Saturday, December 23, 2006

Wonder Women

Just read the interview in the February 2007 Wizard with Jodi Picoult who will take over Wonder Woman. I'd like to say soon, which it is issue-wise, but time-wise, who the heck knows?

Anyway, I was happy to read that she was a comic book fan, though mostly of Marvel, and that since getting the WW gig, she's read all the Wonder Woman comics she could get her hands on:
"...But I read everything from the stuff back in the '40s to the [Greg] Rucka stuff and things that have been much more modern."
I was heartened by her comments that show a true understanding of the character:
"The fun thing about her is that she's not like Batman, who is human. She's more like Superman. You can adore a group and fight for them, and still know in your heart that you're not like them."
Now, it can be argued that Superman is more human than Batman in that Supes as Clark has married and formed close relationships with the people in his life from his adopted parents to the people he works with, while Bruce has kept emotional distance between himself and anyone who does care, including Alfred and Dick and Tim even while using them, even exploiting them as suits him. To me, Diana is somewhere in between, someone who is alien like Supes, but who never quite fit in with humans the way he does, probably because even when she used a secret identity, she never really lived the life she'd assumed in the way Clark became that reporter he was playing.

Picoult gets that, too, or at least, part of it:
"One of the things that I'm trying to do is talk about how hard it is for her to maintain this secret human identity for the first time in a very long time."
I'm eager to see how she handles Diana Prince, agent for the Dept. of Metahuman Affairs, especially given that she is a metahuman.

She also mentioned issues remaining for Diana regarding her mother, the "archetypal story between any woman and a daughter," which brought to mind Black Canary's own mother issues as explored most recently in Birds of Prey 100 in the solo Black Canary story when she tells Sin about her life. Both Dinah and Diana lost their mothers and both took up the role their mothers played. I'll be interested in seeing Picoult's take on it re: Diana.

Picoult expressed surprise that such a strong female character has had only one other female writer, something I don't remember, so it must have been when I wasn't reading comics. And while I think a good writer can write characters of either sex -- and indeed, women like Gail Simone have written wonderful stories with male characters, with the men of Secret Six at the top of the list, and Ed Brubaker and now Will Pfeifer writing a great Catwoman, among other men who write strong females -- a character as iconic as Wonder Woman who has never achieved the status of her peers, Batman and Superman, could benefit with a woman's perspective. Gail Simone made BoP a "must-read" and I'm hoping Jodi Picoult can do the same for WW.

She showed a sense of humor, too, saying she'd expected to be cast as WW in the upcoming movie as part of her deal with DC. Now, if she can just meet deadlines, I think we'll be in for a treat. I'd been hopeful since first hearing she'd gotten the writing gig on WW, but now I'm really looking forward to her run on the book. If we can only get through the current one.

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