Welcome to the first ever NERDERDOME! Nerderdome will be a month long conversation with FOUR prompts for ONE topic. The Nerdery Public will gather together nerds for a conversation about a hot nerd topic, and you’re invited to join in on the conversation!
This first Nerder. Death. Kill. is about WONDER WOMAN. Our collaborators are:
Jessica, aka @charmingred, Mother. Comic reader. Sci-Fi watcher. Raised a lady, chosen to be geek. Theoretically reading comics.
Rick, aka @EvolvedRick, I’m not that other guy, I’m the one you mistake him for. Potato wrangler, monkey with a laptop, creator of hand-crafted sentences, and award-winning liar.
Without further ado … ENTER, THE NERDERDOM…
JESSICA: I’m Jessica, I’m a teacher and despite owning copies of all 13 issues and thinking Brian Azzarello is a genius, I’m playing the role of hating the new Wonder Woman. I have no business analysing comics because I’m just a short-sighted fangirl who loves everything she reads. Fanboys can kiss my butt every time they whine to the editors about changes. CHANGE IS CREATIVITY! FAIR WARNING: In the interest of entertainment I may play dirty… of course, with three kids around, crap is bound to fly!
RICK: Warning understood! I’ll either dodge the crap or place a fan in front of it just to see it fly! I’m Rick Austin, also known as @EvolvedRick in Twitter circles. I’m 38 hitting 39 at Warp Speed, I’m a writer and consultant, and I’ve been reading comic books for over thirty years. I’m in the Obi-Wan role here, and I’m on about the cool Alec Guinness version. Jessica, why do you say “butt” and “crap”? You should swear more.
JESSICA: Cursing is an affront to creativity and the English language.
RICK: Belgiums! I can get that, and it makes my tummy-banana do weird things. Getting back to it, I think Wonder Woman is the First Lady of comics, and deserves a bit of respect for that!
JESSICA: You also secretly wish her boobs were more exposed and her one-piece had more ruffles added to the legs for a skirt effect. Let’s not even get started on the lasso fetish!
RICK: Hey, I’ve seen your eyes wandering too, let’s just blame the artists! Although wasn’t the lasso and bracelets a fetish thing for Marston when he created her? I know he had some bondage fantasies. Um, shouldn’t there be someone else here in The Nerderdome with us? I don’t see him, I think he’s using his cloak of invisibility. Nice place though, I like the blood on the walls.
For all the things we could say about Wonder Woman’s history as a character, she’s still not a character about whom most people know very much. She’s got an iconic look and all, but not much is known about the character herself. If you had to put your finger on ONE reason why this is the case, what would it be?
RICK: I’m not going to finger her at all!
JESSICA: Wonder Woman was never given iconic quirks, idiosyncrasies or must haves in her personal life. Batman pretended to be the rich playboy and Superman was the opposite, physically and socially, of Clark Kent. However, Wonder Woman was only seen as the Princesses both in costume and out.
RICK: She was seen out of her costume? Damn, some fanboys would pay real money to see that!
JESSICA: Her alter ego never grabbed attention. Barbara Gordon has identic memory, Selina Kyle is sexy and dramatic… even Stephanie Brown had waffles! What does Wonder Woman have? An S&M closet along with the personality of a politician. So, really, she’s a female David Carradine without the great film credits. She’s loyal but makes you want to cry at her lack of humor.
RICK: Yeah, the Diana Prince alter-ego may not have been the most attention-grabbing. It did put her in the military, and the massive glasses are cute, but it makes her stand out as much as Where’s Wally (or Waldo, as those across the pond know him). Superman’s origin has been told in so many mediums so many damn times that it’s ingrained in the public consciousness. Every time they run a series for him, they retell his origin! She’s had the comics, a TV show and an animated film. Add to that the reboots of her origin and even the fans get a headache.
JESSICA: Linda Carter strapping on boots and a butt hugging leotard wasn’t exposure enough! Wonder Woman’s origin is probably the only thing people knew about her, really: AMAZON WARRIOR PRINCESS! She’s not Xena, but that’s all people who don’t read her books see of her.
SAM: When discussing her character, I think the term is generally too broad and too vague.
RICK: Don’t call her a broad! She’ll kill you for that!
SAM: Wonder Woman has exhibited many traits across her years. Most people don’t know that she’s a fiery, warrior princess who attempts to solve problems with diplomacy first because they don’t read the comics. However, what they do see is a symbol.
RICK: Yeah, that breast-plate armour is hard to miss.
SAM: Wonder Woman’s been used as a symbol for all forms of things in her long career as a hero. Her status as iconic is her character. At least the defining aspect of her character, as majority of the world sees her as the ultimate symbol of female authority in comic books. This then leads them to make their own conclusions about that character. While these conclusions may or may not have had anything to do with her actual character, it’s the character that people give her. They see her image and they say “that’s the strongest female in comics” or better yet “that’s the strongest woman”.
PART 2 COMING OCTOBER 8th – GET YOUR ANSWERS READY:
Do think Wonder Woman’s explicitly mythological origin story make her harder to relate to, or do you think it’s a storytelling strength?