“Have you returned to Khera to commit SUICIDE with me?”

April 15th, 2011 by | Tags: , ,

Lotta talk about Wonder Woman on Twitter recently, I figure due to the TV show, but she’s a character I could never really get into. My eyes just kinda glaze over. There have been bits and pieces (JLA Earth 2 by Morrison and Quitely, JLA Classified: Ultramarines by Morrison and McGuinness, sometimes the cartoon), but overall? I dunno, never clicked.

When it comes to women from an isolationist Amazon culture turned superhero who has a dopey blond-haired military dude for a love interest and a little sister who is also a hero, Zealot will always have my heart:

She’s basically Wonder Woman + All The Good Parts of Wolverine + Aristocracy + Guilt-free Violence. Wonder Woman’s always felt a little fluid to me, like people couldn’t ever decide what she was beyond “She’s in the Trinity, and sometimes she kills people I guess. Oh, no, wait, killing is wrong, so all of this awesome armor and her armory is uh ceremonial.”

Izza shame there’s only been something like three and a half readable Zealot stories ever, though. Great in theory, mumblemumble in execution.

Words on that one by Grant Morrison, pencils by Jim Lee, inks by Scott Williams, colors by Alex Sinclair. Wildcats #1. #2 is undoubtedly lost and gone forever.

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12 comments to ““Have you returned to Khera to commit SUICIDE with me?””

  1. Wonder Woman + All The Good Parts of Wolverine + Aristocracy + Guilt-free Violence

    That seems to be the same equation as Big Barda another competely fantastic female Superhero. I am now imagining a Wonder Woman comic by Kirby and it is pretty fantastic.

  2. David, I’d recommend the “Homecoming” trade where Alan Moore looks at life on Khera for more Zealot goodness….

    Hell even the alt. realty Stormwatch story just before the alien infestation had a great Zealot moment in it… I believe it was issue 8 or 9 in the second series…

  3. @Rick Vance: I’m a B/big Barda fan, too

  4. Does anyone think that if DC weren’t required to put out Wonder Woman comics each month to hold on to the character they’d have given up trying to relaunch her by now?

  5. It’s kind of embarrassing they haven’t hashed Wonder Woman out at this point. But I feel even when people get to the supposed “core” of the character, there’s a lot of stuff there that’s antithetical to superhero comics. The biggest one to me is how violence and fighting is handled in the comic. It just gets tugged in different directions. She’s a warrior of peace (uh, okay?) and a diplomat, but if she talked her way through every conflict then it wouldn’t be very exciting on the genre’s terms. So other writers just have her try to end the fight as soon as possible, and while technically this is in every superhero’s job description, it’s very blatantly stated in many of her comics. I guess what I’m getting at is that her violence isn’t as cathartic as it is apologetic, like every time she fights she’s a failure for even getting that far in the conflict.

    Then there’s the fact where we wonder why she’s even held to the same standards of the trinity or other superheroes, since she was raised in a very different environment. Greg Rucka showed how she really had no problem killing gorgons and such in the comic, but as soon as she killed Max Lord everyone had to find explanations on why this was just the worst thing ever.

    I feel bad for making these criticisms though, because it’s easy to criticize the person at top that’s supposed to hold the standard. I like Zealot too, but the reason someone like Zealot exists is because Wonder Woman was there first. Wonder Woman may not be super interesting and I could pick at her all day, but she definitely got the ball rolling on strong independent females in superhero comics.

  6. I was totally on her side for killing Max Lord in that situation, characters like Superman don’t get put in situations where they can’t find any alternative to killing someone precisely so they don’t have the fanbase up in arms. Even in Final Crisis they excused Batman shooting something that could not be stopped from destroying the entire universe (and possibly all the others too) by having him claim he knew the bullet wouldn’t kill Darkseid just weaken him.

    There’s a lot of things about her that don’t make sense even by crazy comic book logic, the Amazons generally living like some idealised idea of what Ancient Greece is like just with super-technology hidden everywhere, warriors who don’t like killing, skirting around sexuality in an all-female culture like this was 1971 not 2011… I do think the only way to fix Wonder Woman is with the kind of radical character surgery that the fans just will not countenance, just look at the fuss about changing her costume to something slightly less ridiculous.

  7. Couldn’t Wonder Woman have just knocked Maxwell Lord unconscious? Probably would’ve broken his hold over Superman until he woke up, giving Wonder Woman and Superman time to stick a power-inhibiting device on him.

    Real sad about how Morrison and Lee’s Wildcats just stopped like that. I know Morrison got swamped by 52 and everything else he was doing at the time, but it was a big blow to the “Worldstorm” initiative.

  8. @Gokitalo: It was something about how he would’ve never stopped ever even if they lobotomized him and blah blah blah and Wonder Woman had only a moment to make a choice.

  9. I really like Frank Miller’s portrayal of Wonder Woman as a ultra belligerant warrior in both DKSA and All Star Batman.

    I never read many Wonder Woman comics but the Superman – Wonder Woman dynamic in Miller’s work always clicked with me.

  10. Well, intellectual property is charity for characters. Maybe they’ll do something with her next decade.

  11. Gentlemen, all these familiar knox against her stories are not the fault of her mythos, just the writers. Because there’s absolutely plenty of room to honor all the ideas, shed all the b.s. and have an awesome monthly. Would rather not get in depth. But I ask, isn’t it kinda useless to knock a character you barely interact with? As for the constant talk on the inconsistency of being an ambassador for peace and a warrior, it’s just pragmatism at its finest. You want a hippie stereotype?

    this reads more defensive than intended

  12. Niles- Sure, but isn’t there a question about why a character that we keep getting told is one of the three most important ones to the DC universe has such difficulty with writers? No-one seems to have any success with her.