Protagonists have to Protag! – Wonder Woman fighting a losing battle.

Posted on July 9, 2012


WW #10 Cover by Cliff Chiang

I was told this once in critique to a short story I was writing by a really great guy who influenced me a lot when I first started thinking of myself as a creative. It seems to me this would be excellent advice for Brian Azzarello to follow with the new DC Wonder Woman storyline. I think everyone was so overly optimistic at first that we hoped things would get better. But this particular volume so far has continued to go farther and farther down the rabbit hole. I myself love greek mythology and the re-imagining of the greek gods combined with Cliff Chiang’s unique art style was refreshing at first. It showed so much promise! I didn’t realize how much it was letting me down until issue 9. I was OUTRAGED that it went 10 whole pages without

even showing Wonder Woman. Comics are only what… 30 pages or so long. Cliff Chiangs cover art continues to set an example for artists everywhere that the female form can be drawn realistically, strong and sexy all at the same time, while conveying a story in one picture. But the story on the inside of the books just doesn’t add up and its drawing the series down with it. I mentioned to Kirsten Baldock at Isotope Comics, my local shop of choice, that I was thinking about taking WW off my pull list but that I just couldn’t bring myself to do it yet. I love Cliff Chiang’s art and I really do like the premise of the current series. I keep hoping it will improve. You know what she said to me? “If you’re not excited to read a comic, then don’t.” (I’m completely paraphrasing btw. But it really hit home.

The real problem with the story comes down to the title of this post. Protagonists have to protag. What does that mean? They need to be driving their own story! Luke in Star Wars has many outside influences, but HE decides to leave Tatooine. Right now Wonder Woman is just reacting to all the crazy secret greco-political machinations going on around her. She’s not the one driving the story, the Greeks are. And we don’t see any of that, we just see Wonder Woman having to react to situation after situation without us having any clue that she has a plan or what exactly is going on. You have to give readers something to go on and when the main character they’re supposed to identify with is obviously lost in her writer’s world building… it’s just not going to resonate with readers. 10 PAGES without a single frame in her own friggin’ book?! Blasphemous, I say.

Cliff Chiang, please go draw for a writer I can get behind like Brian K. Vaughan or Gail Simone! Because I’m pretty sure I just finally convinced myself to take Wonder Woman off my list. I’ll keep an eye on it, maybe my hope won’t be in vain and it will get better.

What are your thoughts on Wonder Woman or the other new DC universe books. I’ve heard a lot of people around the internet say they’ve been culling their pull list recently. Later this week I’ll give a more detailed account of my pull list, what books made it, and which are on the chopping block. I’d love to hear what you’re reading!

Posted in: Comics