Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Bennett asks "who is Wonder Woman" and looks at Marvel NOW!
Never having been much of a gamer (I don't even have time to waste on the time wasters I'm already wasting my time on) but finally, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the existence of the impending juggernaut that is Injustice: Gods Among Us. It was the news that there was going to be a DC Comic based on the upcoming fighting game which, given the quality of past DC Comics based on games, isn't necessarily good news. It gave me a good reason to take a look at some of the promotional art from the game and… I realize I was just complaining about how the New 52 version of the DC heroes' costumes featured too much "unnecessary hyper detailing" but the costumes from the game are so much worse. They're excessively, insanely over detailed, smacking of a desperate attempt to make the characters more "bad-ass" so they’ll appeal to the gaming market as well as assuring them these guys aren’t the Super Friends..
Plus Injustice: Gods Among Us also provides us another example (for the first one see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--The Reason They Invented Comics") of Wonder Woman making an appearance outside the direct sales market wearing her too silly for comic books pants. And while we’re on the subject of Wonder Woman I find it kind of curious that a year has gone by since the New 52 began and we still really don't know anything about this new version of Princess Diana. OK, sure, she's more of a Xena, Warrior Princess kind of Wonder Woman and less the kind who used to be able to talk to cats, that's obvious. But not only don't we know exactly what her mission in a man's world is exactly, except it’s less about peace and gender equality and more about fighting monsters, we don’t even know where or how she lives. In Wonder Wonder #1 we see her sleeping in a bed in an apartment... and that's it.
Where does she live? How does she pay the rent? These are the kind of questions that anyone wanting to use Wonder Woman in another medium would certainly ask DC comics, and there don't seem to be any answers. And the really frustrating thing is this isn't the first time nobody’s cared; I wrote a column back in 2008 (see "Confessions of a Comic Book--A Lack of Character") about how during John Byrne's 36 issue run on the title back in the 90's he never once stopped to establish where she even slept. I certainly enjoyed the work of both Brian Azzarello and (especially) Cliff Chiang and appreciate they were essentially telling one long story over the course of twelve issues. But it would have been nice if they had squeezed just a little of her backstory into it.
If anyone has wondered (though I seriously doubt anyone has) why I haven't written much about the Marvel NOW! initiative it isn't because of either indifference or the result of a preference for DC. Honestly, it's because Uncanny Avengers #1 ships today and I still really wasn't sure what Marvel NOW! was supposed to be about. I mean, I knew it wasn't a relaunch or a reboot but only now it's been officially revealed that it's actually a 'refresh.' At least that's what it says in "Marvel Comics 'NOW!' initiative: What exactly is it?" an Associated Press piece by Matt Moore. Marvel Editor In Chief Axel Alonso is quoted as saying "It's the same Universe that readers have invested in for years. The only change is some subtle tweaks in some costumes."
I was at FedEx mailing some comics to a friend and I got to chatting with the friendly woman behind the counter who took extra special care of my funny books because her boyfriend was one of us. Actually so is she, technically, as she still has "stashed away somewhere" her copies of Elfquest, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Groo. She also told me at her other job as a wedding photographer she was having trouble getting a photo of a shy five year old until she started asking him about his favorite superheroes. She suggested Spider-Man but he said Iron Man because he was happy and Batman was sad.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
Column by Steve Bennett
Posted by ICv2 on October 10, 2012 @ 2:05 am CT