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The Mutilation of Wonder Woman

November 9, 2011

In a recent Los Angeles Times article (5 Nov, 2011), Geoff Boucher reports on changes being made by DC Comics to improve Wonder Woman. The folks there are working on a film, and to make the Amazon heroine more understandable to today’s audiences, they explain, they are giving her a do-over.

In fact, it is a mutilation. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang were interviewed about how this fabulous heroic icon will be improved. She will no longer be the daughter of an Amazon Queen. She will be the daughter of Zeus, a god-king.

 

Wonder Woman - 2011

In a photo provided with the article, we see the new and improved Wonder Woman. Her fists are clenched. Her face is not calm and firm with resolve; it’s contorted with rage. She does not wear her golden lasso, a way to extract truth from the bad guys without torture. Instead she grasps a gratuitous bloodied sword, an eternal symbol of violence and gruesome death.

 It is not enough that she have her classic heroic strengths: “beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, swifter than Hermes, and stronger than Hercules.”

Wonder Woman - Daughter of Diana, the Amazon Queen of Themiskyra

Through the years, readers knew her as a woman sent to bring peace from her Amazon home to the world of men. A woman whose Amazon training also gave her limited telepathy, profound scientific knowledge, the ability to speak every language known to man, super breath, ventriloquism, imperviousness to extremes of heat and cold, the ability to ride the air currents as if flying, microscopic vision, the ability to bestow wisdom to other beings, the ability to throw her tiara with such skill it could stop bullets, and much more. No, these powers put to the defense of the good are not sufficiently “understandable.” She must be the daughter of a male god and brandish a blood-covered sword.

I read this article at my small table in Starbuck’s, then sat transfixed with tears in my eyes for a long time. A tight knot of righteous rage at what they propose to do to this beloved heroine tightened around my heart.

This corporate takeover of the female icon who uses nonviolent means in the struggle for peace and justice by the warrior, bloody culture of violence is an abomination.

You are now aware of what DC Comics intends to do. You may want to protest in whatever way you are able. I hope that all women’s organizations, women’s studies departments, peace groups, and groups or individuals who understand the value of Wonder Woman as a female champion for justice and peace will rise up, and, if possible, put a halt to this attempt to kill her by mutilation.

The stories we imagine, the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we tell our children. They define who we are. They shape our worldview. They shape the future we create, for ourselves and most critically, for our children and the generations to follow us.  

We do not need Wonder Woman to be the avenging, sword-carrying daughter of a dominating god-king. To what kind of future does such a heroine lead us?

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8 comments

  1. You are right on! We are losing our culture little by little. First Superman dumped his fight for “Truth, justice, and the American Way” in return for some kind of a dark global terminator. Now they are turning Wonder Woman into an icon for violence as the answer to everything. Don’t we have enough of that already? America has always stood for the idea that right is might, not the other way around.


  2. This is truly sad – exactly what we do not need in our world. Wonder Woman exemplifies the new way forward and does not need to be burdened with patriarchal values and characteristics. Shame on these men!


  3. Oh please don’t do this. Lucy has few enough female heros, don’t take this one away from her and the rest of us!!!

    SO NOT COOL


  4. Very powerful blog post. Smart, soulful questions. I shall do my part in rallying the goddesses around this issue. Love & Light, ~Traci Dinwiddie


  5. How sad that Wonder Woman is being reinvented in a negative way. Perhaps this is a mere reflection of our current state of mind. I am sure that DC Comics is giving Wonder Woman this new look and attitude purely because of commercial reasons – because DC Comics thinks that THIS is what the public wants. If it is not, then perhaps we should let DC Comics know that it isn’t.

    what can we do? Write on DC Comic’s forum… http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/forum.jspa?forumID=29209064

    or write to them…
    http://www.dccomics.com/dccomics/about/?action=contact

    I will.


  6. As a mum with two young girls who when growing up was inspired by Wonder Woman this is shocking news and I will write on DC Comics forum right away to share what I think. This is wrong, wrong, WRONG!


  7. Thanks Judith Hand for this blog. I emailed a copy of it to the contacts you provided at DC Comics and asked them not to mutilate Wonder Woman and change her image to a fierce warrior. I asked them to use their character to promote peace on Earth and to teach to world how to live together peacefully. Anyone reading this post please consider doing the same. Michelle Rosenthall LMSW
    Please see my blog at:
    http://www.internationalpeaceandconflict.org/profiles/blogs/a-blog-of-all-my-blogs-and-contests-and-scholarships


  8. “The stories we imagine, the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we tell our children. They define who we are. They shape our worldview. They shape the future we create, for ourselves and most critically, for our children and the generations to follow us.”

    Well said. While, on the surface, this story appears to be about altering a product to suit the market, the truth is that Wonder Woman was an icon of Feminine Power for a lot of people who grew up with the comic books, the TV series, and even the cartoon series. Storytelling is never trite when it reaches such a large segment of a culture. It becomes part of our perspective.

    Wonderful blog. Blessings to you.



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