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  1. #46
    Astonishing Member Dataweaver's Avatar
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    I have no problem with Wonder Woman being a member of the JSA both on primary Earth and on Earth 2 (though Earth to is currently still something of a mess, even after the fixes that were applied at the very end of Earth 2: Society. I mean, it now has a history which is supposedly rather different from the original New 52 version; but I'm pretty sure that it's still not the original Earth 2. Maybe I'm wrong. But that's a topic for another thread.
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  2. #47
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koriand'r View Post
    I honestly don't think the problem is with Steve or the lack of good writers. Pre-crisis Steve was a useless bore, but Greg Rucka made him interesting and competent and he remained so until GWW. The main issue I have with the title is the revolving door of artists, I'm happy with Steve Orlando so far.
    There's no such thing as a bad character. Or so they say.

    I agree though, Steve could be great, and on rare occasion actually has been. And Diana as a IP and character has suffered from his absence.

    I don't get why DC struggles so much with this. His archetype isn't uncommon or complex. His traits are generally straightforward, with few twists. And there aren't many preconceptions about the character. Hell, he's basically just Captain America with Black Widow's skillset and some different hobbies. How is DC *not* making Steve everybody's new favorite supporting character?
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  3. #48
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I agree though, Steve could be great, and on rare occasion actually has been. And Diana as a IP and character has suffered from his absence.

    I don't get why DC struggles so much with this. His archetype isn't uncommon or complex. His traits are generally straightforward, with few twists. And there aren't many preconceptions about the character. Hell, he's basically just Captain America with Black Widow's skillset and some different hobbies. How is DC *not* making Steve everybody's new favorite supporting character?
    I think it's a combination of several different factors, each of them contributing and interacting in different ways.

    (1) Having Diana falling for the first man she meets (while he's flat on his back unconscious) is an old trope (see the popularity of nurse narratives), but rather dated today, and doesn't really suit most versions of Diana.

    (2) Steve was first written as a bland protagonist, or perhaps better phrased, as a medium for reader self-insertions. He is Watson's bland sidekick to Diana's Sherlock. He is here to observe the hero, be saved by the hero, and at some few times act to give the reader the feeling of participating in supporting the hero's actions.

    (3) The patriarchal pattern of thought that can only allow for strong and capable women if they are either alone or paired with an even stronger or more capable man. Now, this wasn't a trouble for Marston and Joye Hummel, but it was a real trouble for Robert Kanigher and probably later writers and editors. Also note that there is at least one genre which allows for powerful women paired with "lesser" men, namely mundane comedies (see Andy Capp). Some depictions of Steve has taken that route, by making him somewhat trope aware: he knows he will get out of any pickle since Wonder Woman will rescue him, and happily commenting on that.

    (4) He is a MacGuffin in his own main story—that is Wonder Woman's origin story. Apart from that he doesn't have few if any character arcs (that is, stories that change or evolve who he is as a character), and very few stories shared with Diana.

    (5) He has a history of being written out, which makes it much easier to continue to remove him.

    How the movie handled this was instructive. Steve was not only active from near the first time we saw him, but an active observer. In some ways, he was more aware of Diana's capabilities than she was herself. He was set up as a mentor to Man's World to Diana, sometimes effective, sometimes befuddled. The romance was changed so that Diana fell for a man who had shown himself strong, capable, and caring. Chris Pine and the script managed to infuse Steve with personality. The script gave Steve his own character arc (which made him a hero but sadly also killed him).
    «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])

  4. #49
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    I think it's a combination of several different factors, each of them contributing and interacting in different ways.
    Completely agreed on all points. I think the most damning has been his being written out in the past. Other love interests like Iris West-Allen or Carol Ferris weren't exactly well rounded, great characters from the beginning either. But more modern stories (like, Bronze Age-ish up) put more effort into the supporting casts. Steve wasn't around for most of that history so his character has painfully lagged behind.

    But all those problems explain only why Steve was so poorly used *then.* There's no excuse at all for it today. Now, I'm one of the fans who thinks Diana doesn't *need* a love interest. But she does need good, consistent supporting characters and there's no reason to not use Steve. None. He's got history (even if it's broken and unimpressive) and precedent and has appeared nearly as often in larger media as Diana herself. People expect him to be there, if not with the fervor they expect of Lois Lane.

    I mean, you'd think the meta commentary of Diana dating a Captain America proxy alone would be enough to excite creators and DC.
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  5. #50
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    But all those problems explain only why Steve was so poorly used *then.* There's no excuse at all for it today. Now, I'm one of the fans who thinks Diana doesn't *need* a love interest. But she does need good, consistent supporting characters and there's no reason to not use Steve. None. He's got history (even if it's broken and unimpressive) and precedent and has appeared nearly as often in larger media as Diana herself. People expect him to be there, if not with the fervor they expect of Lois Lane.

    I mean, you'd think the meta commentary of Diana dating a Captain America proxy alone would be enough to excite creators and DC.
    Well, I'm on record that having Steve be a Captain America proxy is not that good an idea, and would be a disservice to what Steve can be, but I digress…

    However, point (3) is still active and present. Wilson set out to investigate Steve's and Diana's relationship, and Steve's feelings towards it, only for that arc to be aborted (I'd have loved to see where she intended to go there). But Orlando has only done Steve as an generic man-of-action and spymaster, with no real relation to Diana. I quit Robinson's run in disgust, but I understand he wrote Steve rather similar. Morrison in Earth One also shied away from exploring Diana's and Steve's relationship. Rucka did an okay job, but I also think he moved Steve in a direction that is detrimentally long-term to the character. Fontana did a good Steve, but he only had a minor role in that arc.
    «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. #51
    Fantastic Member wonder39's Avatar
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    This is all such garbage. We just basically fixed things with Rebirth. And brought back the Golden Age (earth 2) and original Earth 1 ( now Earth 1985) AND even Earth 52 ( nu52).... so why do we have to force this connection to WWII that she hasntbeven had since the Golden Age?!?

  7. #52
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Well, I'm on record that having Steve be a Captain America proxy is not that good an idea, and would be a disservice to what Steve can be, but I digress…
    I don't disagree, but since DC seems incapable of making Steve work as Steve, then I'd rather they just copy and paste Marvel's success and make Steve work as the other Steve.

    Our guy could be a great character, and not just be a copy of someone else, but.....well, DC can't manage that, so I'd rather have "Captain Steve Trevor of America" who's one super soldier serum away from a lawsuit, than a crappy version that lacks consistency and agency.

    You thought Rucka only did an okay job? I thought his Steve in Rebirth was fairly solid. Not as great as it could've been, but since Rebirth required so much focus on Diana and undoing the New52 stuff, I can't blame Rucka for not having the time to get into Steve's character more.
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  8. #53
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    "Steve being a Captain America proxy" just conjured images of Captain Wonder!
    A solid Bronze-Age story by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan in WW #288-290 (1982)
    Features the first appearance of The Silver Swan and (I think) the first Bronze Age appearance of Doctor Psycho.

    captwonder.jpg

  9. #54
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Oh my god, what is that? I'm not familiar with the story. You mentioned Dr. Psycho so I'm assuming it's just one of his mind tricks, yes?

    Yeah, I don't need Steve Trevor in a costume.....but I don't think I'd argue too hard against this either. That's so ridiculous I have no choice but to laugh and love it.
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  10. #55
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    You thought Rucka only did an okay job? I thought his Steve in Rebirth was fairly solid. Not as great as it could've been, but since Rebirth required so much focus on Diana and undoing the New52 stuff, I can't blame Rucka for not having the time to get into Steve's character more.
    I think Rucka did good or very good in some aspects, but that it was marred by some very poor long-term decisions. He did manage to give Steve some emotional heft and started to set out how Diana and he felt for each other. Both of those are very good things.

    However, I think the decision to make Steve into a spec ops soldier deeply limited the types of stories that Steve and Diana could be put in, and further constrained any future thoughts and developments of the character.
    «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])

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