Saturday, July 03, 2010

Gloria Steinem on New Look Wonder Woman

Earlier this year I did a series of posts quoting interesting sections from Gloria Steinem's introduction to the 1972, Bonanaza Books-published Wonder Woman, which paired a couple of essays with various strips from early Wonder Woman comics on various subjects, each introduced by Steinem.

As part of the mainstream media deluge of stories about Wonder Woman's recent costume change, Associated Press reporter Jocelyn Noveck sought out a reaction from Steinem, so I figured I should quote it here, in the interest of keeping up with the Gloria Steinem-talking-about-Wonder Woman beat. You can read Noveck's entire AP article, headlined "Wonder Woman's new duds spark interdimensional ire," here.

Here is the Steinem section:
Adding pants, Steinem said in an e-mail message, "gives us the idea that only pants can be powerful — tell that to Greek warriors and Sumo wrestlers." Besides, she added, "in fact, they're so tight that they've just painted her legs blue; hardly a cover-up."

But Steinem isn't too upset with the clothes. It's the story change she really dislikes. Before, Wonder Woman had been raised on an island by her Amazon mother and sisters. Now, that island was destroyed when she was a baby, and she was shepherded off, to be raised elsewhere.

"It's an exact copy of Superman who came as a baby from the exploding planet Krypton," Steinem noted. "This destroys her home, her Amazon mother and sisters, and gives her no place to go to gain strength and create an inspiring storyline."

The whole thing, she added, is based on "what seems to be the brainstorming of a very limited group of brains."


Robert in New Orleans said...

I think she hit the nail on the head about the changes to her origin story. It's just another ret-con so that the writer can feel like he's contributing something "original." I'm just so tired of these pointless changes that will be erased when people have lost interest in their novelty and it's time to return to the "roots" of the character.

Jeremy said...

When will people learn that JMS is just an awful comics writer?

Although technically this is only the second worst retcon of a major character's origin that he's been responsible for, so maybe he's improving.

Anonymous said...

Why does everyone think this is some kind of permanent change? I mean, seriously?

Tony said...

I can see the temptation to switch up Wonder Woman's origin. She's kind of a hard character to get a handle on, motivations-wise.

But this is a little too derivative.