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  1. #1306
    Marquis de carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MelDyer View Post
    Is Wonder written off as uncaring and self-serving by some comic fans?
    More likely she is written off as campy, corny, preachy, pollyanna, girlscoutish, too whitebread, oldfashioned, outdated...

    They're wrong, mostly, but that is the image Wonder Woman has with people who don't read the books.

    Maybe, she does need a teenaged girl or Etta's niece living with her and sharing her adventures. It's fine that she cartes about the whole wide world, but, I don't think that moves people on a gut or heart level, where WW is concerned. I think the comic needs a character, who, like the creation of Robin in the Batman comic , whose presence creates opportunities for Wondy to show humanity and warmth to a person, who actually needs it and to whom she is deeply commited.
    That's kinda not really going to help. It's only going to confirm pre-existing views of the character, and its only going to further shatter the existing fanbase.

    I'd drop it in a heartbeat, for one.
    Last edited by carabas; 12-04-2010 at 05:17 AM.
    'The marquis. Well, you know, to be honest, he seems a little bit dodgy to me.'
    'Mm,' she agreed. 'He's a little bit dodgy in the same way that rats are a little bit covered in fur."

  2. #1307
    Tyro
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    As the first poster suggested, part of what we want to see is heroes that care (one reason why the series about Superman walking across the U.S. was green-lit, even though the execution of the book is painfully condescending), so it may not be a bad thing for Wonder Woman to have a sidekick. But we also want to see heroes with humanity and heroes who can change, both of which Xena does.

    Not to be a stereotypical Xena-loving lesbian, but that show was integral to my coming out and understanding of myself as a person. The show was literally a journey as Xena and Gabby traveled around (New Zealand) the ancient world helping people, kicking ass, and developing as characters. They didn't have to learn a lesson every episode, but the plots of each episode built who they were and contributed toward their personalities. Most comic arcs these days are built to leave the characters right where they started so as not to step on the toes of the next writer.

    It can be difficult to develop comic characters too much lest you risk having your marriage reset (ahem), but books like Ultimate Spider-man do pretty well and haven't run out of interesting plots yet. So maybe this is a question of long-running legacy characters who nobody wants to make too dynamic vs. a TV character whose run is over in five or six years, as well as a character with a collaborative writing staff and overseeing producer vs. serial writers and editors who may or may not be actually working toward a coherent, character-driven story.

    Quote Originally Posted by carabas View Post
    They're wrong, mostly, but that is the image Wonder Woman has with people who don't read the books.
    Some people who have read the books have that image too. And that's why we don't read anymore. Greg Rucka's run was given to me as an example of the best of what WW could be, and I found it bland and boring. A scantily-clad paragon of goodness with some unconvincing "internal" "dialogue" showing inner conflict during the last big fight of the arc left me yawning. I didn't believe that Diana had humanity - she was pretty plastic - and I didn't see any change in her. And anyone asking what change I expect to see in one writer's run can answer this: why would you read a writer who wouldn't change the characters in some way?

  3. #1308
    Senior Member swatkat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chickwithmonkey View Post
    Some people who have read the books have that image too. And that's why we don't read anymore. Greg Rucka's run was given to me as an example of the best of what WW could be, and I found it bland and boring. A scantily-clad paragon of goodness with some unconvincing "internal" "dialogue" showing inner conflict during the last big fight of the arc left me yawning. I didn't believe that Diana had humanity - she was pretty plastic - and I didn't see any change in her.
    Meanwhile, Greg Rucka's convinced me that Diana was a character worth following, so there you go!

    In response to the original question, I don't think comparing a comic book heroine with a tv character quite works, because television is a different medium, and the way it works and impacts us is different. Many things worked in Xena's favour - the campy/cheesy storylines, the well-developed female protagonists and their journey, the strong Xena/Gabrielle friendship (female friendships like that are rare on television, and I know that as a female viewer I appreciate it very much), the continuously strong characterisation... Xena was a watershed in many different ways, showing that a female action heroine could work on tv, not to mention what she and Gabrielle meant to straight and lesbian girls growing up at that time. Wonder Woman is different. She's a comic book heroine - which, as a medium, does not appeal to everyone. Moreoever, she's been around for 70 years, and her appeal to readers from different generations is different.

    I do however agree that Wonder Woman could use a strong supporting team, by strengthening the existing characters (who are quite lovable to begin with). Diana, like Bruce, shines in company. For that, however, we need a consistent Diana characterisation first, instead of writers flailing around in every direction.
    Last edited by swatkat; 12-04-2010 at 07:43 AM.

  4. #1309
    Elder Member Free-Man's Avatar
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    Well, Xena is in a whole different bracket. She has a huge cult following, but it's important to remember that it was a low-budget show that aired in syndication, where lower viewing figures are acceptable.

    But to the whole sidekick angle, there are always practical benefits in adding a sidekick, but I'm not sure that "Showing the mentor has feelings" is one of them.

  5. #1310
    Senior Member Boonciaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swatkat View Post
    the strong Xena/Gabrielle friendship (female friendships like that are rare on television, and I know that as a female viewer I appreciate it very much)
    Not to mention a well done, well-written, lesbian relationship between two women who were bisexual. Most lesbian relationships on TV nowadays are done by faux-bisexual women who just want attention from guys.

  6. #1311
    Senior Member witchboy's Avatar
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    ITA that a stronger supporting cast would help WW. It doesn't necesserily have to be a sidekick, but showing WW's maternal side would be exploring fresh ground with the character. She's been big sister to Donna, Cassie, etc, but having her take a stronger role with a child, as a foster mother maybe, would be interesting.
    And Xena was great. Xena and Gabrielle forever!

  7. #1312
    A Nerd for All Seasons
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    Quote Originally Posted by swatkat View Post
    In response to the original question, I don't think comparing a comic book heroine with a tv character quite works, because television is a different medium, and the way it works and impacts us is different. Many things worked in Xena's favour - the campy/cheesy storylines, the well-developed female protagonists and their journey, the strong Xena/Gabrielle friendship (female friendships like that are rare on television, and I know that as a female viewer I appreciate it very much), the continuously strong characterisation... Xena was a watershed in many different ways, showing that a female action heroine could work on tv, not to mention what she and Gabrielle meant to straight and lesbian girls growing up at that time. Wonder Woman is different. She's a comic book heroine - which, as a medium, does not appeal to everyone. Moreoever, she's been around for 70 years, and her appeal to readers from different generations is different.
    Are comic book and TV audiences really so different? What are comic book audiences looking for if not strong, consistent characterizations, and fun and interesting interactions between believable characters?

    Traditionally, Wonder Woman has struggled to maintain a readership. I've heard it suggested that the book would have been cancelled long ago on a purely sales basis, but survives because of all the tie-in licensing money it brings in. I think the lack of compelling human connections and relationships in much of Wonder Woman's history is a big part of the book's ongoing problems.

    When we think of almost any other major comic book character, it's not just their powers and fights that come to mind, but their supporting casts and relationships. When we think of Spider-Man, we think of his dear old Aunt, his loves, and his irascible boss at the Daily Bugle. We think of Superman, we think of his Pulitzer-winning wife Lois, his sweet and wise Ma & Pa. We think of Batman and we think of his long-suffering butler and one or three Robins under his wing. Etc. etc.

    Wonder Woman has had some fantastic supporting characters over the years: her warrior mother Hippolyta, the gallant Steve Trevor, the irrepressible Etta Candy (who was one of comicdom's few great plus-size characters, until the recent ret-con reduced her to one more stick-sized blonde, ugh). But none of these characters have been treated as essential to Wonder Woman's story. None have been raised to truly iconic status, and I think WW is the poorer for it.

  8. #1313
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    I want Wonder Woman to be as different from Xena as possible.
    The original should never copy the copy.
    I never watched a full episode of Xena in my life...too much yelling.

    And Rucka was my favorite Wonder Woman writer, bar none!

  9. #1314
    Marquis de carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elflore View Post
    Are comic book and TV audiences really so different?
    They are very different indeed. TV audiences encompass old, young, both genders...

    Comics audiences is mostly middle-aged men.
    'The marquis. Well, you know, to be honest, he seems a little bit dodgy to me.'
    'Mm,' she agreed. 'He's a little bit dodgy in the same way that rats are a little bit covered in fur."

  10. #1315
    Tyro
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    Quote Originally Posted by carabas View Post
    Comics audiences is mostly middle-aged men.
    This is why we can't have nice things.

  11. #1316
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    Quote Originally Posted by carabas View Post
    They are very different indeed. TV audiences encompass old, young, both genders...

    Comics audiences is mostly middle-aged men.
    Assuming that's even partly true, is that really the only audience we want?

    (And we can be comic fans and/or creators here.)

  12. #1317
    Senior Member Boonciaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TripleX View Post
    I want Wonder Woman to be as different from Xena as possible.
    The original should never copy the copy.
    I agree! Wonder Woman's her own woman, and not a Xena clone.

    This is why I personally love Golden age Wonder Woman the best over the modern day one. The modern day Wonder Woman to me just feels too much like a Xena clone, what with all of the new weapons in her arsenal like the sword, battle-ax, spear, & shield, and all of the emphasis on her being such a badass.

  13. #1318
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    I've never watched more than 5 minutes of Xena but I would have to imagine Xena would be easier to care about for the masses than Wonder Woman. WW is a harder sell because she's got the complex backstory, the long unexciting origin, more and higher suspensions of belief to have to deal with, and a mostly bland revolving supporting cast of characters.

    On the other hand Xena seemed to be rooted in the "Sword and Sorcery" world which most people accept more easily. Her stories were probably far more straightforward. Xena also had actors as opposed to being drawings on paper. Actors can win you over with their performances, looks and personalities even when the material isn't that strong.

  14. #1319
    Tyro
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    Quote Originally Posted by TripleX View Post
    The original should never copy the copy.
    The who and the what now? Xena is as much a takeoff of WW as Firefly is of Star Wars. Unless you really think that there's only one inspiration for a woman who kicks ass, and if so, you need to get back to your mythological roots, my friend. Start with Atalanta, Boudica, and Chand Bibi, and let me know when you need more.

  15. #1320
    Elder Member Libaax's Avatar
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    As Carabas said people who dont read WW has the picture of WW as outdated, campy, corny oldfashioned.

    My biggest problem has always been the costume. Why i have never had interest in the comics. When i see Xena tv show no matter it looked,was written Xena looked awesome like a warrior because of her look,outfit.

    WW i only see outdated,bikini costume. Many female superheroines have better costumes that has been updated better.
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