I’m a Wonder Woman fan, and I’m not afraid to admit it.
Isn’t it funny that there are substrata in the Geek community? The fact that I’m a fully-employable, reasonably attractive woman with children that also (gasp!) likes and still reads comics and admits it, puts me into a fairly narrow category, at least for my gender and age range. Once you’re actually within that category of “Comics Fan”, being a Wonder Woman fan seems to be considered lame.
Much has been made of Wonder Woman’s costume that never changes, and the fact that she has foes that aren’t exactly compelling. “She’s no Batman” and “She’s no Superman” seem to be the consensus. . . and that’s exactly right. She can’t be, and shouldn’t try.
When it comes to the “Trinity”, and her role in the DC Universe and the Justice League, Wonder Woman does what many women do, particularly in arenas where they are outnumbered by men. Trying to be a man is useless and ridiculous . . . especially when there is so much power in being a woman. Batman is dark, brooding justice and vengeance personified, unapologetic and focused. Superman is the poster boy for, as they say, truth, justice, and the American way. He is the leader that everyone can count on, and follow, and love openly, without reserve.
So what is she?
Wonder Woman holds the whole constellation of wildly different personalities together. She lives concepts like Right and Truth and Hope, every day. Batman will have days when his concept of the lines of Justice and Vengeance are dancing erratically with more widely-accepted ideas of Right. She is there to ease him back. Superman may be the Man of Steel, but he has that good Kansas upbringing that makes him wrestle with his conscience sometimes. Doing what’s Right sometimes involves hard choices, and self-doubt, and she is there to understand the difficulty, but reinforce that the greater good has to be served–even when it sucks.
Physically? Wonder Woman can give Batman the beatdown if she has to, and will whip out the Kryptonite if necessary. The Justice League, and the triad at its core, have to remain secure at all costs, and if the other two get crazy, or go over the edge, she will stand before them and say, “No.” How many other people would dare? Batman and Superman live constantly with huge bullseyes on their backs and are constantly barraged with insanity from one of their hundreds of supervillain counterparts. Who holds the show together when Superman is off-planet and Batman is simply, “Busy”? The business of keeping the world safe doesn’t stop just because the Joker broke out of Arkham . . . again.
Wonder Woman exists in a universe where she has to lead men, and maintain their respect and trust. There has to be the understanding that simply because Batman and Superman are elsewhere, the other males can’t just brush aside her authority and wait to deal with big stuff until one of the others comes back. She has to be loving and accepting and strong, both physically and mentally, and never show weakness. Not ever. If any of the other superheroes get out of line, she has to always lead with integrity and certainty, beyond reproach, with the clear understanding that if words become insufficient, she can throw down and enforce her word.
Former goddess or not, that can’t be easy.
I look forward to this run, seeing the world as it would be without Wonder Woman and Diana, and her leadership and indomitable will, and her unending belief in us and the people around her. What will Batman be like without her as a moral compass, and a sparring partner? What will Superman be like without the understanding of someone else who could tear the world apart if she chose, but doesn’t?
Bring it on.