Comics / Spotlight / Progressive Panels

Superman and Wonder Woman as Lovers Devalues Both

By Andy Frisk
August 22, 2012 - 17:28

In age where we are witnessing the incredible dumbing down of society and the complete distortion and fabrication of facts to support a specific (read: monetarily motivated) position, stance, belief, or political campaign, DC Comics, instead of rising above the fray and giving their readers a better example, go with the most stupendously insulting, blatantly "obvious," and dunderheaded  plot line in decades. Superman and Wonder Woman are about to become lovers. This is happening for real and for true in the DCnU and not in some altered universe story. 

So, why, pray tell, is the Superman/Wonder Woman romance just so wrong? First off it's TOO obvious, and too obviously directed at attracting short term sales numbers. Many, many people who don't care about decent storytelling, or the characters of Superman and Wonder Woman in the first place, will be attracted to this storyline (more like the single issue that introduces the romance: Justice League #12). I have plenty of friends who don't read comics and don't really care about superheroes in general (yes, I DO have friends like this) who have jokingly remarked to me that they "thought Wonder Woman and Superman were always doin' it on the side anyway." The point being that they said this JOKINGLY. Some of these friends might end up buying Justice League #12 just to see what the deal (really) is (now). Is this the type of short term sales boost that sustains a company long term? No, but in the world of the "next quarter is God" business model that we've constructed, Superman does Wonder Woman will bring a short sales boost to this quarter.

Second, as our publisher Herve St. Louis already remarked here at ComicBookBin, "For years, DC Comics has pretended that Wonder Woman was her own character and able to stand on her own without any male character to back her up. Yet, at the first suggestion that she would date Superman, it is Superman who is made the dominant partner in the relationship..." Brian Azzarello is currently writing what could quite possibly be the best Wonder Woman stories ever written over in The New 52's Wonder Woman, and Diana is finally standing on her own as a high quality and engaging character. So what does DC Comics decide to do? They decide to make her essentially Mrs. Superman in fan's minds. In an age where young men and women need to read about, and old men and women need to be reminded about, strong female characters who stand on their own and don't need (even from a sales point) any help (through cross branding) to be who they are and who can be excellent metaphors and allegories of real life women, DC Comics undercuts their most high profile female hero.

Third, this is not to say that putting Wonder Woman in a relationship is wrong or damaging to her status as a strong and independent woman. Who Wonder Woman chooses to be with would be her choice if she were a real life woman as opposed to a fictional character, but she isn't a real life woman just as Superman isn't a real life man. Therefore, by putting them together fictionally DC Comics is devaluing them as characters. The whole point of Wonder Woman and Superman, as Diana and Clark Kent, falling in love with characters, Lois Lane and Steve Trevor, that are mortal and not super powered, but are incredibly strong spirited, moral, and upstanding characters is to add a depth to both Superman and Wonder Woman that is unmatchable on any other level. Clark and Diana being with Lois and Trevor is packed with much more storytelling potential and emotional depth than Clark and Diana being with each other.
Clark and Diana are both just as strong emotionally and morally as Lois and Steve are, but their being together makes them less human characters and more alienated and commiserating ones. Geoff Johns, via, states that, "Both have huge hearts for mankind, yet also feel estranged from humanity." So, basically they are going to form an outsider/emo type of couple? Both of them are better than this, and for decades they have been trying to integrate into humanity, not alienate themselves from it.

Okay, bring on the counterpoints. I really want to hear this debated out. I want to be excited about this story (beyond the fact that its sales will help my previously favorite comic book publisher). Please, convince me otherwise DC Comics. Don't just tell me to "wait and see" how go its going to be. Give me some reasons. I'm listening...

Last Updated: January 24, 2022 - 11:00

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