Friday, March 10, 2017

Wonder Woman #17

I thought Rucka cracked down on overly sexualized covers?

Seventeen issues in and Wonder Woman is still confused by DC's continuity problems. Come on, Greg Rucka! This has been the longest, most boring way to erase Azzarello's bit about the Amazons raping sailors and then tossing the male children born from rape over a cliff. It would have been easier to have Diana dining with Hessia and saying, "I've been wondering. Did you ever rape any sailors to keep the Amazon population up?" And then Hessia would have spit her red wine all over the table and said, "Where'd you hear that old story? More of that patriarchal bullshit from Hephaestus, no doubt. That asshole has been kidnapping young boys for centuries and using that stupid rape story to explain where he was getting them. The Amazons raping sailors for children? Diana, we're immortal! We don't need kids! Sure, sometimes stories showing you growing up from a tiny mound of clay into a young woman included young Amazon children teasing you. But those could be explained away in less than seventeen issues by just pointing out that sometimes Amazons get pregnant and nobody asks too many questions about it. That whole thing about Steve Trevor being the first man to step foot on Themyscira? You believed that?" Then I wouldn't have had to read seventeen issues of Wonder Woman running around yelling, "Who am I?! Where am I from? What the fuck is going on?! The New 52 was a disaster but don't worry! A super genius writer who is less a genius writer than Azzarello but certainly less problematic for the kinds of fans who care about that shit is here to fix everything!"

The current story is called "The Truth" so I guess Rucka is finally getting around to explaining things. Although wasn't the first story arc also called "Truth"? And it didn't explain anything! Here's what we know: Diana left Themyscira in a kind of getting kicked out of the Garden of Eden way. I don't know why Christian mythology was used. Maybe that's my own biased perspective intruding on the snake biting Diana before she left Paradise for good. Maybe there's a Greek story about a snake in a tree causing a person to leave paradise that my twelve year old self once knew. Since then, Diana has been trying to find her way back home because she realizes all of her memories of going back home were fake (probably implanted by Dr. Oz). She's never actually been back! But she's not the only one searching for a way to Paradise Island. Ares hunts for it as well. He thinks by using modern technology, he can access Wonder Woman's brain better than Wonder Woman can. He might be right because Wonder Woman almost made it home before the evil corporation blackmailed by Ares to help him decided to shoot Wonder Woman in the face. She managed to draw a twisted tree on the ground which grew on Paradise Island before she had to run away because of the being shot in the face thing.

Have I remembered everything correctly? I think that's all the information needed to understand what's happening in this series. Oh, also, Etta Candy is a big gay.

Luckily Rucka gets right into the story and only spends five pages on Castalia telling Hippolyta not to abandon faith and hope. That leaves a hefty fifteen pages to really get into the meat of the story!

The next four pages are put to good use too! Diana listens to the phallus that lives in her wrist. It reminds everybody that Wonder Woman has played a lot of roles over the years and now she's playing the role of patient in an asylum. It's her best role yet because she gets to have tea with a talking penis that lives in her arm.

She hasn't been ready for sixteen previous issues! What's the hold up?!

Thankfully, the story really gets going after the talking phallus in the cell drinking tea scene. Etta Candy and Steve Trevor have found The Minotaur because they need questions answered by somebody who knows how to navigate labyrinths. The Minotaur's name is Ferdinand because he's a bull. And since the scene doesn't really reveal much of anything, go back and read the first sentence of this paragraph sarcastically.

The Ares Squad attack Ferdinand, Etta, and Steve. But they only do it to get Barbara Ann to agree to be Cheetah again. For some comic book reason, they need a demigod to find Themyscira. To save her friends, Barbara Ann agrees to be that demigod. The attack is called off and Diana's friends are free to visit her in the hospital where Ferdinand gives Diana her lasso and costume. This pulls her out of her fugue state so that she's ready to lead her crew to Themyscira. Probably.

The Ranking!
-1! I'm not entirely sure why I haven't dropped this series yet. It would be nice if a series about Wonder Woman was actually about Wonder Woman and not about fixing Wonder Woman and DC Continuity so that Wonder Woman can be seen as the Wonder Woman Greg Rucka wants her to be. How is this any different than nearly every single Wonder Woman story that has come before when a writer gets a chance to reboot the Wonder Woman story at Issue #1? This is why she's had so many identities and why Rucka thinks he needs to spend twenty issues tearing it all down so he can build up his version of Wonder Woman. It's almost as if he thinks he can write a definitive version that can be proof against any writer ever stepping on board the series and using canon stories that Rucka didn't approve in this story arc because he wrote them away. Why can't he just get on with writing his version of Wonder Woman and just pretend the other versions never existed, the way every other comic book writer does? I feel like instead of expressing his opinion through the story, he's simply been busy tearing down past canon depictions of Wonder Woman while building up a defense against possible future depictions of the character. Who is she? What is the truth of her character? How do her conflicting memories fit into the story of Wonder Woman? I might have cared about that at one time but that was probably ten issues ago. I've lost the capacity to care! Although to be fair to Greg Rucka, he played no part in that happening. Losing my capacity to care was most likely caused by my relationships with my mother and father and also when my cat Bozo died when I was fourteen.

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