Weekly Wonder Woman: August round-up!

Etta Candy is the best

Justice League Wonder Woman poster
A new Alex Ross-inspired Wonder Woman poster for Justice League

Yes, it’s Weekly Wonder Woman – keeping you up to date on pretty much anything involving DC Comics’ premier superheroine, including Twitter spats with James Cameron

And we’re back in the room, Wondy fans, following an August absence. What’s been going on while I’ve been on Paradise Island*?

Lots. In fact, so much that you’ll have to join me after the jump before I’m even prepared to begin telling you. See you in a mo…

* Just kidding – I was on Transformation Island

Movie news

For starters, Wonder Woman has become the fifth-biggest grossing superhero/superheroine movie of all time, clearing $409m in the US and topping $800m worldwide, with only The Dark Knight, Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers and The Avengers 2 still ahead of it. Not bad for a movie originally only expected to open at $85m, hey?

Naturally, that’s upset a few men, surprisingly including noted director and feminist James Cameron, who argued that our Diana wasn’t empowered and that the movie objectified her. Needless to say, a few peopleincluding director Patty Jenkins – put him right on that one and suggested that maybe the director of True Lies wasn’t the best person to judge what was feminist or not.

The success of the movie has also made Warner Bros have a little bit of a rethink. With Marvel still writing the script for its first solo superheroine movie – Captain Marvel where are you? – how about making the DC extended cinematic universe more female-friendly than Marvel’s by sticking Wonder Woman in everything? Yep, our Diana is going to be the Tony Stark of the DCEU – the connective tissue linking everything, including the Flash movie Flashpoint, which would be her sixth movie appearance in just three years. Not bad from a standing start, hey?

There’s also now a Wonder Woman exhibit at Warner Bros, which looks a tad cool.

With the movie-to-DVD window getting ever smaller, it’s not too surprising that Wonder Woman is already available in the US on digital, although that’s still pretty speedy. We’ll have to wait until September 24 to get it in the UK, mind, but you can pre-order on iTunes, Amazon Video or DVD, of course.

To boost that release, all manner of promotional material is being put out, mostly from the DVD extras.

The most notable of these are some lovely little clips featuring our very own Lucy Davies (Etta Candy) that make you wish for an Etta Candy solo movie:

There’s also a deleted scene (apparently filmed during the reshoots) that hints at further adventures for Etta and her merry men following the movie, as well as the Motherbox-shaped things to come in Justice League.

Of course, you might to prefer to buy some new Funko toys, including one of Etta and one of Diana on horseback.

Funko Diana on horsebackEtta Candy Funko toy

Meanwhile, there’s another, somewhat different movie on its way featuring Wonder Woman. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is all about the creator(s) of the Wonder Woman comic and as well as three new posters for it, there’s a clip:

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

Comics news

Things have been a bit quiet in the comics world over August, since everyone sensible (eg me) goes away then. However, we have had former Wonder Woman illustrator Nicola Scott explaining how happy she is to ‘female gaze’ her male characters, including Steve Trevor. She also talks about Diana in general, as well as explains how she came to be on the title:

Then, last year, out of nowhere, I was working with a writer called Greg Rucka, and they approached him about bringing Wonder Woman back to her core for her 75th anniversary last year and the movie coming out this year. At that point, Wonder Woman had kind of strayed from who she’s intended to be, with writers either not quite understanding the character fully or who have their own specific agenda, so they came to Greg and myself to ask us to bring her back and reestablish her as the fan base sees her, and get the comics ready for when the film came out, and when there might be a whole bunch of new readers. Greg and I have discussed Wonder Woman in-depth for over a decade, and we’ve talked about doing an origin story for her abstractly, but then all of the sudden last year, it was in front of us, and we had to take all these amorphous ideas and boil them down to the amount of space and time we had to tell the story. And because I know we’re both on the same page, it came very naturally.

Hmm. I wonder who DC was talking about there…

Meanwhile, if you want to get something not only written/drawn by Wonder Woman writers and artists but signed by the very first woman to ever write for Wonder Woman, time to pony up for the Mine! kickstarter. The likes of Neil Gaiman and Jill Thompson are also contributing, but they’ve only got eight days to raise $10k, so you’ll need to get your skates on.

Comic reviews

There have been a reasonable number of appearances by our Diana in the comic book universe since the previous WWW. Seeing as I’d quite like to complete this week’s WWW before the heat death of the universe – or at least next Thursday – I’m going to be briefer than normal and just run through the main highlights of each series, rather than doing full reviews.

So brace yourselves for a quick jaunt through:

  • Trinity #12
  • Wonder Wonder #28-29
  • Justice League #26-28
  • Justice League/Power Rangers #5

But first, a quick mention of a couple of new Elseworlds:

Gotham City Garage

Gotham City Garage

Basically, DC superheroines on motorbikes fighting against Lex Luthor’s robot army. Looks absolute shite, so I’m not wasting even the 69p per digital issue this one runs to.

Wonder Woman in Gotham City Garage

Mind you, it still looks better than…

Dark Nights – Metal

This appears to be yet another Injustice-style elseworld that largely involves superheroes hitting one another, this time in the ‘metal universe’ wearing special armour that robs them of their powers.

I tried to get through issue #1. I’d like to explain the rest of the plot to you, too. However, after the fighty intro, there’s some sort of flashback to a time before all the fighty fun, involving pretty much a new superhero in every panel, and I couldn’t make head nor tail of it. It was absolutely incoherent.

Maybe if you’re hyper-versed in DC universe lore, right down to the most inconsequential superhero and ‘secret elite off-the-book team’, you can work out what’s going on. But I’m giving it a miss.

Trinity #12

Trinity #12

DC appears to have gone a bit-Trinity mad in the past few issues. We already had the classic Trinity of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Then we got their evil opposites a few issues ago – Ra’s al Ghul, Lex Luthor and Circe. Then last issue we got the evil-for-now Mini Trinity of Red Hood, Bizarro and Artemis. They turned out to have been possessed by demons from the ‘Pandora Pit’ so naturally the regular Trinity turned this issue to the previously unheard of ‘Mystic Trinity’ of John Constantine, Zatanna and Deadman to try to exorcise them.

I don’t think that works myself. Maybe Swamp Thing instead of Deadman? What do you reckon?

Anyway, the exorcism fails and everything ends up all fighty, with Trinity against the possessed evil-for-now Mini Trinity.

Trinity v mini-Trinity

Wonder Woman #28

Wonder Woman #28-29

Wonder Woman keeps Etta company in her apartment while she rehabilitates. However, super-powered baddies come chasing after Diana. Turns out a certain pharmaceuticals company still wants to study Diana to see if they can use her genes to cure diseases. And since she just wants to help people, Diana offers to help them – except they’re actually the government!

Hello scientists!

Noteworthy points

Diana semi-suggests she’s immortal – or at least very long-lived.

Diana might not die

In keeping with previous continuity, Diana still doesn’t know how to pray to the Greek gods and hasn’t known since she was a kid, which is why the ‘patrons’ never answer her in this continuity either, I suspect. I blame her mum for not teaching her properly.

There’s also a slight nod to Eric Luke’s work with Deva in one scene that also seems to establish that not only is Diana definitely not bullet-proof, but her armour might as well be a bathing suit after all, for all it’s worth

Gun to the belly

Deva shoots Diana

Justice League #26

Justice League #26-28

A new storyline started in Justice League #26 in which the Justice League’s future kids come back in time from dystopian future where the world’s up the crapper and the Justice League are all dead. Except for Aquaman who’s gone evil and one-handed and is coming back in time to kill the kids. Or something. It’s also all linked to previous Bryan Hitch Justice League Rebirth storylines, as you may have guessed from the timey-wimey ness of it all.

The big twist is that Wonder Woman’s son – that’s the one wearing her bracelets and Superman’s cape – isn’t Superman’s, as all manner of nu52 fans had hoped when the storyline was first trailed. Instead, he’s someone else’s (Steve’s?) but Wonder Woman abandoned him after he was born (because he was a boy and she’s an Amazon), so Superman adopted him.

Doesn’t sound like Diana, does it? Indeed, a big part of the storyline is wondering if these really are the kids of the Justice League (DNA and the Lasso of Truth say yes) or clones, come from an alternative universe, etc, one with a very different Diana, perhaps. Whatever the truth, it certainly gives Diana a lot of pause for reflection by issue #28, including reflecting on the outcomes of Greg Rucka’s run on Wonder Woman. Apparently, Diana’s developing a truth-sensing ability that doesn’t require the Lasso of Truth (“Usul no longer needs the Weirding Module” – God I love Dune)

Sounds a bit goddess of war-ish to me. Anyway, the kids don’t take well to that particular musing, particularly Diana’s “God, you’re so unfair, mom!” son.

Kill Wonder Woman!

Justice League/Power Rangers #5

Justice League/Power Rangers #5

The Power Rangers and the Justice League team up against the bad guys to defend the Power Rangers’ Earth, with Diana leading the fight on the surface.

Diana leads the fight

The Rangers get their morphin’ skills back eventually and even save Superman from Brainiac.

But first, Diana has to brief the UN, which is somewhat reluctant to be briefed at first…

All good fun, basically!




  • JustStark

    Dawn from The Office ? Really? Gosh.

    Is it just me or have comics (or just superhero comics) entirely run out of plots? Government conspiracies stealing DNA? Maybe-kids from an alternate whatnot? Have these not been done, already?

    And, of course, the punching. Always with the punching.

    • “Dawn from The Office ? Really? Gosh.”

      Yep. Did you not know? She was in most of the trailers, but maybe you didn’t recognise her?

      “Is it just me or have comics (or just superhero comics) entirely run out of plots? Government conspiracies stealing DNA? Maybe-kids from an alternate whatnot? Have these not been done, already?”

      Short answer, yes.

      Long answer: yes and the nu52 was intended to switch away from all the same old storylines and plots that had been mined to death in the decades before. However, it turns out that comics fans are quite conservative (even the liberal ones) and anything too new was a bit of a turnoff for them. The result was DC Rebirth, which is basically “There there diddums. Daddy will make it better and just like all the comics you used to like when you were growing up. No, Lois Lane and Superman are still married. Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor do still love each other very much.”

      On top of that, there’s a distinct attempt to make comics more accessible to younger readers (on the general grounds that comics will die out if DC doesn’t come up with new readers), for whom DNA, government-conspiracies, etc, are old hat, as well as to get everyone to spending twice as much on comics by publishing them twice as often. That means creativity takes a bit of back seat and plots get churned through quicker.

      That’s my theory, anyway.

      Punching’s all part of the genre. I wish they’d do good punching though.

  • I have to admit, I’m really not enjoying the post-Rucka Wonder Woman – and with “Wonder Woman’s Brother” being the next arc, I’ve sadly dropped the book (though I do borrow friends’ copies to read from time to time). Also, did they learn nothing from Brian “needs more dudes” Azzarrello’s run?

    • Yes, it’s all a bit tedious, isn’t it? Can’t say I’m loving it TBH. It’s all right and I think Meredith Finch was marginally worse, at least to begin with, but coming right after Rucka doesn’t do it any favours.

      Brian’s run was, of course, part of the nu52 WHICH MUST NEVER BE MENTIONED AGAIN. IT NEVER HAPPENED.

      • I’m still really irritated that DC didn’t just drop Wonder Woman to a monthly and keep Rucka. That would have kept me and probably many other fans.

        The Azz/Chiang run has many fans, I just really didn’t enjoy it, especially Evil Amazons.

        • They should have done. But cash.

          There were lots of things I liked about Azz/Chiang, Chiang’s art especially. There were some things I really hated (including evil Amazons). But Azz’s attempts to tell new stories in new ways was one of the best things about it

          • Interestingly, it does seem to have paid off for DC, at least if July’s numbers are any measure. The new creative team didn’t have a huge slump in sales, just the same steady trickle. I am surprised – I thought more readers would jump off as I did.

            Chiang’s art was gorgeous. But it didn’t feel like either a Wonder Woman story I wanted to read, or even a normal story I wanted to read, so I don’t miss it.

          • I wonder how much of the sales boost is from new readers following the movie? The studios normally say that movies in no way boost sales of comics, but you never know.

            There was enough significantly wrong with the Azz/Chiang storyline that it repelled as many people as it attracted, if not more. IIRC, I think the evil Amazons issue (#7?) was the one where I went from glass half full to half empty, basically Azz having to earn my trust rather than already having it.

          • I was not super happy with the first few issues, because it had a casual attitude towards cruelty and murder (the three women murdered by Apollo in his prophecy ritual, the mass slaughter of the Amazons in the attack on Themiscyra), but the “seduce and murder sailors” flashback is where I really lost any will to continue. I’ve read the last few issues of the arc, and it’s reasonably well constructed, but I’m really not enthused about the way Diana pulls a “save villain only to cast him into Hades” trick – that’s not something I like any of my heroes to do.

          • I think Azz was very much pitching it as a Vertigo/horror comic that captured some of the more horrific aspects of Greek myths – I guess eating your own kids is quite unpleasant if you think about it a bit – and you missed out on some of his worse excesses on that score later on. The Apollo stuff I didn’t like because although Apollo has issues, those weren’t some of them.

            It constantly felt like Azz had read the Cliff Notes on both Greek myth and Wonder Woman, so while I liked some of what he was trying to do in terms of pushing the envelope, using Greek myths, getting rid of verbose, thought-bubble dominated storytelling et al, I don’t think he was the person to do it.

          • My biggest problem with the “Azz was making it more Greek Mythology” is that specific things he pushed – evil Amazons, Diana being Zeus’s daughter – don’t actually make it more mythological. Evil Amazons is a weird conflation with the Sirens, and Diana being a demigod isn’t more mythological than the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea – it’s just shifting the story from one myth to another, for no apparent reason (other than perhaps making it more “realistic,” by which the n52 usually mean “unpleasant.”)

          • That’s kind of what I mean about it being the Cliff Notes’ version of Greek myth. In actual myth, the Sirens don’t do anything except sing. They’re not motivated to do anything except sing. It’s just a side-effect of their singing that it draws in men, usually to their doom. In tradition, they’re actually companions of Persephone who sing to the dead in Hades to make the after-life sweeter for them, so it’s actually well motivated. And although it’s not stated what the Sirens look like in The Odyssey, both Greek vase art and funerary statues indicate they’re not women – they’re half women, half birds.

            Women luring sailors to their doom for a shag and then killing them? Nope. But I agree that a lot of his choices about what to pick, when he actually did stick to the myth, were the nastier sides.

            Making Diana Zeus’ daughter I do have some time for. Azz’s ostensible reasoning was that in the Trinity, it’s clear who the other two are: “The Human and the Spaceman.” So what’s Diana. Well, she’s a sort of golem who’s been blessed with godly powers. It’s not that primal, one word answer. Whereas “goddess” is. Ultimately, I think that’s why they ended up using it in the movie, too – much simpler to explain and therefore more powerful.

            Also, by making her a goddess and daughter of Zeus, it puts her on a par with Heracles and ties her into similar myths. It also obviates the need for specific delineation of powers – the blessings of the gods in other versions are specific so Diana doesn’t have anything except those powers, but if she’s a goddess, then her powers can be anything and she can discover new ones (eg being able to walk on water, which she gets early on in the Azz run); they also can’t be taken away from her by the gods, whereas blessings can be.

            There are downsides to it, of course, but I can see the reasoning at least.

          • JustStark

            in the Trinity, it’s clear who the other two are: “The Human and the
            Spaceman.” So what’s Diana. Well, she’s a sort of golem who’s been
            blessed with godly powers.

            Isn’t she made out of clay? Doesn’t that make the three of them represent Sky, Man and Earth? That seems quite mythic. Why change that?

            the blessings of the gods in other versions are specific so Diana doesn’t have anything except those powers

            Like that’s ever stopped the funny books from just making up new superpowers on the fly…

            From reading your reviews, it’s always seemed to me like the main reason for making her into Zeus’s daughter was to turn the whole thing into a massive overwrought, inbred family saga — a sort of comic Kardashians with real monsters.

          • “Isn’t she made out of clay”

            That’s what golems are made from, yes.

            “Doesn’t that make the three of them represent Sky, Man and Earth? That seems quite mythic. Why change that?”

            True, but that’s looking at it from the Wonder Woman point of view. Wonder Woman is mythic, for sure, but Batman and Superman aren’t – Batman is a human largely fighting human criminals, ostensibly in a detective comic (DC); Superman is a sci-fi hero who fights creatures from outer-space.

            The naming of the Trinity as human/spaceman (alien)/goddess is designed to highlight their differences and different storytelling approaches; make it sky/human/earth and they’re all part of the same.

            “the main reason for making her into Zeus’s daughter was to turn the whole thing into a massive overwrought, inbred family saga ”

            That, too.

          • JustStark

            Wonder Woman is mythic, for sure, but Batman and Superman aren’t –
            Batman is a human largely fighting human criminals, ostensibly in a
            detective comic (DC); Superman is a sci-fi hero who fights creatures
            from outer-space

            When you put it like that, it’s almost like they don’t belong in the same story at all…

          • Genre mash-up!

            Obviously, it’s a problem that writers have faced ever since the first issues of the Justice League, but they’ve been making it work for decades now, on TV and in comics, so it can’t be as hard as all that to solve.

          • JustStark

            Well, they’ve been doing it… whether it’s been what you’d call working…

            … is probably beyond my limited knowledge (which mostly comes from your reviews & therefore means I think they spend most of their time fighting evil future versions of themselves (or their children) from alternate universes, and similar silliness).

          • It’s been Bryan Hitch writing Justice League and before that Justice League of America for a while and so it probably feels like that, particularly thanks to all the multiple universe reboots from DCYou, Convergence and Rebirth. But there was a lot of twatting around the New Gods at the start of the nu52 and towards its end, too. Before that, a lot of different storylines. Just not at the moment…

          • I think “golem” has a lot of connotations that aren’t what I get from Diana’s creation story. To me, it’s not a story of automation or Frankenstein – it’s the story of an answered prayer, as with Pygmalion and Galatea as I noted before. She’s fully human – perhaps even more so, as Rucka calls her “Once Princess Once Goddess.” She’s not the extension of will or created to perform a single task for Hippolyta – she’s created to be a human daughter to the Queen and all the Amazons. Her clay origin doesn’t preclude her from attaining godhood, since she did it before. Maybe I just like the idea of the blessings, since one of my favorite parts of Wonder Woman: Year One was the scene where the patrons give Diana gifts, and her reaction the next day. Still brings a lot of emotion just thinking about it.

            I can see the reasoning for making her a demigod, but it falls down on two points for me. 1) It’s much more generic, maybe not in the DC universe, but in pop culture in general (at least today), and 2) it still seems like the underlying point, or at least the effect, is saying “Wonder Woman needs more dudes.” (Also a major part of why I’m super uninterested in the Wonder Woman’s Brother storyline coming up.)

          • “I think “golem” has a lot of connotations that aren’t what I get from Diana’s creation story. To me, it’s not a story of automation or Frankenstein – it’s the story of an answered prayer, as with Pygmalion and Galatea as I noted before. ”

            Galatea is the myth directly referenced, it’s true (it’s actually mentioned in Wonder Woman #1), but very few people know about that myth so you can’t really say “Human, Spaceman and Galatea” and expect people to know what you mean. Golem, on the other hand, has far wider conversance, and is actually reasonably accurate (clay modelled by someone into a life-size human form and then given life by the divine). Certainly if you Google “Wonder Woman” and golem, you’ll get a lot of hits from people who reckon she’s a golem.

            So that makes your three-word Trinity “Human, Spaceman, Golem”, which doesn’t sound so good. Goddess works better.

            ” Her clay origin doesn’t preclude her from attaining godhood, since she did it before.”

            True. For about two issues in Byrne (?)’s run, before she gives it up? Again, though, it’s something that’s given to her, rather than hers by birth and inherent to her, so it’s also something that can be taken away and doesn’t define her.

            I’m not saying there aren’t downsides to the “daughter of Zeus” narrative, including “more dudes” (although there have always been dudes involved post-Marston, whether the dudes were Hercules, Hermes or Apollo). The genericism I get, too, but at the same time it’s pretty much in keeping with Greek myth in that regard, with everyone and their aunty eventually discovering that Zeus was their dad, because that made them important. Sure, people can say “But that’s like ” but

            1) That list of heroes is actually quite small.
            2) Those heroes with other gods for dads (eg Theseus) were still regarded as a bit lesser
            3) You get that tie-in – “it’s like “. People get what you’re on about instantly and understand the potential. “Oh that means superpowers, might be immortal, etc, etc”.

            Made from clay, imbued by the soul of the unborn daughter of an abused woman by Gaia at the instigation of some goddesses plus one god who then bequeath powers that are a bit like theirs but not exactly in order to fight another god. Original yes, but it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue.

            I can see the virtues of both, but I think if you’re aiming for a global audience, (demi)goddess works better. And I’m pretty sure that’s another reason it was introduced.

          • I would agree that “golem” isn’t something I want associated with Diana – but it’s not something I would ever have thought of on my own. Maybe because golems were not a part of my childhood education, but Pygmalion and Galatea were.

            Also, I know it’s counter-intuitive, but I just don’t like making Diana a demigod for marketing reasons because I personally don’t see why it makes the story better. But that’s as someone who is a relatively long-time (as in, pre-n52) fan, and I definitely haven’t made a best-selling anything that’s made the world a fan of Diana. So I’ll probably just continue on missing the clay origin and thinking the new origin doesn’t make it better in any way that makes me love the character more. Ah, well. I’m used to being in the minority of fans.

          • I wouldn’t say golems are especially well known. It’s hard to know without a global survey, but I think
            1) They’re at least better known than Galatea
            2) They crop up in popular culture more often than Galatea does – they’re in The X-Files, for example, there are famous movies. If you’re Jewish, you probably know about them. I actually saw an entire exhibition in the Jewish Museum in Berlin dedicated to the Golem in popular culture when I was last there.
            https://www.jmberlin.de/en/exhibition-golem

            ” Ah, well. I’m used to being in the minority of fans.”

            You’re probably in the majority, since I know very few long-term fans who liked the change. But it was also supposed to bring in new fans and appeal to movie-goers, I suspect. To any new, post-nu52, pre-Rucka fans, that’s the origin story and they’re probably wondering why anyone would prefer the complicated previous origins, for all I know. Kids, hey?

            And at the end of the day, how many comics would long-term fans have to buy to match the $800m the movie earned? I’m not saying goddess origin is responsible for all that $800m, but I doubt clay origin could have been spun into a coherent plot that would have attracted everyone’s attention in the same way. Family fights? That the stuff of myth and drama.

          • Hmm. I think part of the problem is the majority of long-term Wonder Woman fans are no longer the majority of Wonder Woman fans, period. Which is of the good, since the more people who love Diana, the more (and hopefully better) stories we’ll get about her. But I’m really glad we’re getting reprints of Rucka and Perez’s runs that will hopefully continue to be in print, so that people can find the good stuff if they choose.

            As for the origin – I know current trends are to try to tie everything to the origin of a superhero, because the origin story formula is one of the ones that is consistently easy to write – but I think if you just went with what Diana tells Steve at the beginning of the movie, and then make Ares just, you know, Ares, and not require everyone to be related to each other, and not make the origin central to Diana’s story, it still would have been a fine movie. And since the last part of the film, including the revelations of Diana’s “true” origin, are mostly (in the reviews I’ve read) seen to be the weakest part of the film, I don’t think that really would have made it worse. To me, the best parts of the Wonder Woman film were the portrayal of the Amazons and Diana being revealed to the world, being a figure of inspiration. Her fighting her uncle just wasn’t very satisfying, and the power Diana gains just amped up the generic hack and smash CGI fest that most superhero films feel obligated to include. Family fights are the center of myths, but they’re also the center of soap operas. Which, true, are also very popular, but I’m hoping for more from superheros.

            Not that I’m necessarily getting it in general. Most of the Marvel films can be accurately described as “soapy” in their approach to character relationships.

          • JustStark

            I know current trends are to try to tie everything to the origin of a
            superhero, because the origin story formula is one of the ones that is
            consistently easy to write

            Did it start with Burton’s Batman, that? I think that’s the first superhero film where the major antagonist is specifically tied in to the origin story, and that set the template for all future superhero films.

            But then that was quickly followed up with Batman Returns which had nothing to do with the origin.

          • I think Burton’s Batman did set the template, but it was Iron Man that really crystallized the trend. Spider-Man 1 did it, but then Spider-Man 2 got away from it just as Batman Returns had, so it was the MCU and it’s obsession with formula that moved the expectations of filmmakers and audiences in that direction.

          • JustStark

            I must re-watch The Shadow and see what that does. I remember liking the art deco stylishness, and of course no film with a Steinman theme can be all bad.

          • I have only seen clips of that, but it seemed…very odd.

          • JustStark

            Family fights? That the stuff of myth and drama

            …and of Jeremy Kyle…

          • Hmm. She does have a lie detector, it’s true…

          • JustStark

            Galatea is the myth directly referenced, it’s true (it’s actually
            mentioned in Wonder Woman #1), but very few people know about that myth so you can’t really say “Human, Spaceman and Galatea” and expect people to know what you mean

            Few people know the name Galatea (which actually isn’t part of the myth, it’s a later invention; in the myth the statue doesn’t get a name, which seems a bit unfair), it’s true, but lots and lots of people know the Pygmalion myth, thanks to George Bernard Shaw using it for the title of his play.

            (And ‘statue that comes to life’ is not exactly an uncommon plot, having been used everywhere from Shakespeare to films/musicals like One Touch of Venus.)

            Clearly there were reasons for making the change; but I think the point is that it wasn’t necessary to make the change (the ‘issue’ of the one-word origins, if it even is an issue, could have been dealt with in other ways) and it’s debatable whether any benefits it brought in terms of simpler brand recognition were worth the costs of turning it into an Olympian version of Jeremy Kyle.

          • Human, Spaceman, Pygmalian. It rhymes, I guess. More understandable than goddess? Probably not

            To be honest, in terms of public knowledge of statues coming to life and people falling in love with them, you’re better of citing Mannequin. Not Mannequin on the Move – that sucked

          • JustStark

            To be honest, in terms of public knowledge of statues coming to life and
            people falling in love with them, you’re better of citing Mannequin

            I still can’t forgive Sex and the City for ruining Mannequin.

            Human, Spaceman, Pygmalian. It rhymes, I guess. More understandable than goddess? Probably not

            Well, I suppose it’s more, why does she need a one-word origin? Do people really care that much about the origins of superheroes? The Hulk turns green and smashes things — do people really care how he got that way?

            Frankly ‘Human’ doesn’t work very well as a one-word origin of the Batman, anyway. And by the time you say, ‘millionaire who saw his parents murdered so he decided to dress up as a bat and punch criminals’ you could have explained the whole clay thing too.

          • “Well, I suppose it’s more, why does she need a one-word origin?”

            Marketing. Batman’s origin is so well known you don’t need to explain it. Even you know Batman’s origin and I suspect you’d erase it from your mind if you could. Ditto Superman’s.

            Until now, you could have asked virtually anyone what Wonder Woman’s origin story was, though, and I reckon 99.9% couldn’t have told you. Even the ones who’ve heard of her or bought merchandise. Maybe a few more could have said she was an Amazon, but that’s it.

            So Azz’s theory (and probably DC’s) was that you needed to make it a meme. Something easily propagable. One-word is it: goddess. That’ll work.

          • JustStark

            Marketing. Batman’s origin is so well known you don’t need to explain it. Even you know Batman’s origin and I suspect you’d erase it from your mind if you could. Ditto Superman’s.

            Yeah, but what about the Hulk? He’s had several movies made about him and I bet few people — even ones who’ve seen them — could tell you how he got to be that way.

            And the Wolverine has had even more films made about him and I bet you nobody could tell you his origin story.

            I can certainly see how, if you’re going to make a big thing about the hero/ine’s origin, it shouldn’t be needlessly confusing. But that doesn’t mean you have to make a big thing about it. She could just be a, well, wondrous woman, couldn’t she?

          • Hulk origin: not the specifics, which have changed, many times anyway. But I think virtually everyone might come up with “gamma rays” after a bit of a think. It gets mentioned a lot.

            Wolverine origin: I think anyone who’s watched the movies would say something like “nasty experiment”. You see it in at least X-Men, X-Men 2, X-Men: Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, maybe more, and it’s a major plot point in at least two of those. Again, details beyond that might be a trickier, but they’d at least remember him being in a tank during his origin at some point.

            Which does kind of reinforce the point that an origin has to be simple, perhaps even one-wordable.

            “She could just be a, well, wondrous woman, couldn’t she?”

            She could. But would it fire the imagination and excite people in the same way? $800m suggests maybe not.

          • JustStark

            But would it fire the imagination and excite people in the same way? $800m suggests maybe not

            Golden rule of Hollywood: nobody knows anything. If you could look at a movie and tell why it made $800 million, then they’d all make $800 million.

          • For a few times. After that, people would get bored.

            That said, The Hero’s Journey has worked as the basis of most blockbusters since the mid-70s now and shows no sign of petering out yet. Unfortunately.

          • JustStark

            The Hero’s Journey has worked as the basis of most blockbusters since the mid-70s now and shows no sign of petering out yet

            Well you say that, but lots of movies based on the Hero’s Journey have bombed, occasionally taking entire studios with them.

          • Mark Carroll

            “Galatea”‘s a familiar word to me but I’m very unsure of what it signifies, and that’s after having been exposed to various Greek myth. Whereas golems, yeah, I have a pretty good idea from multiple sources.

          • The Limehouse Golem – now in cinemas…

            http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4733640/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

          • Incidentally, over the weekend, I checked my Gantz for Pygmalion and here’s what he said (it’s in a section about Aphrodite’s role in aiding lovers or punishing those who reject love):

            “One other instance in which the goddess aided a mortal to win the object of his affections – that of Pygmalion and Galatea – is found only in Ovid (Met 10.243-97)”

            Which is here

            http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0028%3Abook%3D10%3Acard%3D243

            Ovid (supposedly) based his version of the story on Philostephanus’s history of Cyprus (De Cypro), but only fragments of that exist now, quoted in other people’s works. Not having Karl Wilhelm Ludwig Müller’s five-volume Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum to hand, I can’t tell how much of Philostephanus’s version made it into Ovid, but Ovid was pretty dickish to women, so it’s entirely possible that the statue had a name but he didn’t include it.

            Or he might not have known of it, since Philostephanus’ description is supposed to be brief and the original myth might have had a lot more detail. She probably wasn’t called Galatea, though, if she did have a name.

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