For some reason, a comic about Wonder Woman’s long lost brother now exists
On June 2nd, 2017 little girls (and grown women alike) got a new heroine: Diana, Princess of the Amazons a.k.a. Wonder Woman.
Finally, a movie was released that represented women exactly how we deserve to be represented:
STRONG, LOVING, BOLD, BRAVE, + SENSITIVE.
And not just Diana but every other woman in the film: her mother, aunt, and even the villain.
This was significant because, for light years it seems, women in comics + their films have been portrayed through the pin-up, second fiddle, beer goggled vantage point of the male gaze (ahem, just look at Halle Berry in Catwoman and DC Comics’ New 52’s series comic books.) Wonder Woman threw that aside…a Twitter user summarized it perfectly:
Not only was she portrayed this way but under a woman’s direction. Wonder Woman‘s director Patty Jenkins also became a heroine.
Not too far from how Diana had been overshadowed in the DC universe by Superman and Batman, Patty didn’t always get the notoriety she long deserved before Wonder Woman.
Remember when Charlize Theron swept awards season? Winning an Oscar, SAG, and Golden Globe award for her role portraying serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the 2003 film Monster…
Well, Patty wrote and directed Monster (betcha didn’t know that before now!) It has 82% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And she won an Independent Spirit Award for best first feature. So why didn’t we hear about her more back then? And since then, before Wonder Woman? Comics, just as much as the film industry, have a super bad reputation for being a dude dominated industry…where women aren’t compensated, promoted, or awarded equally.
The feeling in the air post-Wonder Woman movie was that those things were and ARE changing.
School teachers are tweeting sentiments about girls coming to school dressed like Diana, and boys were into it just as much (massive respect!)
FINALLY, powerful, inclusive Wonder Woman Halloween costumes have come out giving a break from the previously limited selection of what can only be described as “slutty Wonder Woman”.
And Patty Jenkins is nearing signing a deal to direct the sequel film that would secure her a reportedly record-breaking salary.
But then… (I know I hate writing that.)
On June 19th, 2017, DC Comics, the birth place of Wonder Woman, announced this in their press release for the new Wonder Woman #31 comic book:
“Spinning out of the pages of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH and JUSTICE LEAGUE: DARKSEID WAR, [creative team of] Robinson, Pagulayan and Lupacchino will answer one of the biggest questions of the year: Who is Wonder Woman’s brother?”
BROTHER?! Face palm x 1,000,000.
While acknowledging that this story line might’ve been in the works well before the team at DC had seen the film and its powerful effect, it still highlights the problem Wonder Woman has always faced: proving she can stand on her own. This is something the movie proved. She can! Comics CAN be led by women and succeed.
The problem is: why does DC keep robbing her of it? And why do they keep robbing the other equally fierce, captivating, and female inhabitants (warriors!) of Diana’s Themyscira?
It sends the least progressive message when they create a new character and make it the one thing comics already plentifully have: another man.
This goes beyond teaming her up with a male DC character… what they’re doing is creating a brand new origin story that eclipses her own, casting her in the shadow when she needs to shine and land powerfully on the battlefield, thigh jiggle and all, fighting like a real girl.
(Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman + Director Patty Jenkins. Both images: Warner Bros.)
We need to step up and clap back at the misogyny with the comics WE create and our words. Words are stronger than ever. Especially as a woman. Patty Jenkins proved that when she responded to fellow director James Cameron’s controversial comments on Wonder Woman.
Amongst his words:
“[Wonder Woman’s] an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing! I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie but, to me, it’s a step backward. Sarah Connor was not a beauty icon. She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit.”
To which Patty had the ultimate response…
“James Cameron’s inability to understand what Wonder Woman is, or stands for, to women all over the world is unsurprising as, though he is a great filmmaker, he is not a woman. Strong women are great. […] But if women have to always be hard, tough and troubled to be strong, and we aren’t free to be multidimensional or celebrate an icon of women everywhere because she is attractive and loving, then we haven’t come very far have we. I believe women can and should be EVERYTHING just like male lead characters should be. There is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman. And the massive female audience who made the film a hit it is, can surely choose and judge their own icons of progress.”
CC that last sentence straight to DC Comics because I don’t think Wonder Woman’s brother would ever be an icon any little girl would choose.
…Because they know more than ever: dude’s not progress.