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Topic: Who is Wonder Woman? Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 20 March 2023 at 3:35pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I know her identity but...
what would we say is the core of this character? 
Superman is driven by altruism.
Batman is driven by vengeance.
Spider-Man is driven by guilt.
Wonder Woman has been an ambassador, a warrior, a protector, a teacher, a demigoddess of Truth, so many different things. 
What would we say is at the core of Wonder Woman?


Edited by Andrew Bitner on 20 March 2023 at 3:36pm
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John Wickett
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Posted: 20 March 2023 at 4:42pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

You're right.  She's played all of those roles, but of those you listed "protector" strikes me as the core of her persona, and an important aspect of each other role.

Not sure I'd agree that Spiderman is driven by guilt.  That was certainly the motivation for him to start his career, but I think he's moved beyond that.  Right now I'd say its a combination of altruism and duty.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 20 March 2023 at 5:04pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Phil Spiderman...?
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Joe Smith
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Posted: 21 March 2023 at 2:37am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

If her book has her going for anything other than altruism, I usually stay
away. I dont need any more movements. Doing right is usually enough for
me.
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ron bailey
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Posted: 21 March 2023 at 2:03pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Try as I might have, I could never get into her much. She always seemed to come off as another slice from the same pie as Captain Marvel. A lot going on the perimeter, but nothing really compelling at the core. 

And rather than duty, Spider-Man's appeal was as the "every-teen" as super-hero: ramifications of choices, conflicts, regret/remorse ... so driven by responsibility (on the nose) rather than duty. 
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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 21 March 2023 at 2:10pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

If you don't have a defining quality, though, doesn't that make it harder to develop a meaningful set of enemies? 

Superman's enemies include a supergenius (brawn against brain), a genocidal alien supercomputer (alien vs alien), an extradimensional imp (mad, self-indulgent and reckless use of great power vs altruism), a rampaging murder-machine (struggling against the legacy of his homeworld), etc. Taking just that one character, you see how many of his villains are thematically opposed to Superman.

Wonder Woman's main antagonists include:
- Ares: okay, he's a God of War though his portrayal is more calculating and methodical than the mythical god (who's a violent, unthinking brute), giving Diana a foil to play off wanting to bring peace to Man's World -- he works
- Cheetah: a scientist whose self-experiments give her the ferocity and amplified physical qualities of a jungle cat -- apart from being a female supervillain, I don't see how she's a thematic opposite to Diana
- Silver Swan: she flies and she's a woman too
- Dr. Cyber: honestly, can't picture this character

JB did some great work, including setting up Dark Angel, but I don't feel that Wonder Woman has ever acquired a set of villains with name recognition even among fans.

Is it harder to create an opposite when the hero can be defined in so many different ways?


Edited by Andrew Bitner on 21 March 2023 at 3:51pm
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Brad Wilders
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Posted: 21 March 2023 at 3:12pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

If you were to return to her original formulation, the core of her character is love and that love grants peace and strength and power to those who wield it.   

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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 21 March 2023 at 3:53pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Interesting notion, Brad.
To me, her opposite numbers would then represent hate, lies, betrayal, distrust, and so on. Seems like a basis for building a credible rogue's gallery.
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ron bailey
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Posted: 21 March 2023 at 4:06pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

We can safely agree that she has been poorly served in that regard, can't we? Have we ever seen any of her antagonists face any other heroes of note? Not that it should be the metric, but it's so commonly done it makes you wonder ...
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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 21 March 2023 at 4:46pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Really, though, I'd like to see her share the Seven Deadly Sins from Shazam--they seem like a strong mythological counterpart to Wonder Woman at least as much as to Shazam.
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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 21 March 2023 at 4:48pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I have to agree, Ron. Not that villains fight other heroes ALL the time but it does happen.
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ron bailey
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Posted: 21 March 2023 at 4:53pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Really, though, I'd like to see her share the Seven Deadly Sins from Shazam--they seem like a strong mythological counterpart to Wonder Woman at least as much as to Shazam.

Now that I think about it, that must have been done already, somewhere
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