Comic-Con Exclusive Interview: New Wonder Woman Creative Team Says She’s “A Feminist Icon”
Husband and wife team Meredith and David Finch have not yet taken over DC’s Wonder Woman title, but already they’ve made headlines for an awkward interview. At San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, TMS Editor-in-Chief Jill Pantozzi gave them the opportunity to elaborate on what they meant, and on what changes we can expect to see when they take over for Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chang in November.
The Mary Sue: Should we get the hard one out of the way first? Is Wonder Woman a feminist?
David Finch: Wonder Woman is a feminist icon and it’s an incredibly important aspect to her character. I absolutely regret the way that my words came out and it doesn’t reflect at all how I feel.
Meredith Finch: I think I would say, too, that Wonder Woman is a character that has reflected ideals throughout the decades. So that is really what we’re going to focus on. I don’t have an agenda for her to be anything other than the character I have in my mind to be. So I’m really going to focus on who she is, and the goals that I have. But I don’t necessarily—I think because I don’t really have experience, I haven’t had a situation where I haven’t been able to do something because I’m a woman. We’re very, very lucky. I know there are still some things going onin this day. But I feel like what she needed to be in the ‘70s and ‘60s is different than what she needs to be today. And so I’m really going to focus on who I think she needs to be today to be a relevant and current character.
TMS: This is not directly pointed at your comments, but lot of people have a negative connotation when it comes to the word “feminist.” Our society has turned it into something—you know, it’s meant to be “equality for all,” and obviously there are some people who are feminists who take it to a bad place—
David: Any political viewpoint obviously has extremes. I know for me, my mother was always in charge of my household growing up, and Meredith is in charge of me now. I think really when I got married, I married a mother. So yeah, it’s so not where I’m coming from. It was incredibly regrettable. I couldn’t believe that I could say something that was interpreted that way. It was pretty surprising. I have to say it was really surprising at first, but I certainly understand the idea that that part of Wonder Woman could be taken away is pretty concerning for people.
TMS: Tell me a little bit about where we’re going in the story as far as Themyscira and the Amazons, because they had a very distinct place in the previous one. What is their role for you guys?
Meredith: We are definitely going to still be using Themyscira and the Amazons. They’re still a central part of our story. I think when you look at what Brian [Azzarello] has done and where we’re going to take the direction of our book, the one thing he covered to such an extent that I think we couldn’t do more is the Gods. He did such a great job fleshing out that whole family for her that we didn’t want to try to recreate that wheel. So instead we’re going to focus on her relationships within Themyscira, how the fallout from the end of this story is going to affect her and the Amazons, and then branch out into the rest of her life.
TMS: Going off that, I feel like Wonder Woman, for all of the New 52, has very much been focused on her own—she’s still a hero, she’s still fighting to save people, but she’s been focus a lot on her family issues and that sort of thing. Are we going to get to see her be a hero for the people again?
Meredith: Absolutely, that’s something that we’re going to be bringing in. I want her to have—she’s such a multifaceted character and I really want to explore all the dimensions of who she is and what she has to do in her life, who she has to be in her life. Justice League interaction is going to be in the book a little bit; her interaction with Superman is going to be in the book; her role as a superhero, as Wonder Woman, is central to the book; and then her role as Queen of the Amazons now, because that’s who she is. And then we can never forget, she’s God of War now, too! I’m going to try to really incorporate those into a much broader… more broad superhero story, so it’s going to go a little bit away from what Brian’s doing in that sense.
TMS: What about guest stars in the book? We had a lot of the Gods in this one, are we going to see more of the DC heroes coming in?
Meredith: Issue #1—I’m not leaking anything to say issue #1’s got the Justice League and Swamp Thing! So they’re going to be in the first issue, and then we’ll just sort of play—we’’ll see where it goes from there. But again, I think, again, because she has a life that extends beyond Themyscira, it would make sense that as the series progresses that other people in her life will appear in her book.
TMS: It’s obviously a great PR thing to have a couple working on a book together. How is it for you guys working as a team?
David: Meredith has really been my boss in terms of work for nine years now. You know, she really runs the business and everything, so, this is so not a change for me, really. I think it’s been good because I’m working with a looser script than I’m used to. I’m used to really getting, “Panel 1 is exactly this, panel 2 is exactly that. ” Whereas because we’re in the same house, she can give me something that’s a little bit looser, I can show her what I’m thinking, and it can be a little more back and forth. That’s really nice for me. I don’t really have a lot of input when it comes to story, but I do have a lot of input when it comes to how I like to interpret a scene.
Meredith: I would say that the benefit that I’ve had is that over the course of our relationship, I’ve heard David get frustrated about certain things and aspects of his career: “I hate drawing 15 ten panel pages in one book” or “I hate it when a scene jumps from page to page to page and I have to recreate it,” and every page he has to reset a scene. So that has, I think, given me a leg up in terms of how I approach the book, because I knew the story I wanted to tell, and I can give him, “Page 1 through 3 are going to be here and this is what we’re gonna do,” and I give him the dialogue, and then we can talk about it—’cuz I’m still relatively new and he is the world’s greatest storyteller in my opinion, visually—and I can say, “This is what I think would be a great double page spread,” or, “This is what I think would be a great splash page,” and he can say, “No, no, I think this would be much better,” and I’m like, “Oh, that’s great!” So it really has been a great collaborative effort in terms of the storytelling portion. And he always edits through what I’ve written, ‘cuz he is a professional and he’s been in the industry for a long time, so it’s been very helpful. And we get along really well and we work really well together as a team.
David: Yeah, I think I would have been maybe reluctant to try it except that we really DO work together—we have worked together. I mean, this is business. So I know we work together well.
TMS: You mentioned that you’re a relative newcomer. What’s it like? You know, you’re doing a book for DC, but not just any book, you’re doing Wonder Woman.
Meredith: I feel incredibly fortunate. I’m really not trying to focus on the fact that it’s Wonder Woman in the sense of, “This is DC’s pinnacle for female superhero characters.” Instead I’m really trying to focus and trying to keep my head grounded in the story that I want to tell, and the voice that I want her to have. And hopefully it’s something that connects and appeals to the readers.
TMS: Can I get your thoughts, not related to the book, but can I get your thoughts on the Wonder Woman we’re about to see on the big screen? Are you excited for that?
Meredith: Yeah, I’m thrilled that she’s going to be on the big screen. We’ll just have to wait and see their interpretation of her, but I’m looking forward to it.
David: I might be Zach Snyder’s biggest fan, so I think it’s gonna be great. I cannot wait for that movie.
TMS: Is there anything else you want to say about the book or to potential readers?
Meredith: I would like to say that I am incredibly excited about the character we’re allowed to use for our villain. It comes from the old universe’s rogues gallery for Wonder Woman, and we’ve been able to take that character and reinterpret it new way that I think readers are going to find incredibly interesting. And I think that it’s really going to drive the book in a direction that’s unexpected.
David and Meredith Finch’s run on the series begins with Wonder Woman Issue#36 in November.
(image via DC Comics)
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