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Mr. Kent
09-17-2009, 12:40 PM
I saw this brought up on another message board and was wondering what the =W= Board thinks.

As far as Diana’s “home away from home”, where do you like her? Washington DC, Boston Mass., Gateway City? Other? Each location has it merits and detriments storywise, but I think it hurts Wonder Woman’s history somewhat to have her shuffled all across the country (with a new supporting cast in each city).

DC/NYC: Where all the political action is. I didn’t really like the idea of Diana in DC, but it’s grown on me a little. It still seems a bit lifeless. It works best when she’s in an embassy-type setting, though, and she just doesn’t have that anymore. The Embassy Gang was a neat supporting cast, but not likely to pop up anytime soon.

Gateway: Batman and Superman (and even a lot of heroes below Diana’s caliber) have their own unique locales, which is one reason I would favor Gateway. I like that Cassie keeps the Gateway connection alive, but it didn’t get a lot of time to be fleshed out. Also, it was good to see that the DCU even had a West Coast.

Boston: I really became a fan of Boston as a rich backdrop in the Messner-Loebs era. He did a lot towards making that city come alive that I didn’t get from previous stories. Post-Crisis Diana should, in my opinion, have a great fondness for Boston after the strong bonds she made while living there, but is it the place for her to stay?

Other: The argument could be made that, as an emissary of peace, it’s understandable for Diana to be moving all the time. However, I feel that it’d be a disservice to building readership. I think Diana needs a “good environment” to foster great stories – a city that feels like a real place (even if it’s made up).

Everyone knows what Gotham is like. When Batman’s not on The Hill or Crime Alley, we still know that life is going on there—we get a sense of the place. The same thing with Superman—we know that Metropolis is the City of Tomorrow, and miraculous things happen there, even to unsuspecting citizens. Do these details take away from the characters?

No, and they in fact add to the mythos. I believe that this is what Diana needs. You can jot it down towards the bottom of the list, but I still think its important not to forget it. What do you think?

SJNeal
09-17-2009, 12:47 PM
I too have an affinity for Boston, and was pissed when Byrne took her away for the make-believe Gateway City. I realize Supes and Bats have their fictional cities, but being based in a real-life setting was one of many things that made WW unique. That said, I wouldn't necessarily like to see her go back there. We got some great years/memories there, but what's done is done.

Currently I'm liking D.C. as her locale, and would like to see that explored more. Perhaps in terms of a certain Embassy staff... :cool:

suedenim
09-17-2009, 01:10 PM
As a resident of the Washington Metropolitan Area myself, I think there's good potential here, but the number of accurate comic book portrayals of Washington, in terms of geography, politics and/or culture, can pretty much be counted on one finger of one hand, and I'm not very sure about that finger.

I've been meaning to start a thread about WW in Washington for a while, but haven't gotten around to it. For most writers, Washington is viewed exclusively through the eyes of a tourist - consisting of The Mall, and presuming that everybody lives and works within a two-block radius of it. There are all sorts of things, big and small, that most people don't get.

One thing I appreciate about Gail is that she gets it much better than most people - e.g., characters venture outside the District of Columbia, not *every* battle takes place on the Mall, etc. (Diana did have her big battle with the demon on the Mall, but, heck, even I wouldn't refrain from using it completely, and the symbolism fit. But I liked seeing the battle with Genocide take place on K Street instead of the usual venues.)

I guess the general point I'm struggling toward is "Give the city some real flavor, whether it's real or fictional."

One recent example I liked was Peter Tomasi's use of New York in Nightwing. Strangely, even though a huge percentage of comics people over the years have been New Yorkers, it's pretty rare to see much use of the city as a distinctive "character" beyond the landmarks everybody knows from tourism or TV/Movies. Tomasi brought in all sorts of interesting real stuff that *I* wasn't familiar with, anyway, and it was cool.

I'm *not* a big fan of adding even more fictional cities to the DCU, though. There are already a bunch of them, let's not add major metropolii just on a whim.

Mars Getsoian
09-17-2009, 03:33 PM
I think Diana needs a “good environment” to foster great stories – a city that feels like a real place (even if it’s made up).

Everyone knows what Gotham is like. When Batman’s not on The Hill or Crime Alley, we still know that life is going on there—we get a sense of the place. The same thing with Superman—we know that Metropolis is the City of Tomorrow, and miraculous things happen there, even to unsuspecting citizens. Do these details take away from the characters?

No, and they in fact add to the mythos. I believe that this is what Diana needs. You can jot it down towards the bottom of the list, but I still think its important not to forget it. What do you think?

I think you just described Themyscira. It's a fake place that's been with Diana since the beginning, a place that defines her and which she defines, in terms of the mood, the culture, the kinds of things that happen there. It's her home, the place she was raised and where she'll always belong, the place that speaks her language, the place where her history and the people she loves and is responsible for all live. It's a place that offers the opportunity for custom-designed aesthetics and a varied and thematically appropriate supporting cast who will always, unquestionably, belong to Diana, which is easy to make feel alive because it can be created and shaped at the author's whim and to suit the story.

It just... hasn't been explored, or treated that way. There's no reason Themyscira shouldn't be as vivid, tangible, and as much a personality in and of itself as Metropolis and Gotham, no reason the amazon supporting cast shouldn't be as rich and complicated as the Daily Planet and STAR Labs staff or why the royal palace and the Gardens of Demeter shouldn't be as distinct and memorable as Crime Alley and Robinson Park. It could be, easily enough. Marston did it, and Perez and Jimenez both took shots at it, though a lack of support from subsequent authors doomed them both to failure. It seems to me that reinvigorating that effort would be the simplest, easiest solution and the one most likely to gain traction with the character, above putting her back in a generic city like Gateway or continuing in a real city, like DC, that will never genuinely reflect or support the character.

galactica
09-17-2009, 03:55 PM
It just... hasn't been explored, or treated that way. There's no reason Themyscira shouldn't be as vivid, tangible, and as much a personality in and of itself as Metropolis and Gotham, no reason the amazon supporting cast shouldn't be as rich and complicated as the Daily Planet and STAR Labs staff or why the royal palace and the Gardens of Demeter shouldn't be as distinct and memorable as Crime Alley and Robinson Park. It could be, easily enough. Marston did it, and Perez and Jimenez both took shots at it, though a lack of support from subsequent authors doomed them both to failure. It seems to me that reinvigorating that effort would be the simplest, easiest solution and the one most likely to gain traction with the character, above putting her back in a generic city like Gateway or continuing in a real city, like DC, that will never genuinely reflect or support the character.

That's interesting because I find Themyscira to be pretty lifeless. It's like a statute, pretty and nice, but not alive.
I always thought of the Island more as her Smallville than than her Metropolis. It's the place where she was raised but it's not where she is making her mark.

I think the island should be everything you say but I think she should also have a city where she can live and interact with non-Amazons.

Kurt Busiek
09-17-2009, 05:52 PM
I like Washington DC. Don't mind Boston as a setting for WW.

I'd have no problem with a fictional city for her, but what I didn't like about Gateway City was that we were told it's in California, and was supposed to be an analogue of sorts for San Francisco, which makes no sense.

St. Louis is "The Gateway City," so naming a DC city that isn't supposed to make people think of St. Louis after its nickname is kind of like naming a city Beantown and not having it in Massachusetts, or placing Windy City or Motor City in Arizona.

Not to mention that DC already had a Gateway City, from old Spectre stories, and sure enough, it was in the middle of the country and had a Gateway City Arch.

If you want that kind of analogue for San Francisco, call it Goldengate City or something. Don't bogart St. Louis's nickname.

kdb

DHacker615
09-17-2009, 09:05 PM
Count me as a vote for Washington, DC. The Federalist architecture seems to fit Wonder Woman pretty well. Plus, she works well in a political setting.

Mr. Kent
09-17-2009, 09:43 PM
You got your point across beautifully, Mars - but I'm inclined to agree with Galactica that its more like her "Smallville" - her point of origin. She's not teaching peace and working her mission there because the Amazons already get it - the point of WW is taking those ideals beyond Themyscira, sharing them with the world. So while I agree that Themyscira should be a "home" for her, its not the place where she can do the most good.

DHacker has a good point about the Federalist architecture. If nothing else, the DC architecture fits Diana well. Remember all those covers/scenes during Rucka's run that had WW standing between pillars and on steps? Looked very Greek and chic. So I guess DC has my support from a design standpoint.

Donna M.
09-18-2009, 07:06 AM
BOSTON! Yes, I am terribly biased because I've been living in Boston for 10 years now and it thrills me to no end that George chose this city for his run. Not to mention he really nailed the details of the city and the surrounding area :biggrin:

Hyperion322
09-18-2009, 08:04 AM
BOSTON! Yes, I am terribly biased because I've been living in Boston for 10 years now and it thrills me to no end that George chose this city for his run.

Boston's my home town as well so I always liked that Post Crisis Diana came here first, before moving to Gateway City, which I always enjoyed because it gave the princess a city all her own like Metropolis and Gotham. Byrne really gave GC a life of its own and a charm that I enjoyed. But I think I prefer Diana in Washington, DC since it harks back to the Pre Crisis era and the television series. In a way having the Amazing Amazon in the capital of the US puts her more at the forefront of any national disaster that threatens the country.

~ Hype

Gaelforce
09-18-2009, 09:46 AM
Gateway City, please.

So many of the DCU heroes have their own fictional cities (Metropolis, Gotham, Star City, Central City, Opal City, Coast City, etc.) that I'm hard pressed to think of a major hero who lives in a real city outside of WW.

jrp001
09-18-2009, 10:20 AM
Why limit...

Daily living in DC. Have her stay in the refurbished/rebuilt Embassy (sans staff) as her mainstay (hey it could even serve as way to have a guest appearence by the big F. and its close to the JL HQ.

paradise retreat in the lush mountains above Gateway city (an SF analogue, i believe). this where Diana Princess of the amazons can take a break from life in her mountian palace retreat just outside the city (which she might need now that she has quit the amazons) and where she can mingle with the people in her private identity (almost anonymously) as Diana Prince. Have the locals think her some rich art collector recluse/city's benefiactor-esque.

Boston never really grabbed me as a WW locale...

Indigo Al
09-18-2009, 12:15 PM
Count me as a vote for Washington, DC. The Federalist architecture seems to fit Wonder Woman pretty well. Plus, she works well in a political setting.

For these reasons, I say DC. The classical architecture alone suits Diana, and there's so much intrigue to be had. At least, no more NYC please (and I say this as a long time New Yorker).

Wonder Watcher
09-18-2009, 12:18 PM
Boston, there was really no need for Byrne to change it.

Messner-Loebs obviously thought so because while Byrne had uprooted her to Gateway, 9 months later over in Artemis Requiem issue #1 Loebs had Diana waking up from a nightmare in an "I love Boston" T-shirt. Made me smile.

Rucka's relocation at least made sense, with the embassy.

md62
09-18-2009, 12:27 PM
Gateway. I like DC's fictional cities....

CarolStrick
09-18-2009, 12:36 PM
St. Louis has that big monument to Wondie's lasso...
http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/47/93847-004-232DF925.jpg

I think we should include it in the list of possibles.

korok
09-18-2009, 12:37 PM
She's in D.C. now, and I'm fine with that. However - I would like to see her visit Boston, and visit Gateway City. I'd like Gateway kept alive in Wonder Woman, even if she's not there all the time. It would be nice if she went there to relax, and I'd love to see how Helena and Mike would react if she brought the gorillas along!

AdamYJ
09-18-2009, 12:41 PM
Gateway. I like DC's fictional cities....

I do too. However, it wasn't executed that well. Places like Metropolis, Gotham City, Keystone City and Opal City have all been very distinct over the years. Gateway City was just "Fake San Francisco". I'd like to see someone revisit Gateway City and really make it its own place.

One thought I had is that, like how Metropolis is becoming the place to go for scientific achievement and Keystone City's become a manufacturing center, Gateway City should be a center for art, history and culture. A seaport city where they go out of their way to preserve old things and old parts of the city and unique architecture. When I think of this, I'm reminded of different parts of Boston and Newport I've been to and, yes, even parts of San Francisco that I've read about or seen in pictures.

Scott E. Hileman
09-18-2009, 03:17 PM
What? No love for Capitol City? If my feeble memory serves, that was the name of Wonder Woman's stomping grounds during the Golden Age.

For those who don't get my humor, I am joking. I have to admit, I am torn between all those cities mentioned above and all for good reasons.

However, I am a HUGE fan of DC's fictious cities, so I tend to lean towards Gateway City. I kind of like AdamYJ's suggestion on how to make distinctive being a city that is center for art, cultural, etc.

We have had a few time altering situations since her move to Gateway City. Perhaps it can be tweaked so that Gateway City is a suburb or within commuting difference of Washington, DC? Almost the best of both worlds (too bad Boston isn't closer). After all, Star City started out as being in the vicinity of Boston at one time, and moved to Chicago, then to the West Coast. It would be nice if the West Coast could return the favor. It would nice to, if Gateway shows up again, they acknowledge of the other heroes that use to be there like the Spectre and Mr. Terrific.

nightforce
09-18-2009, 03:42 PM
I love the Washington D.C. locale the best

AdamYJ
09-18-2009, 05:05 PM
However, I am a HUGE fan of DC's fictious cities, so I tend to lean towards Gateway City. I kind of like AdamYJ's suggestion on how to make distinctive being a city that is center for art, cultural, etc.

Thank you. :biggrin:

I also would like to see something done with Hawkman's old stomping grounds, Midway City (which, I believe, used to just be "Fake Chicago").

Kurt Busiek
09-18-2009, 05:13 PM
Thank you. :biggrin:

I also would like to see something done with Hawkman's old stomping grounds, Midway City (which, I believe, used to just be "Fake Chicago").

Central City was Fake Chicago.

Midway City was Fake Detroit. Right from the first story, which involved a highway tunnel that was recognizable a stand-in for one in Detroit.

Gateway City (in the Sixties) was Fake St. Louis, Coast City was Fake LA, Evergreen City was Fake Seattle, Motor City was Fake Detroit, Ivy Town was fake New Haven (or maybe Cambridge), Metropolis was Fake New York, Gotham City was Fake New York, and Star City was (at least originally) Fake Gotham City, making it Fake Fake New York.

kdb

AdamYJ
09-18-2009, 06:04 PM
Central City was Fake Chicago.

Midway City was Fake Detroit. Right from the first story, which involved a highway tunnel that was recognizable a stand-in for one in Detroit.

Gateway City (in the Sixties) was Fake St. Louis, Coast City was Fake LA, Evergreen City was Fake Seattle, Motor City was Fake Detroit, Ivy Town was fake New Haven (or maybe Cambridge), Metropolis was Fake New York, Gotham City was Fake New York, and Star City was (at least originally) Fake Gotham City, making it Fake Fake New York.

kdb

I thought Central City was Fake Kansas City. And lately it seems that Star City is Fake Seattle (or at least, I think it is. Then again, supposedly Green Arrow was also located in Real Seattle for a little while).

Of course, nowadays Keystone City is Fake Detroit. Though the proximity of Keystone and Central make them sort of like Fake Minneapolis and Fake St. Paul.

By the way, who was headquartered in Evergreen City?

Anodyne
09-18-2009, 06:49 PM
I thought Central City was Fake Kansas City. And lately it seems that Star City is Fake Seattle (or at least, I think it is. Then again, supposedly Green Arrow was also located in Real Seattle for a little while).

Of course, nowadays Keystone City is Fake Detroit. Though the proximity of Keystone and Central make them sort of like Fake Minneapolis and Fake St. Paul.

By the way, who was headquartered in Evergreen City?
Pre-CoIE Hal Jordan for a while, IIRC. He left Coast city because Carol Ferris was going to marry someone else; during this period he dated a woman named Eve Doremus.

An issue of Wally-Flash identified his cities as Central City, Missouri and Keystone City, Kansas. That sounds like the Twin Kansas Cities to me.

OTOH Cary Bates once made pre-CoIE Central City an analog of Athens, Ohio.

I doubt that anyone will be surprised that I liked having Wonder Woman in my home town.

Kurt Busiek
09-18-2009, 06:58 PM
I thought Central City was Fake Kansas City.

No -- they've since retconned Central City and Keystone into something like that, but it was Fake Chicago when it debuted.


And lately it seems that Star City is Fake Seattle (or at least, I think it is. Then again, supposedly Green Arrow was also located in Real Seattle for a little while).

And left Star City to go there. And didn't Star City recently get hit by a Katrina-like hurricane?

But Green Arrow started out as a dead-bang Batman swipe, which is why Star City seems to float around so much; it really wasn't anywhere. It was a knockoff of an imitation.


Of course, nowadays Keystone City is Fake Detroit. Though the proximity of Keystone and Central make them sort of like Fake Minneapolis and Fake St. Paul.

More like Fake Kansas City Kansas and Kansas City Missouri. Even though Keystone was Philadelphia, to start.


By the way, who was headquartered in Evergreen City?

Hal Jordan, briefly.

kdb

suedenim
09-18-2009, 07:03 PM
No -- they've since retconned Central City and Keystone into something like that, but it was Fake Chicago when it debuted.


I'm not sure I'd agree with that. Regard Scipio's analysis of Central City's Infantino-based geography (http://absorbascon.blogspot.com/search/label/Central%20City), and it certainly looks like a sprawling city in the middle of a lot of flat nothingness.

Kurt Busiek
09-18-2009, 07:07 PM
I'm not sure I'd agree with that. Regard Scipio's analysis of Central City's Infantino-based geography (http://absorbascon.blogspot.com/search/label/Central%20City), and it certainly looks like a sprawling city in the middle of a lot of flat nothingness.

You ever see Chicago in 1956?

Infantino certainly abstracted it, as if it's all skyscrapers and then suddenly all nothing but flat fields, but no city is like that.

kdb

AdamYJ
09-18-2009, 07:38 PM
No -- they've since retconned Central City and Keystone into something like that, but it was Fake Chicago when it debuted.



And left Star City to go there. And didn't Star City recently get hit by a Katrina-like hurricane?

But Green Arrow started out as a dead-bang Batman swipe, which is why Star City seems to float around so much; it really wasn't anywhere. It was a knockoff of an imitation.



More like Fake Kansas City Kansas and Kansas City Missouri. Even though Keystone was Philadelphia, to start.



Hal Jordan, briefly.

kdb

I'll take your word for all that. You know more about this stuff than I do. Though, I can't help but think that an analogue of Chi-Town would be a better fit for Katar than Barry.

Anyway, all this has gotten me a bit confused. I still live in Real Latham, New York, right? :confused:

Kurt Busiek
09-18-2009, 07:53 PM
I'll take your word for all that. You know more about this stuff than I do. Though, I can't help but think that an analogue of Chi-Town would be a better fit for Katar than Barry.

Oh, I don't know. The Windy City, City of Big Shoulders, seemed like a good place for a modern, SF-y series like the Silver Age Flash.

Besides, by the time Katar showed up, Barry already had dibs. [The Golden Age Hawkman had been based in New York City, as I recall.]


Anyway, all this has gotten me a bit confused. I still live in Real Latham, New York, right? :confused:

No promises.

kdb

Mr. Kent
09-19-2009, 10:50 AM
Hmm - there seems to be an even smattering of opinions on all sides, with some very good reasons supporting each city.

I want to see a story arc that takes Diana through all her historic stomping grounds - it could bring a lot of long lost supporting cast members out of the woodwork for an issue.

ChrisDonaghy
09-19-2009, 11:08 AM
Don't forget New York -- Diana was based there during her UN days, as well as the World's Greatest Superheroes newspaper strip. And wasn't she also in a Fake New York called Empire City in the 1960's?

(Aside to Kurt Busiek -- maybe the monster was just in a bad mood -- I've been stuck in that tunnel trying to get from Windsor to Detroit!)

I've only seen a little of the Hawks these days, but it seems that St. Roch is Fake New Orleans. Or is that just another oddball perception of mine?

Kurt Busiek
09-19-2009, 11:34 AM
I've only seen a little of the Hawks these days, but it seems that St. Roch is Fake New Orleans. Or is that just another oddball perception of mine?

That's the impression I have, too.

kdb

jeangreydp
09-19-2009, 12:52 PM
I like Washington DC. Don't mind Boston as a setting for WW.

I'd have no problem with a fictional city for her, but what I didn't like about Gateway City was that we were told it's in California, and was supposed to be an analogue of sorts for San Francisco, which makes no sense.

St. Louis is "The Gateway City," so naming a DC city that isn't supposed to make people think of St. Louis after its nickname is kind of like naming a city Beantown and not having it in Massachusetts, or placing Windy City or Motor City in Arizona.

Not to mention that DC already had a Gateway City, from old Spectre stories, and sure enough, it was in the middle of the country and had a Gateway City Arch.

If you want that kind of analogue for San Francisco, call it Goldengate City or something. Don't bogart St. Louis's nickname.

kdb

I absolutely agree! I'm from St. Louis and when I first read Gateway City was West Coast I was annoyed. High-five to Kurt.

As for the topic at hand I like her in DC, but its not like I've got my heart set on any WW location.

Kurt Busiek
09-19-2009, 01:02 PM
And wasn't she also in a Fake New York called Empire City in the 1960's?

I don't think so. Courageous Cat, the Paul Kirk Manhunter and C.O.P.S. were located in Empire City, but I don't think WW ever was.

kdb

suedenim
09-19-2009, 02:40 PM
One thing to bear in mind is that there's Fake New York and there's Fake New York (or whatever city.)

I don't mind when a city's supposed to "evoke" another city (like St. Roch evoking New Orleans. I was a bit irked by that since Opal City is also kinda-sorta a fake New Orleans.)

What bugs me is when Fake New York is exactly like Real New York, just (maybe) with the names slightly changed. The Metropolis of the Superman movies, for instance, is New York in every way (well, until Superman IV when it becomes London, but the less said about that movie, in every respect, the better....)