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Sometimes you just want to waste a stamp. 
9th-Oct-2009 05:15 pm
Wonder Woman
Hey, you! Name a female comics-based superhero!

..actually, you're reading this blog, so you're probably not representative of normal people. Turn to the person at the desk next to you and ask them to name a female superhero.

Who is not just a female tie-in of a male lead.
Who is well known in her won right and not just 'the love interest of...' or 'a member of...'
Whose name will not, in most to any areas in Western consciousness, be greeted with a blank look and the phrase 'who'?

Do we know who I'm getting at? Good.

I'm a recent convert to Wonder Woman - even in terms relative to how recently DC comics have become my fictional supplier of choice. My gateway into Earth-Zero was Birds of Prey, which led to me drinking up everything I could find on Barbara Gordon and Dinah Lance, and had me quickly hooked on Bats and Arrows. While I'd seen and admire Diana in her guest appearances and team books, I didn't pick up the title until I heard Black Canary was going to be in it and I wanted to catch up* before those issues came out. And I’m not ashamed to admit - unsurprisingly, I know, that I absolutely adore it.

If you're not reading Wonder Woman, that’s your own look out, even if the title’s currently being written by Gail Simone - one of the best writers on DC’s roll at the moment - with beautiful art by Lopresti and Ryan. I’m not, today, talking about the book’s worth as a top quality piece of sequential story telling, but instead about Wonder Woman the icon, so forgive me.

Wonder Woman is, as, I implied in the opener, unique in being a female superhero who has crossed the geek line to permeate the mainstream consciousness on her own -without being packaged in a male superhero’s logo or on a team. She’s who she is, on her own - the most famous female superhero hands down, and also the most iconic.

Wonder Woman has been featuring in her own solo title since 1942, and has been continually published ever since (except for a year long hiatus in 1986-7). She’s well known as DC’s Big Three, along with Superman - whose title series will have its 693rd issue this month and Batman - issue 691. The issue of Wonder Woman coming out is…37.

Yeah, 37.

The thing is, that Wonder Woman‘s numbering has been reset twice - in 1987 and 2006, so this is the third time she’ll have reached 37. It’s actually the 592nd issue of a comic to bear the title Wonder Woman. It doesn’t affect the quality of the story within, and it doesn’t change the position of Diana, the character, in the DC Universe. It also doesn’t change the fact that Wondie’s one of the Big 3 and is staying there.

It does, however, mean that the comics bearing that title have issue numbers that look pitifully low against Batman and Superman (the title characters, don’t forget, also have strong associations with DC‘s two long standing flagship titles, Action - and Detective Comics, even though the latter is being headlined by a lesbian upstart, it’s still Batman’s logo on her chest.)

It doesn’t affect the story, and probably not the numbers buying the title; anyone put off buying the comic because they’re intimidated by the volume of backstory are going to get that with Wonder Woman anyway, and if that were a factor, why don’t they reset Batman and Superman? Batman: Reborn would have been an excellent opportunity to do so.

But. It would be nice if the little number on the front page next to the title reflected Wondie’s iconic status for the publisher, the mythology, and the comics industry itself.

This is why, today, I wrote the words Wonder Woman #45 should be renumbered to #600 on a postcard and sent it to DC comics. Because apparently, if they reach 600 postcards, they will renumber it.

Well, actually, that’s not the full reason. A lot of the reason has to do with the fact that I wanted to stand up and support one of my favourite titles and a character that’s growing hard on me. DC have, on occasion, listened to their fan base (hi, Batgirl!) and while postcard poll is a amusingly archaic way of doing things, at least this time my stamp isn’t paying for the death of a Robin.

*Yes. In order to prepare for adding a title to my list of comics I pay money for, I made use of internet piracy to catch up. Without, DC simply would have my money. Deal with that, anti-piracy people
9th-Oct-2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
"postcard poll is a amusingly archaic way of doing things"

But it does ensure that only those who really care will go out and put their vote in. If it was an online poll or an email count then getting the 600 responses would be too easy - people would have voted who don't really care one way or another had it been done electronically.

But yes, even though Wonder Woman isn't one of my OMG MUST READ titles, she deserves the same recognition as Superman and Batman.

So endeth my 10cents :)
9th-Oct-2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
Also, she must be only A-list American comic icon who hasn't had a big-screen outing yet. DC ought to get that sorted out, and fast!
9th-Oct-2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
Captain America?
9th-Oct-2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
He had a very poor film back in 1990, which no-one saw. I think it had a cinema run, barely.
9th-Oct-2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
9th-Oct-2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
Did you miss the point about influential enough to have permeated the main stream?
9th-Oct-2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't read that far.

I've had a feeeeeeeeeeew drinks, its like, 2am in Shanghai.

There aren't enough superheroines, I don't like saying Wonder Woman, Batgirl has always been a sidekick.
Raven from Teen Titans?
9th-Oct-2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
Admittedly Raven is a member of Teen Titans, but for people in my age bracket you can pretty much get name recognition.

The problem is you can't really cite any XMen member, or any of the major female characters, due to your criteria. Which are fair enough criteria, but y'know? The portrayal of women in comics SUCKS.
9th-Oct-2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
*laughs* The post is about Wonder Woman, as being the only superheroine you don't follow up with 'from [Team Name]' or otherwise associated with a male superhero's symbol.
9th-Oct-2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
Indeed. I only just read the whole post.

Drunk Will is worse at reading comprehension, and maintaining focus for long enough to read a whole post, than sober Will, by a large margin.

I'm sure what you say is true, about the title being worth reading. But I've come to a conviction that I shouldn't support ANY of the long-term name comics on the basis that they're all so static. They're reinventions along the same theme, whereas creator owned and indy-press stuff can be so much more interesting, because it isn't bundled with all the same baggage, or the need for Wolverine to be on 3 different XMen titles at once just to sell comics.
9th-Oct-2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
Position noted and understood.

There's some good small-name struff taking place in the Big Universes, too, though. Gail's other title, Secret Sex, while currently guest featuring Wondie, only shares the universe with the rest of the DC line, and is in itself self-contained.
(Deleted comment)
10th-Oct-2009 08:37 am (UTC)
Personally, I thought the artist/writer didn't use the space in an effective way, and found it very hard to read because I had to actively work out the panel reading order while read.

As far as the story went, I enjoyed it a lot, but would have liked to have seen a 'Wonder Woman in..' story rather than yet another origin.
(Deleted comment)
9th-Oct-2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
So who did you think Supergirl was?
(Deleted comment)
10th-Oct-2009 08:30 am (UTC)
No, I play Black Canary. Supergirl is the girl who flies around in blue and red with a big S on her chest.
9th-Oct-2009 06:15 pm (UTC)
Nah, Wonder Woman has an invisible jet and a lasso of truth.
(Deleted comment)
9th-Oct-2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
I have no idea. I've never been a wonder woman fan.
9th-Oct-2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
Its only invisible if you close your eyes?
9th-Oct-2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
Tank Girl!

Oh, apparently not.
9th-Oct-2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
Fortunately, in a bonus that I think is rare for men my age, I've been given the chance to see the inspirational effects of having a well-known female superhero in general existence. Siobhan recently told our mother, after musing on how she could become transparent in order to obtain ghost powers, that she really wouldn't like to have ghost powers and fly as much as she'd like to have Wonder Woman powers and help people.

I mean, she's also quite happy associating herself with Superman, but it's nice - and important, so as not to use the less-taken-seriously word - that she recognises she can be both fully heroic and fully female. (Such as when she mused that when she grew up she wanted to be either a superhero or a mummy, and Lynn responded in short order that she could be a superhero and a mummy. "Sure," I contributed, with specific evidence. "Look at Sue Storm." I may very well have gone on to make a joke about looking at someone whose major power is invisibility, but by that stage I was well and truly talking to myself.)

If only for these rather selfish reasons, I may have to invest in a postcard.
9th-Oct-2009 10:40 pm (UTC)
My wife (the person practically next to me as I read this) answered;

"Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Storm, Jean Grey/Phoenix, Emma Frost... I don't really read enough DC to know any more there...

I'm probably guessing 'Tulip' from 'Preacher' doesn't count. Although she should do.

Oooh! And Death from the Sandman comics. Although she may count as a spinoff from the main character."
10th-Oct-2009 02:49 am (UTC)
Non-comic-reading boyfriend went for Catwoman, with Wonder Woman being a close second (but only because Rachel Bilson donned the costume in an episode of The O.C.).
10th-Oct-2009 07:58 am (UTC)
Lucy van Pelt.

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