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  1. #16
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinsir View Post
    The only major criticism I have is that the story is grafted onto Wilson's story for some reason. It ruins the your ability to just jump in and read it without getting confused as to what the current context the story is being framed in. If this is a one-shot, make it a one-shot. Don't anchor the story to someone else's work.

    Also I wouldn't really say this is a Golden Age story as from what I recall there is no Marston story that features alternate realities. Rather it reminds me of a story Robert Kanigher wrote that features an evil version of the Amazons (it was before he introduced Wondergirl).
    In this case, I think the framing story can be easily ignored, if you just encounter it for the first time. Diana is with friends in spot familiar to her, she tells a story, they go on to new adventures.

    And when I was talking about it as a Golden Age callback, I wasn't really thinking about the mechanics of how Diana ended up in a strange place. But in structure and in its sensibilities, the story is very close to the one in Sensation Comics #11.

    Quote Originally Posted by Konja7 View Post
    The point is Empress Hypolita saw motherhood as a weakness (and uselessness), which reflects the fears of Queen Hypolita.

    This is an issue with reality where a woman getting pregnant many times has been seen as a nuisance in their jobs.

    Queen Hypolita shows that she is not weak pr useless due to her motherhood.
    That's a benevolent interpretation of what Orlando intended. But I'm not sure what ended up on the page has that effect.

    Empress Hippolyta was created to test if Queen Hippolyta made a moral choice in choosing to give birth to Diana. Here we have two options: either Empress Hippolyta was created power-mad so she would reject motherhood, or the rejection of motherhood caused her to go power-mad. I find both options deeply distasteful.

    The comic is caught in and recreates the same structure that you start to describe, where embracing motherhood is viewed as weakness (or uselessness) and not embracing motherhood is viewed as morally bad. The story on the page rejects the first thesis, but does nothing to reject the second thesis, and thus ends up reinforcing it.

    What was needed was to reject both of the theses: motherhood is not weakness, and choosing to become a mother does not make you better or worse as a person.

    Instead we have evil Empress Hippolyta who did a symbolic abortion by throwing the lump of clay into the sea, and her possible return to grace is tied to seeing the value of motherhood. The more I think about this, the worse it smells.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  2. #17
    Incredible Member MarquisAsh's Avatar
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    Did anyone notice little Diana breaking free from her cell!?

  3. #18
    Incredible Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Orlando was always my first choice over Wilson but while enjoyable this read like fan fiction. Mostly that was because it didn't fit with any continuity we've known since Rebirth.
    Yeah, the continuity aspects are messing with my head.

    but the way he ties Empress Hippolyta's ambitions for conquest, power, and control with the choice of not becoming a mother, that points to some rather misogynistic ideas and patterns of thought
    I'm going to kind of agree with you here. Rather hearkens back to the Lady Macbeth bit about (figuratively) sacrificing her milk/breasts away to make her powerful in committing evil acts. Moreover, as you said, choosing not to be a mother is, in and of itself, depicted as either a path to selfishness and evil or the outcome of being selfish and evil.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    That's a benevolent interpretation of what Orlando intended. But I'm not sure what ended up on the page has that effect.

    Empress Hippolyta was created to test if Queen Hippolyta made a moral choice in choosing to give birth to Diana. Here we have two options: either Empress Hippolyta was created power-mad so she would reject motherhood, or the rejection of motherhood caused her to go power-mad. I find both options deeply distasteful.

    The comic is caught in and recreates the same structure that you start to describe, where embracing motherhood is viewed as weakness (or uselessness) and not embracing motherhood is viewed as morally bad. The story on the page rejects the first thesis, but does nothing to reject the second thesis, and thus ends up reinforcing it.

    What was needed was to reject both of the theses: motherhood is not weakness, and choosing to become a mother does not make you better or worse as a person.

    Instead we have evil Empress Hippolyta who did a symbolic abortion by throwing the lump of clay into the sea, and her possible return to grace is tied to seeing the value of motherhood. The more I think about this, the worse it smells.
    Dimension chi reflect fears and impulses of Queen Hyppolita. So, Empress Hyppolita is a combination of many "dark" thoughs of Queen Hyppolita (including her fear that being a mother is her weakness).

    I agree that it would be good if the story totally reject the second thesis too (although I don't think the writer tried to imply motherhood makes you good or bad person), but there is a limit you can reflect in around 20 pages, while you try to tell an story.

    That said, I don't think Empress Hyppolita return to grace is tied to see the value of motherhood. That situation seems more complicated.
    Last edited by Konja7; 06-28-2019 at 05:56 AM.

  5. #20
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Konja7 View Post
    Dimension chi reflect fears and impulses of Queen Hyppolita. So, Empress Hyppolita is a combination of many "dark" thoughs of Queen Hyppolita (including her fear that being a mother is her weakness).

    I agree that it would be good if the story totally reject the second thesis too (although I don't think the writer tried to imply motherhood makes you good or bad person), but there is a limit you can reflect in around 20 pages, while you try to tell an story.

    That said, I don't think Empress Hyppolita return to grace is tied to see the value of motherhood. That situation seems more complicated.
    Yes, I agree with your assessment that the situation after the resolution was rather more complex than I alluded to in my previous post.

    However, I'm going to disagree on the limit here. I do agree that Orlando likely wouldn't want to imply that abortion or not choosing to be a mother makes you a bad person, but I also think he is too close to the patriarchal structures and the story to realise that he propagated some very toxic and misogynistic patterns of thought. Part of being able to craft a short compressed story is being able to include only the messages that you want to include, and nothing else.

    Now, had this happened in a Batman or Superman adventure I'd probably have noted it down but done little else, like I did with the mighty whitey narrative in Orlando's previous fill-in. But this is Wonder Woman, a title built around feminism and female empowerment. There is really no place for such messages there.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  6. #21
    Relic Seeker Pinsir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    In this case, I think the framing story can be easily ignored, if you just encounter it for the first time. Diana is with friends in spot familiar to her, she tells a story, they go on to new adventures.

    And when I was talking about it as a Golden Age callback, I wasn't really thinking about the mechanics of how Diana ended up in a strange place. But in structure and in its sensibilities, the story is very close to the one in Sensation Comics #11.



    That's a benevolent interpretation of what Orlando intended. But I'm not sure what ended up on the page has that effect.

    Empress Hippolyta was created to test if Queen Hippolyta made a moral choice in choosing to give birth to Diana. Here we have two options: either Empress Hippolyta was created power-mad so she would reject motherhood, or the rejection of motherhood caused her to go power-mad. I find both options deeply distasteful.

    The comic is caught in and recreates the same structure that you start to describe, where embracing motherhood is viewed as weakness (or uselessness) and not embracing motherhood is viewed as morally bad. The story on the page rejects the first thesis, but does nothing to reject the second thesis, and thus ends up reinforcing it.

    What was needed was to reject both of the theses: motherhood is not weakness, and choosing to become a mother does not make you better or worse as a person.

    Instead we have evil Empress Hippolyta who did a symbolic abortion by throwing the lump of clay into the sea, and her possible return to grace is tied to seeing the value of motherhood. The more I think about this, the worse it smells.
    Well, there is a distinction between being a mother (being/having once been, the legal ward of a child) and being motherly (a set of values and behaviours). The narrative isn't resolved by evil Hippo becoming a mother, but becoming motherly, which isn't dependent on rearing an actual child at all. Young children can even be motherly and Black Widow in Age of Ultron is motherly, though there are mothers with biological children that are not motherly (Billy Batson's mother in Shazam! is an example). Evil Hippo appropriates the language of motherhood, claiming to be the mother of a nation, but her rule does not reflect the actual qualities of motherhood.

    I would say the book argues that we accept the values of motherhood, regardless if we have children or not.
    Want to read Wonder Woman stories, but don't know where to start? Check out my top 10 lists for Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age and Modern Age Wonder Woman tales!

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  7. #22
    Wonder Moderator Gaelforce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Yes, I agree with your assessment that the situation after the resolution was rather more complex than I alluded to in my previous post.

    However, I'm going to disagree on the limit here. I do agree that Orlando likely wouldn't want to imply that abortion or not choosing to be a mother makes you a bad person, but I also think he is too close to the patriarchal structures and the story to realise that he propagated some very toxic and misogynistic patterns of thought. Part of being able to craft a short compressed story is being able to include only the messages that you want to include, and nothing else.

    Now, had this happened in a Batman or Superman adventure I'd probably have noted it down but done little else, like I did with the mighty whitey narrative in Orlando's previous fill-in. But this is Wonder Woman, a title built around feminism and female empowerment. There is really no place for such messages there.
    As a woman who had to wrestle with this very question, it struck home to me.

    If I become a mother, will my dedication to and my ability to perform my job suffer? It's a valid question.

    What I wouldn't give for a 'what if' world to check on every now and then

    Fwiw, I got what Orlando was trying to say - the *qualities* of motherhood (not necessarily *being* a mother) are what's important.

  8. #23
    Mighty Member Koriand'r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarquisAsh View Post
    Did anyone notice little Diana breaking free from her cell!?
    Yes, that's what I meant by it not fitting in with Rebirth continuity. Sure the timeline has been changed because of Superman Reborn, Doomsday Cock or whatever, but it flies in the face of Rucka's story where she was gifted with her powers after arriving in Man's World. If her powers appeared as a child we're back to her winning the contest (if there was a contest) because she was innately more powerful than the other Amazons.

    Did anyone else catch the implication that Diana was probably made from clay like her Chi dimension counterpart? I find the absence of Zeus anywhere in the story comforting.

  9. #24
    Relic Seeker Pinsir's Avatar
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    She also blocks a bullet with her armband, which is a superhuman feat. I also doubt that the Amazons we see here, that can create alternate worlds, will resemble the Amazons we see in the following issue.
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  10. #25
    Incredible Member MarquisAsh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koriand'r View Post
    Yes, that's what I meant by it not fitting in with Rebirth continuity. Sure the timeline has been changed because of Superman Reborn, Doomsday Cock or whatever, but it flies in the face of Rucka's story where she was gifted with her powers after arriving in Man's World. If her powers appeared as a child we're back to her winning the contest (if there was a contest) because she was innately more powerful than the other Amazons.

    Did anyone else catch the implication that Diana was probably made from clay like her Chi dimension counterpart? I find the absence of Zeus anywhere in the story comforting.
    It’s hard to say. Because she did the opposite of Hippolyta..as Hippolyta gave birth she could’ve sculpted the clay and threw it in the ocean

  11. #26
    Incredible Member NYCER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koriand'r View Post
    Yes, that's what I meant by it not fitting in with Rebirth continuity. Sure the timeline has been changed because of Superman Reborn, Doomsday Cock or whatever, but it flies in the face of Rucka's story where she was gifted with her powers after arriving in Man's World. If her powers appeared as a child we're back to her winning the contest (if there was a contest) because she was innately more powerful than the other Amazons.

    Did anyone else catch the implication that Diana was probably made from clay like her Chi dimension counterpart? I find the absence of Zeus anywhere in the story comforting.
    Continuity no longer matters in the DCU. Rucka's initial arc isn't even canon anymore because his powerless Diana became mortal after leaving Themyscira but, as you noted, #73 showcased a Diana who had powers as child, which flies in the face of Rucka's Diana receiving gifts/powers from the Amazons' patrons as she sat in jail in early Rebirth WW.

    Subsequent writers walked all of that back and reinstalled Brian Azzarello's "contribution" to the origin mythos along with Geoff Johns's "Diana has a twin brother named Jason" nonsense.

    So while I agree there's an implication that there was a hint of the clay origin, continuity in WW (and really all of DCU) is so convoluted that just by the preponderance of its use in the series since Rucka left, the default origin appears to be the one from the New 52 complete with the superfluous twin brother who is missing along with Grail and everyone in Themyscira.

  12. #27
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYCER View Post
    Continuity no longer matters in the DCU. Rucka's initial arc isn't even canon anymore because his powerless Diana became mortal after leaving Themyscira but, as you noted, #73 showcased a Diana who had powers as child, which flies in the face of Rucka's Diana receiving gifts/powers from the Amazons' patrons as she sat in jail in early Rebirth WW.
    Note that Rucka's Amazons already had some powers on the islands: they do bullets and bracelets with the guns that Steve's team's plane had, and they repair the plane so it is invisible as well. Thus I think it can be argued that even young Diana in Rucka's continuity would be capable of strength feats.

    Quote Originally Posted by NYCER View Post
    Subsequent writers walked all of that back and reinstalled Brian Azzarello's "contribution" to the origin mythos along with Geoff Johns's "Diana has a twin brother named Jason" nonsense.

    So while I agree there's an implication that there was a hint of the clay origin, continuity in WW (and really all of DCU) is so convoluted that just by the preponderance of its use in the series since Rucka left, the default origin appears to be the one from the New 52 complete with the superfluous twin brother who is missing along with Grail and everyone in Themyscira.
    I think that it's much more sensible to look at the individual runs rather than trying to view them as a whole. Fontana's run (which IMO is underrated) looks like it is continuity with Rucka's run, while Robinson's is in continuity with Azzarello's run. Orlando's first run is all over the place, but seems to be more following Azzarello's run, while Wilson went in hard in tying her run to Rucka's one.

    What I think is that there were people at DC who wanted the Zeus origin to remain, and that it required writers who were adamant in their belief in the clay origin in order to just keep Zeus on the sidelines: neither Rucka nor Wilson were allowed to change that aspect. But Wilson is working in references to the clay origin every time she can, and now I think she has managed to convince Tynion to follow her lead as well, in burying Zeus.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  13. #28
    Incredible Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Note that Rucka's Amazons already had some powers on the islands: they do bullets and bracelets with the guns that Steve's team's plane had, and they repair the plane so it is invisible as well. Thus I think it can be argued that even young Diana in Rucka's continuity would be capable of strength feats.
    I don't think they were meant to have powers. Specifically Diana said she was gifted them and ripped a jail cell door off and then Steve said she couldn't do that before (technically, he could just be wrong, but don't think he was meant to be). I think the bullet-blocking was intended to be perceived as exceptionally fast, but still human-speed reaction (which doesn't make sense, but I still think that's what was meant). The jet was either magic or technology; I think they were going more for the former, given how Steve described it, but could be wrong.

    I was pleased with the clay-origin mention, and do think we may be going back to it, but this one does leave wiggle room, since the it was kind of alty-world. Same with amazon powers. Hoping it wasn't just getting my hopes up by using previous-continuity-stuff in the not-real-world.

  14. #29
    Incredible Member NYCER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    I think that it's much more sensible to look at the individual runs rather than trying to view them as a whole. Fontana's run (which IMO is underrated) looks like it is continuity with Rucka's run, while Robinson's is in continuity with Azzarello's run. Orlando's first run is all over the place, but seems to be more following Azzarello's run, while Wilson went in hard in tying her run to Rucka's one.

    What I think is that there were people at DC who wanted the Zeus origin to remain, and that it required writers who were adamant in their belief in the clay origin in order to just keep Zeus on the sidelines: neither Rucka nor Wilson were allowed to change that aspect. But Wilson is working in references to the clay origin every time she can, and now I think she has managed to convince Tynion to follow her lead as well, in burying Zeus.
    To me, that's very problematic approach because WW is an ongoing series, not an anthology. I therefore view consistent serial storytelling to be essential in comic book reading just as it is with the television series I watch.

    I'm big on continuity, so cherry picking arcs by different writers, who themselves are all over the place continuity-wise, is clearly not conducive in creating a clean throughline for the WW title.

    I forget where I saw this but I believe the current directive at DC to writers is for said writers to come up with "good" stories continuity be damned. Obviously those were not the exact words used, but that was the key takeaway, which, to me, is a never-ending source of headaches as a reader.

  15. #30
    Incredible Member NYCER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    I don't think they were meant to have powers. Specifically Diana said she was gifted them and ripped a jail cell door off and then Steve said she couldn't do that before (technically, he could just be wrong, but don't think he was meant to be). I think the bullet-blocking was intended to be perceived as exceptionally fast, but still human-speed reaction (which doesn't make sense, but I still think that's what was meant). The jet was either magic or technology; I think they were going more for the former, given how Steve described it, but could be wrong.
    I agree. That is my reading of Rucka's arc as well: the bullets and bracelets bit is clearly an outlier, but it was explicit that Diana had zero superhuman abilities until she received her "gifts" from the Amazons' patrons after arriving in the U.S. and being jailed by the military.

    The techno-sorcery involved in returning Steve and his fallen comrades stateside was an obvious nod to Marston, but because Rucka wrote Themyscira as eternally separated from Diana, we did not really get to see Rucka's fully realized vision (assuming he had one) of Themysciran technology and scientific achievements.

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