Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wonder Woman: Confidence and Truth

I'm catching up on three weeks' worth of comics and just read a couple of good Wonder Woman stories. In Justice League of America #20, the Flash narrates this encounter with Wonder Woman. His reaction to her feels real. It's the kind of reaction Wonder Woman ought to inspire in her fellow heroes. (I also like how it implies that she's been active as a superhero for a good, long time. My biggest disappointment about the Perez relaunch in the '80s was how it made her a newbie in DC's superhero community.)

But as nice as it is to see Wonder Woman getting some well-deserved respect, that's not especially unique in DC comics these days. What is rare is seeing someone get Wonder Woman as well as Gail Simone does in Wonder Woman #19.

I've written before about how I thought that Wonder Woman's confidence was at the core of her character. Simone's not only latched onto that same idea, she's refined it and rephrased it in vocabulary that's connected to the character. Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth makes a lot more sense when you start talking about Wonder Woman herself as being an icon of Truth.

Confidence and Truth are so connected. The more honest I am with myself and others, the more confident I am too. What is confidence but an ability to embrace the truth about yourself and live unashamed of it? It doesn't mean you never make a mistake, but it does mean that when you do it doesn't destroy your self-image. Because your self-image is based on who you really are; not on who you pretend to be or want the world to believe you are.

That's Wonder Woman all over. As an icon of Truth, of course she understands and acknowledges the truth about herself. She isn't afraid of it. She doesn't question it. She owns it. And that's what makes her such an attractive character to both men and women. I love that Simone not only gets that, but she's expressing it in the comic in terms that inextricably tie it to Wonder Woman's character. She's defining Wonder Woman in a way that any future writer who's paying attention will be able to latch onto and use as a template.

"Everything about her from the inside out is about finding and uncovering the larger truth." It's only one sentence, but it absolutely nails the character. I'd hug Gail if she was here.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Current WW art is terrible. As in, she is manly.




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