It’s funny, because I was just writing about Wonder Woman this week for an unrelated project, and talking about how I’m relatively unfamiliar with her, and why. My point was that I’ve never really been overly interested in her as character because she is inextricable from the idea of “women.” To quote Dwayne McDuffie “If you do [one] black character or a female character or an Asian character, then they aren’t just that character. They represent that race or that sex, and they can’t be interesting because everything they do has to represent an entire block of people.” The solution is to provide a spectrum of characters that represent that block, and Wonder Woman, in her origin both fictional and real, was intended not just to be “a female superhero,” but “the female superhero.” As McDuffie was trying to point out: it’s hard to make a character a person when they have to represent an entire demographic of people. My growing interest in Wonder Woman as a character has paralleled my reading of stories that present her as human (metaphorically).
But when I said that the difficulty of extricating Wonder Woman from her status as “a paragon of the feminine” lead to me to be less interested in her, what I didn’t mean was that she should be separated completely from her origins as “a paragon of the feminine.” Which is kind of what happened in this week’s issue of Wonder Woman. (Spoilers ahead.)