Here’s what may soon become a “problematic” opinion here on the old tumblr: I love what Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang are doing on Wonder Woman. It’s certainly the only time I’ve ever found myself following the character. This comes after a long habit of buying the first issue of a new Wonder Woman run, forgetting to buy the second, and never really regretting that omission enough to drive back to the comic store.
But now Wonder Woman is relevant and, strangely enough, controversial. Because of something beyond pants or a jacket. How weird is that? Sure, hate churns on tumblr (and s_d). It just gets heated and pulled like a hellish, screaming, all-caps taffy and then it’s all over your dash and you’re like “whoa, I thought the reactions to the new Doctor Who companion were going to be the biggest outbursts I saw all day.”
And, of course, because it’s tumblr, the controversy surrounds this increasingly subscribed to narrative that DC is anti-female. And that the Amazons are one thing and have always been one thing. Which is now broken. I guess the thought of an island of all females who gained superpowers from their dignity and abandonment of heteronormativity and sweet togas was just too much for the sexists who run DC so they turned them all into baby-killers and rapists and (more directly) snakes so they wouldn’t look too pretty next to that shitty all-man island. Or something.
But I’m going to propose another narrative project to view Wonder Woman as a part of. Because if this was Wonder Woman written by Rob Liefeld with art by Gulliem March, that would be one thing. But this is a really good comic. With superb, bold (tasteful) art and writing that uses nuance and themes.
And so looking at a panel and drawing judgement about the whole DC establishment is fun, easy, and probably causes a lot of negative emotions (I know that when I’m angry about something for too long it makes my eyes ache and my stomach go all acid. I don’t know how some people stand it). But it doesn’t really look at theme underlying the comic. It certainly doesn’t address the theme that underlies this particular issue.
Because the theme isn’t “Wonder Woman finds out that Amazons are Horrible.” The theme of the issue is “Wonder Woman finds her Brothers.”