In the comments of my previous post about Wonder Woman’s feminist origins and how changes in the character often resulted from historical changes in the social role of women, several readers expressed an interest in my interpretation of Brian Azzarello’s controversial Wonder Woman series.
Well, I’m glad you asked.
Before I go any further, I should address the giant misogynist elephant in the room.
SPOILERS for the New 52’s Wonder Woman #0-20 from here on out.
Diana Doesn’t Need a Misogynist Ally
Orion is by far my biggest criticism of the series. I can’t think of a single redeeming quality about him or his presence in the series.
His constant sexual harassment and down right sexual assault is disrespectful, played for laughs, and takes far too long to be addressed. Thankfully, Diana finally addresses it in Wonder Woman #19.
Sadly, even this encounter is tainted by Diana and Orion’s gods awful kiss that precedes it. The kiss is demeaning, contributes nothing to the story, and seems to exist solely to appease DC’s WTF Month editorial mandate.
I understand what Azzarello is trying to do with Orion but he fails with it on ever concealable level. I acknowledge the need for characters with conflicting personalities but setting up a misogynist ally as a foil for a feminist icon and then playing it for laughs isn’t the way to go. It makes me seriously question Azzarello’s grasp on Diana’s character and the themes of Wonder Woman.
Now that we’ve got that particular bit of awful out of the way, next week I’ll be tackling Wonder Woman’s revamped origin in From Dirt to Divinity!