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  1. #1
    Mighty Member LordUltimus's Avatar
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    Default Does Wonder Woman play second fiddle to Superman?

    Because to me it sure feels like she does. I brought up before that Superman's role in Doomsday Clock feels like it should be more Diana's thing (apparently she's disappeared?), and generally it seems that whenever theirs a Justice League story featuring them, Superman is placed on a pedestal compared to her. Is it just me? Or is it a case of writers not knowing much about her?

  2. #2

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    Despite lip service to "The Trinity," and the great success of the Wonder Woman movie, Diana absolutely and definitely plays second fiddle to Superman and Batman. My belief is that, for too many years decades in the past, TPTB just didn't know what to do with a powerful, independent female character who was in no way a spin-off from a male character, and whose origin and backstory did not depend on a man, or on men.

    I don't necessarily blame them. It was a sexist time, almost all the comics creators were men, she was a non-standard character who they sometimes tried to squeeze into gender stereotypes that didn't suit her. (Superhero stories were mainly considered "stories for boys" at the time, and it may be that many readers didn't quite know what she should be either.)

    But whether I blame them or not, I think the consequence is that she didn't really build up a long body of solid work of the kind that defined Superman and Batman. She rarely had two monthly comics, while Batman did and Superman had even more, if you count Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen. She didn't get the boost that Superman and Batman got from World's Finest. They developed supporting casts for Superman and Batman, including additional super-characters, who could support their own stories and even series: Robin, Supergirl, Lois and Jimmy, Batgirl. (I'm mainly looking at the Golden Age through the early Bronze Age, here.) In comparison, Wonder Girl was thrown into the Teen Titans without the long publication histories that the other original members had, it was only decided later who she was, and she rarely if ever showed up in a Wonder Woman story.

    Superman and Batman got multiple movies, TV shows. Wonder Woman got very little of that. It may be that she just "wasn't successful." Or it may be that they had no idea how to make her successful.

    Now, times have changed, attitudes towards women have changed, more woman are involved in the industry. But, from a marketing point of view, the industry is still very much driven by nostalgia and "iconic characters." And, because of her lower-visibility history, it's hard for Diana to catch up to Bruce and Clark. This mainly has to do with marketing, publishing, assumptions (true or false) about who is "iconic," and so on. But naturally it gets reflected in the stories themselves.

    Superman is considered The World's Greatest Superhero. Wonder Woman is considered, at best, The World's Greatest Female Superhero. And Batman is Batman, the greatest money-maker DC has. So of course Wonder Woman plays second fiddle.

    At least, that's the way it seems to me. As it happens, she's my favorite of the three.
    Last edited by Doctor Bifrost; 12-21-2018 at 07:19 PM.
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  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    I agree. She always plays second fiddle. Despite situations where she has won in her comics, she always is weaker when Superman is around.
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    If Superman is a first fiddle and Wonder Woman is a second fiddle--or first violin and second violin--in an orchestra set up, where do the other DC heroes fit?



    Batman is probably in the cello section, because they are just as important, I'd say, but they play in a lower register for the most part.
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    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Historically, probably. She's the member of the Trinity who almost always gets the shortest end of the stick. Her being a woman in an industry that rarely knows what to do with that is the major source of the problem.

    Currently? The Trinity is not balanced because both Wonder Woman and Superman play second fiddle to Batman along with everyone else.

  6. #6
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    Her powers were second fiddle in the Justice League movie and her vulnerability compared to Superman in the comics is also second fiddle. But WW now has a twice monthly book which drives up sales and profits each year compared to the old monthly title and the all too brief time of Sensation Comics during the New 52. And also not having a dating history with Superman was also lost with Rebirth. What could be done with that is to say that for a time WW dated Clark who then decided on dating and marrying Lois Lane. The Superman/WW romance was something that should not have been retconned out of existence but instead portrayed as a past event, a time before Clark settled on Lois as the Love of His Life, could have been competition there between them while retconning the Olympic storyline as an illusion and a lie under Rucka was a mistake, a big Mistake along with imprisoning the Amazons on Paradise Island and barring WW from visiting it. Now, the new and hopefully permanent female writer on WW will fix this mess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tweyandt711 View Post
    The Superman/WW romance was something that should not have been retconned out of existence but instead portrayed as a past event, a time before Clark settled on Lois as the Love of His Life, could have been competition there between them
    It would have been out-of-character for Diana to compete with Lois. She's a compassionate and respectful woman. She isn't a homewrecker, that was the biggest mistake made with the post-crisis version where she continued to pine for Clark long after he was happily married. Her Rebirth incarnation admitting she didn't know the difference between romantic and easy love is an epiphany she should have had as a character long before Flashpoint so she could have properly moved on from Clark.

    The Death of Superman tie-in digital series, based off the timeline of the animated movies, handled their break-up much better...a simple matter of Diana realising they were better off as friends because Clark prioritised Lois' well-being above hers, and always would.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tweyandt711 View Post
    Her powers were second fiddle in the Justice League movie and her vulnerability compared to Superman in the comics is also second fiddle. But WW now has a twice monthly book which drives up sales and profits each year compared to the old monthly title and the all too brief time of Sensation Comics during the New 52. And also not having a dating history with Superman was also lost with Rebirth. What could be done with that is to say that for a time WW dated Clark who then decided on dating and marrying Lois Lane. The Superman/WW romance was something that should not have been retconned out of existence but instead portrayed as a past event, a time before Clark settled on Lois as the Love of His Life, could have been competition there between them while retconning the Olympic storyline as an illusion and a lie under Rucka was a mistake, a big Mistake along with imprisoning the Amazons on Paradise Island and barring WW from visiting it. Now, the new and hopefully permanent female writer on WW will fix this mess.
    What I find interesting is the preconception that Clark would be the one dumping Diana for Lois, instead of the idea that Diana would dump Clark for Steve.

    Which is exactly why so manyt WW fans disliked the pairing. Even when it ends, it has to be about putting Superman in the driver’s seat.

    Kind of the point of this thread, actually.
    Last edited by brettc1; 12-27-2018 at 06:11 PM.
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  9. #9
    Just crumbs...... BiteTheBullet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordUltimus View Post
    Because to me it sure feels like she does. I brought up before that Superman's role in Doomsday Clock feels like it should be more Diana's thing (apparently she's disappeared?), and generally it seems that whenever theirs a Justice League story featuring them, Superman is placed on a pedestal compared to her. Is it just me? Or is it a case of writers not knowing much about her?
    Is this even a debate? Just watch the Justice League movie to understand how DC thinks about their boy scout. Wonder Woman was curbstomped by Superman and didn't do well against Steppenwolf.

    At the very worst I thought she should be the equal of Steppenwolf, one versus one, but after that movie there should be no debate that she plays second fiddle to Supes, among other hero's.

    They depowered her with respect to the comics and i seriously doubt her feats of strength versus what Aquaman did or what Shazam does in their respective movies.

    Will she ever fly in the movies under the current iteration? Is she didn't fly in BvS or Justice League, what would make one think she will in a movie that takes place about 40 years prior to these movies?

    Sadly, she will always play 2nd fiddle to Superman, and probably more of the heroes that we will see on the silver screen.
    Last edited by BiteTheBullet; 12-22-2018 at 08:13 PM.

  10. #10
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Yeah her two solo movies and him getting shelved for likely the next decade or so means she is second fiddle to him. Gimme a break.

    Should we just have a general thread to complain about Superman? I feel like we get a new one every week.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Yeah her two solo movies and him getting shelved for likely the next decade or so means she is second fiddle to him. Gimme a break.

    Should we just have a general thread to complain about Superman? I feel like we get a new one every week.
    I am happy for all the threads to be consolidated.
    If ten years of recording The Young and the Restless for my mother have taught me anything, it's that characters in serial dramas are always happily in love...until they're not

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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Yeah her two solo movies and him getting shelved for likely the next decade or so means she is second fiddle to him. Gimme a break.

    Should we just have a general thread to complain about Superman? I feel like we get a new one every week.
    To be fair, the benching of Superman likely has more to do with Henry Cavill than with the character itself. Also, if the rumors are to be believed, they’ll be bringing in Supergirl to fill the kryptonian void. Given what they’ve done with WW’s powers in the movies, I very much doubt they will allow her to outclass Kara the way she has in the comics.

    As for the comics themselves, is there really any question? Stories, supporting cast, rouges, crossover importance, head to head, and power set all go to Clark.

    Batman >>>>>Superman >> Wonder Woman is how I see it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fong03 View Post
    To be fair, the benching of Superman likely has more to do with Henry Cavill than with the character itself. Also, if the rumors are to be believed, they’ll be bringing in Supergirl to fill the kryptonian void. Given what they’ve done with WW’s powers in the movies, I very much doubt they will allow her to outclass Kara the way she has in the comics.

    As for the comics themselves, is there really any question? Stories, supporting cast, rouges, crossover importance, head to head, and power set all go to Clark.

    Batman >>>>>Superman >> Wonder Woman is how I see it.
    Guess anything can happen. But it would be another mistake imo to make WW weaker tha ara in the movie verse.

  14. #14
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brettc1 View Post
    No, it isn't. Your making an proposition without verifiable direct evidence that is factually true. So it's a theory.

    It was also the case that it would have been extremely difficult for writers and editors to simply 'undo' what was done, because that would have involved both divorcing Etta and Steve, de-aging Steve, and then have Wonder Woman date her best friend's ex-husband. Taking all those factors into account it's not much of a surprise that Steve was left as Perez presented him until the universe shifted again.
    You're making your own theories, but at the end of the day that's all we can do and it doesn't mean much. Look at what was published. Steve got changed and then left out of the 1980s reboot, and as a result he has fallen far behind other major supporting characters. The reasons behind it don't matter as much as the end result. It's why writers to this day struggle to come up with a personality for him and why he has such an uphill climb for popularity and relevance in the WW property as a whole.

    Quote Originally Posted by brettc1 View Post
    On the other hand, there are so many similarities between movie Steve and Tom Tresser from volume 3 that's I propose the theory that writers and editors were looking for a way to bring back the essence of the character, if not the character in actual name. I have no proof of that, which is why it's a theory.
    I think it's safe to say your theory is accurate. All you have to do is look at what was published. They were bringing back a lot of pre-Crisis elements such as Diana Prince and the white secret agent suit. She's suddenly paired with a hot blonde secret agent man? Yeah, they needed a Steve stand in. It's very transparent. And it was a different set of creators compared to the ones who did the reboot in the 80s.

    Quote Originally Posted by fong03 View Post
    To be fair, the benching of Superman likely has more to do with Henry Cavill than with the character itself. Also, if the rumors are to be believed, they’ll be bringing in Supergirl to fill the kryptonian void. Given what they’ve done with WW’s powers in the movies, I very much doubt they will allow her to outclass Kara the way she has in the comics.
    Who knows? Patty Jenkins has a different narrative in mind compared to what the DCEU tried to establish early on. She already dismissed the "Diana walking away from humanity"thing. We'll see how she wants Wonder Woman's powers to evolve, because the first story was just an origin in which Diana was only just developing said powers.

    Being outclassed by Kara in itself isn't necessarily a problem for me. Supergirl has sporadically been portrayed as being stronger. How wide the gap is is the issue. I don't think it should ever be that big even if Kara is stronger.

    Quote Originally Posted by fong03 View Post
    As for the comics themselves, is there really any question? Stories, supporting cast, rouges, crossover importance, head to head, and power set all go to Clark.

    Batman >>>>>Superman >> Wonder Woman is how I see it.
    There are other properties with more consistent stories, supporting casts and rogues than Wonder Woman aside from just Superman though. That's sort of a problem for this property that's down to the writers and editors not caring. She definitely gets it the worst, but Superman isn't always much better than her in that department.

    As for power set, Clark has more raw strength and edges her out in speed, but that's pretty much it. For every bit of heat vision and ice breath he has, she has indestructible bracelets, the lasso and tiara, along with other mystical weapons. And none of his weaknesses, and I doubt fans want the "she loses her powers if a man ties her up" thing to ever see the light of day again. It's really the flight that's sporadic, but since they have no problem with other heroes flying (including some women), taking her flight away has little to do with Superman and more to do with none of those characters having a sporadic history of being flightless, just gliding and/or using an invisible plane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LordUltimus View Post
    Because to me it sure feels like she does. I brought up before that Superman's role in Doomsday Clock feels like it should be more Diana's thing (apparently she's disappeared?), and generally it seems that whenever theirs a Justice League story featuring them, Superman is placed on a pedestal compared to her. Is it just me? Or is it a case of writers not knowing much about her?
    The potential for her not to and to realize her deal is greater today than say the 60s but the character's design is still ahead of the times. And with duller minds in charge at DC she's still actively limited and resisted.

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