Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Wonder Woman For All Nations (Or Maybe Not?)

Hi there! Welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, a mere palm tree of a blog on a Paradise Island internet. I'm Dave-El, wielder of the lasso of obviousness. 

We're talking about Wonder Woman today which is something I would've posted on Wednesday which is typically comic book day here on the old blog thing but clearly things have not been typical on the blog what with two posts a day and me still recovering from the Disney trip last week. 

I want to take a quick look in on Wonder Woman's Rebirth comic under writer Greg Rucka. Early on I was more impressed with the even numbered issues drawn by Nicola Scott and focusing on Diana's earliest days, leaving Themysciria and coming to man's world. The odd numbered issues in the current day seemed a bit muddled to me and while Liam Sharpe's art is extraordinary, I prefer Scott's cleaner lines.  

However as we approach the 6 month mark, while the flashback issues are still enjoyable, the current day stuff is starting to grow on me. It helps that we're seeing a growing supporting cast and more of a direction for our Amazon Princess as she continues her quest to sort out her memories and find her way back home. So for now, Wonder Woman still has a home on my pull list at Acme Comics. 

Where Wonder Woman does not have a home is the United Nations which ended its campaign with Wonder Woman to promote gender equality after less than two months.  

Courtney Simmons, a spokeswoman for DC Entertainment, said Monday that the company was "extremely pleased with the awareness" that the partnership brought to efforts to promote the rights and achievements of women and girls with plans to release a Wonder Woman comic book focusing on these theme still on the schedule to come out next spring. 

Simmons went on to say, "Wonder Woman stands for peace, justice and equality, and for 75 years she has been a motivating force for many and will continue to be long after the conclusion of her U.N. honorary ambassadorship."

However, many at the United Nations were did not see Wonder Woman in the context of this glowing attributes. U.N. staffers silently stood and turned their backs on a presentation designating Wonder Woman as an ambassador on Oct. 21. And their online petition to fire her had reached almost 45,000 supporters by Monday evening.

Here is part of the statement attached to the petition:  

"It is alarming that the United Nations would consider using a character with an overtly sexualized image at a time when the headline news in United States and the world is the objectification of women and girls. Having strong (living, breathing) female role models is a critical aspect of the goal of empowerment of women and girls."  


As a comic book fan and one who is currently reading Wonder Woman, my perspective on that statement is one of disappointment that the UN staffers were making a judgement on a character based on a broad assessment of that character's appearance. Yes, Wonder Woman is the epitome of an extremely beautiful woman in provocative garb but she's a freaking comic book super hero. Superman is the epitome of an extremely handsome man in a skin tight costume. Would the same judgement be applied to Superman if he were to become a United Nations ambassador for young boys?  "Superman is a bad role model for boys because Superman's physique is too idealized." No, I don't think so. 

Brian Cronin at Comic Book Resources has an interesting view on this whole mess.  

Again, to be clear, the protesters are wrong in their critique of Wonder Woman, but rather than just dismiss them as “only looking at the surface,” we should try to understand that when it comes to an iconic symbol (like a good will ambassador), sometimes the surface is all that people are going to have to judge and if that surface doesn’t come across to people unfamiliar with the symbol, then that’s something that we, the people who have a deeper understanding of what the symbol means from our own specific knowledge of the symbol, have to understand. 

For more on this, click here for Brian Cronin's piece at Comic Book Resources

It is indeed a shame that the UN staffers could not see past the surface of Wonder Woman's appearance. In recent issues of her own comic, we've see Wonder Woman engage is amazing feats of physical prowess but her greatest strength comes from her compassion, her ability to inspire others. This is something we see in Diana when she is new this world and something that is still there deep inside her even after she's been in this world awhile and has seen the worst this world can offer. Wonder Woman's greatest power is not her super strength but her ability to give a damn about others. And that is a power we can all aspire to. It is a lesson of great importance of everyone, women and men.

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Hey! Can you believe we're back with another ALL NEW post in a mere 12 hours? You better believe it, pilgrim! It's Part Four of Disney Daze as the El family returns to the Magic Kingdom and my daughter destroys my mind...FOREVER! 

Until the next post, remember to be good to one another. That's what Wonder Woman would want you to do.  



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