Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wonder Woman - Male Amazon Children

I was pretty shocked when I first heard it -- the revelation in Wonder Woman #7, that the Amazons of the DCU are being re-imagined as neither immortal, or moral - as Wonder Woman discovers that her people have a practice of rape and murder (to procreate), but also giving up any male amazon children into slavery. While this definitely seems in tune with the old-school amazon myths, it does seem to be a shockingly disturbing change to Wonder Woman's origins. William Marston, creator of the Wonder Woman (and the lie detector), never intended for the modern-day reinterpretation of the amazons to be like this.

Kelly Thompson, of Comic Book Resources, wrote about the revelation. (Click here.) She makes some very astute points, about how deeply this hurts the Wonder Woman Mythos.

Wanting to see for myself what this was all about, I bought the issue on Comixology. It was a good issue, but it's repercussions will no doubt either tarnish the Wonder Woman mythos, or invariably force a retcon of events (ALREADY?!). As Kelly Thompson points out, the importance WW has meant to the feminist movement, and how much this alters her mythos, cannot be understated.

Diana, thankfully, reacted like expected -- immediately upon learning this about her people, she went into action to try and free her amazon brothers from slavery. If this new interpretation of the amazons is going to stand - then there has to be a complete repudiation of her people. It's been argued that Diana is either very naive, or very stupid for not having known this about her people. This version of Wonder Woman IS very naive, but being lied to about being the daughter of Zeus (and not made of clay), it's not that much of stretch to believe she's been sheltered by her people.

It suddenly hit me, though, what this change in Wonder Woman's myhos is really about. While I don't know if commentary concerning this topic is worth the controversy, it suddenly reminded me of the horrific practice in China, of favoring having a boy over a girl. An entire generation of chinese girls who have either been aborted or abandoned, in favor of a son. I think that was the point of this change - to show, in a shocking way, the reversal of male favoritism.

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