilot crashes on the island and during the commotion an immortal baddie escapes and Princess Diana wins the right to recapture him as Wonder Woman. They go to America (in Wonder Womans invisble Jet) and there is alot of fighting as the baddie sends creatures to kill Diana and Steve Trevor. There are big Lord Of The Ring esque battles, blood, social commentary and a trip to Hades where the baddie attempts to reclaim his lost power.

And if all that doesnt sell it it has Nathan Fillion as Steve Trevor and Keri Russell does a fantastic job portraying Princess Diana. She really hits the empowered female voice and Fillion hits his mark as the slightly sexist but loveable Pilot.

And when Steve Trevor awakes tied up on the island by the Amazonians there is one of the funniest one liners in an animated film I have heard in a while.

Also flattery will only get you so far.

"Comics are wierd" sums up why I can't take them seriously and never read them.

However, I find Bob's musings on the subject to be facinating. At the very least I've got a new story to win bar bets with.

Entertaining. Although speaking definitively about Comic book canon is pretty much an exercise in futility considering how many continuity shifts there are. As Bob pointed out before, that is probably one of the main reasons why comics are a niche market.

Wonder woman is just too weird in her current form to be good subject matter for a popular movie. The mythic background is itself very apocryphal, and the blending with modern technology just makes it weirder. You could do a mythical superhero that comes into the modern era, but to change the mythology radically itself is a step too far.

If they wanted to make a wonder woman movie they would be better off giving her a new backstory to draw in the mainstream audience. Of course this would piss off the fan base, and it's a risk to begin with. Let's not forget the travesty that was the 'Cat Woman' movie. Was that Nolan too?

I didn't know anything about Wonder Woman's origin til now. Interesting. Thanks Bob!

The background of her creation sure is a good story, but the character itself is not.
Falls into the same unimagiantive pot where superman is.
They just got a man/woman and stuck on every superhuman trait they came up with at the time, plus a silly name and a costume that really emphasizes the absurdity.

I like a good super-hero as much as anyone, but give them some kind of flavor beyond "my superhero is awesome".

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