Sunday, December 09, 2007

Growing up with Wonder Woman.

The very first superhero I can remember knowing in my life was Wonder Woman. I'm pretty sure it was in the campy TV show starring Linda Carter, followed pretty closely by the Superfriends cartoon, but there were a lot of others in the Superfriends cartoon, so my first contact with the whole comics/superhero thing had to be Linda Carter with the invisible plane, the spinning change and the Nazi villains.

And I loved Wonder Woman. I used to run around the house in my underwear yelling that I was Wonder Woman and my jumping rope was my magical lazo (I was four at the time. My cousin was Supergirl and by joint decision, Grandpa was Lex Luthor.) I didn't miss an episode, and I loved to watch Superfriends too, just to see Wonder Woman.

As time went by, I found a lot of other Superheroes. Marvel, in particular, became my favorite, but I still kept that deep love for Wonder Woman, catching her in reruns when I could. But since at the time Wonder Woman was in licencing limbo down here in Mexico, I didn't get the chance to read her until later, when a local editorial printed the first Post-Crisis issues in a magazine entitled "Superman presents" (This is, btw, a very common practice here to avoid having to register a hundred titles you're not sure will sell. So everything is showcased by the titles that do sell. Justice League, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Hawk and Dove were showcased by Superman. Batgirl, and some other minis were showcased by Batman. Every single story of the Marvel Universe was showcased by Spiderman. But that's for another post). I got to read the whole beginning, ending with Ares' original defeat and then... well, a couple of mixed issues. Because when you have to share space with other six or seven titles, plus Superman... well, there wasn't a lot of space for Wonder Woman to shine.

And since the Superman title was weekly back then, well, by the time that Wonder Woman had finally managed to defeat Ares, Superman had had a couple of adventures with a more experienced Wonder Woman. So actually *following* Wonder Woman was a bit hard for me.

So, despite her being the first ever superhero I loved, I have never continuously collected her comic. When getting the originals became easier, I did try to follow her, but as it was around when Zero Hour hit, well, continuity was an absolute mess and to make things worse, not only Diana wasn't Wonder Woman, but also I had no idea who the Banas were, why Hipolita was acting so weird and in general, what the hell was going on (I think the only thing that I didn't found strange was that Diana didn't had a secret identity, but that was because after loving Diana Prince, I had finally become used to the non-secret identity having Princess). I would flip through the comics I found at the LCS, and be absolute puzzled at what the hell was going on and not a single story made me want to buy the comic and say "Ok, from here on, I can try and figure out what went before as I keep buying the monthlies". Except for the story where she cut her hair. Not because of the story, I honestly can't remember any plot points of that particular story, but I loved the idea of a short haired Wonder Woman. It made for an interesting visual change.

Now. A little less than a year ago I stopped buying DC comics completely. My decision came from an interesting string of events. With Identity Crisis and the rape retcon, I decided I would only buy DC comics if they weren't written by Meltzer and there was one of my favorite characters on it. With Countdown and Blue Bettle's death, I decided that next time a favorite character of mine died, no matter the gender, that was it. No more DC comics. And then... they went and killed Kon, who was the one responsible to getting me back into reading DC. So, no more DC comics.

Except that Wonder Woman was always first, and if there was someone who could make me go back and buy DC would be a *good* Wonder Woman comic. When Allan Heinberg was named as the writer for the relaunch, I was pretty happy as I loved his Young Avengers, but I decided to cautiously wait. After all, while I hadn't bought Infinity Crisis, thanks to the good people at Scans_daily I had a pretty good idea of what had happened and that it wasn't exactly nice for Diana. And while I don't particulary hate the new secret identity or the idea of a romance between Diana and Nemesis (Mostly because until now, for me, Nemesis was a non-character. I knew he existed, but that's about it), the whole late schedule sort of made me glad I had waited. Then came Jodi Picoult, who, at least for me, was also an unknown since I haven't read any of her novels. And even for a sort of newbie like me, the characterization seemed off. I will not say anything about Amazons Attack! since I think everything about it has been said. Lets just say it was the mini that made me glad I had stopped buying DC a year before.

Gail Simone's first issue has been met by mostly positive criticism. I think every critic I read has loved it, and what I've read, I liked. But I'm still unsure. Mostly, because this has been a year where editorial mandates can mess up the work of any writer. Just look at One More Day, and that's pretty much the whole argument. Gail can, and is, amazing as a writer, but if word comes from upstairs that Wonder Woman has to have a retarded storyline, no matter how much she shines, the final idea will still be terribly bad.

And I'm through giving money to terrible bad ideas.


Dean Trippe said...

I totally agree about not throwing your money at an industry that isn't producing excellent quality stuff.

However, my thinking on Gail's run is that she's really done a good job of picking up the pieces of the last two writers' runs and is about to start fashioning them into something far far better. And maybe she's got enough industry mojo and fan support to start breaking the editorially mandated cages. :)

Adalisa said...

I honestly hope so. I do want to buy Wonder Woman, since Gail is an excellent writer and it was her the one who made me love Barbara Gordon (I'm already thinking on a Batgirl essay too, as I used to hate her, way back then). However, DC has sort of burned me, ever since they canceled Peter David's awesome Supergirl and Young Justice, so I'm mostly waiting holding my breath.

However, if #15 is as awesome as #14 was, I'll take a deep breath and jump in again.

While I hate throwing my money at editorials who have shown me once and again that readers like me don't matter to them, I also know that it's important to buy the products where they actually do the right thing.