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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member SecretWarrior's Avatar
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    Default Personality-wise, how do you distinguish Wonder Woman and Superman?

    From a story standpoint, how would you say their personalities or perspectives are different from one another?



    Bringing this up because of WW1984, where Patty Jenkins drew on the 1978 Superman film for inspiration.

  2. #2
    Leftbrownie Alpha's Avatar
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    Like based on existing comics? Or can it be my own personal desires for the characters?

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member SecretWarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    Like based on existing comics? Or can it be my own personal desires for the characters?
    Both are fine, as long as you let us know which you're doing

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    Astonishing Member Gaius's Avatar
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    Diana strikes me as more of an outsider probably as she grew up in a completely separate world and has a point of reference for it while Clark grew up among regular humans (and depending on the version spent at least a few of his formative early years thinking he was one before his powers developed and the Kents telling him how they found him).

    There's obviously she kills/warrior angle vs Superman who for the most part is characterized as not having a kill rule (at least among humans/human-looking lifeforms). But the certain writers who play that up only really have surface level views of the two in my opinion.

  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Superman - Clark Kent - Country farm boy - pure boy - loves parents - helpful - a bit of a dork - taught to keep secrets - aspiring writer - taught to be good and defend or help people who need it - probably still a virgin at 18

    Wonder Woman - Diana of Themyscira - Bisexual Greek royalty means an experienced lover but living in Themyscira means naive about the outside world - compassionate - trained warrior - will kill if there's no other way - curious about man's world and grabbed her chance to get out

    Clark came to his decision after his parent's teachings and encouragement, Diana was motivated by curiosity and independence since most of the time her mother disagrees with her leaving.

    Diana didn't plan to be a hero but answered the call when needed, Clark decided to be a hero based on his parent's teachings whether they're alive or dead.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member SecretWarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius View Post
    Diana strikes me as more of an outsider probably as she grew up in a completely separate world and has a point of reference for it while Clark grew up among regular humans (and depending on the version spent at least a few of his formative early years thinking he was one before his powers developed and the Kents telling him how they found him).

    There's obviously she kills/warrior angle vs Superman who for the most part is characterized as not having a kill rule (at least among humans/human-looking lifeforms). But the certain writers who play that up only really have surface level views of the two in my opinion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Restingvoice View Post
    Superman - Clark Kent - Country farm boy - pure boy - loves parents - helpful - a bit of a dork - taught to keep secrets - aspiring writer - taught to be good and defend or help people who need it - probably still a virgin at 18

    Wonder Woman - Diana of Themyscira - Bisexual Greek royalty means an experienced lover but living in Themyscira means naive about the outside world - compassionate - trained warrior - will kill if there's no other way - curious about man's world and grabbed her chance to get out

    Clark came to his decision after his parent's teachings and encouragement, Diana was motivated by curiosity and independence since most of the time her mother disagrees with her leaving.

    Diana didn't plan to be a hero but answered the call when needed, Clark decided to be a hero based on his parent's teachings whether they're alive or dead.
    Their backstories are different, but I don't really see how it distinguishes their present-day stories. Like they would likely agree on how to handle different situations without much real conflict.

    By contrast, Steve Rogers and Tony Stark have noticeable ideological and temperamental differences that can put them into real conflict with one another.

  7. #7
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecretWarrior View Post
    Their backstories are different, but I don't really see how it distinguishes their present-day stories. Like they would likely agree on how to handle different situations without much real conflict.

    By contrast, Steve Rogers and Tony Stark have noticeable ideological and temperamental differences that can put them into real conflict with one another.
    Well, they're part of a Trinity, so it stands to reason that where they agree, Batman would disagree, and where Superman and Batman agree, Wonder Woman might have a differing opinion.

  8. #8
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    Clark is more "grounded in reality" if that makes sense for these characters. Superman is an extraordinary being who was raised in an ordinary environment. Regardless of whether "Clark" is the real person or just a mask, Superman is comfortable as Clark. He accepts the stature of being "Superman", but can be just a face in the crowd as easily.

    Diana, on the other hand, grew up a princess in a mythological world. She is at home being extraordinary, is used to being in charge and the center of attention. Not in a self-centered way, but more of being a natural leader and secure in who she is.

    As a hero Dian is more given to the extremes. She is not the battle happy person she is often portrayed as, but once she realizes a fight is needed she goes in with little restraint. But early on in a confrontation Diana is looking for ways to avoid having to exchange blows while also sizing up an opponent. Superman is a little less strategic, looking to use force to stop a threat first and leaving a fuller understanding of the issues for after the threat is contained.

  9. #9
    Judgement Awaits LordAllMIghty's Avatar
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    Boys Scout and Warrior Princess
    Jazmine Sullivan - Pick Up Your Feelings - https://youtu.be/6jOA3h4zSTc

  10. #10
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordAllMIghty View Post
    Boys Scout and Warrior Princess
    Just not Xena .

  11. #11
    Leftbrownie Alpha's Avatar
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    If I were to write these two characters I honestly wouldn't even think of comparing them to each other, because the nature of why they do things, and the things they look for have absolutely nothing to do with each other. But I'll start by comparing how they both would act if they were all sitting in a Justice League meeting
    Look at this picture of different ways of sitting

    xsitting-posture-examples.jpg.pagespeed.ic.q0bX8CHhc8.jpg

    Superman would sit like in photo B, whereas Wonder Woman would sit like photo D. Clark sits in a very closed sort of way. In fact, I think he would usually have his arms crossed and his shoulders elevated while his neck is sort of leaning forward. Sort of leaning into the conversation but also kind of covering himself. Not necessarily feeling vulnerable, just humble.

    You see, Clark is fundamentally a quiet and lonesome person. It doesn't really have anything to do with being from another planet, but more to do wiht the fact that he can literally see things nobody else can see, things that have an impact on him, like how our bodies work, including the phenomena in our brains when something happens. He understands what life literally is, and he appreciates it very much. He spent a lot of time on the farm pondering the world and trying to determine what he would do with his powers when he grew up, so he got used to kind of having his space. I think the fortress of solitude is a place where Clark would go to be in his most natural state, that of an observer. I don't think Clark smiles with his teeth showing. I think it's always a tranquil smirk, enjoying the moment but not making more of it than what it is. The thing is that while Clark instinct is that of an observer, he knows that he has to act. He has to do things. That's what Superman is, it's him deciding to try to do something even when he doesn't know what to do. He understands that while everyone should be able to push themselves and take command of their own lives, they still can only exist and get better if they have a sense of responsibility, not just to those closest to them, but also to the rest of society. He just happens to have a whole lot more of responsibility than others, which at the end of the day is more like something he chooses rather than something which is thrust upon him. If you told Clark when he was 23 year old that he doesn't have to be Superman he literally wouldn't understand you. Because to him it's not so much something he is being forced to do, it's literally the only thing that makes sense to him as a use of his powers. All of this said, there is a part of Clark which is just for himself, and it's not just the farm, it's the journalist. He picked the job of a journalist because he wanted to learn even more about the world and about others and communicate with others through writing. I don't like the fact that writers barely ever actually demonstrate Clark's writing style and how it reflects his personality.

    Now when it comes to Diana I think the funny thing is that I see her superhero name as reflective of three layers of how she relates to the world. The first is the Wonderful nature of how she looks at the world. She was raised as this very special thing and what the amazons surrounded her by was beauty and expression and spectacle. She was trained as a fighter, but to her it was always sort of a dance. I think she looks at both Paradise Island and our world with amazement. Secondly, she has a very wondering curiosity. She likes to see more, know more, do more. I think the investment she has in her villains isn't so much about compassion as it is about curiosity. Because despite all their viciousness and hatred, they are all so bizarre and unique and she enjoys talking to most of them as they fight, telling Cheetah about her life and asking about hers. I think she kind of talks and recites poetry while on an adventure without caring about if others really want to hear it or not, more for her own amusement, although she can still respect when others don't really wanna get into it with her.

    The best way to describe this is by providing a story arc I would like to write. So, in my version Diana always liked to hear the story of how she was born. Hypolita had wished for centuries to have a child and one day after she rested in the waters of Themyscira she heard the sound of a baby buried in the sand. It was Diana. Now in my version Diana would have a standard origin story and comes to our world and defeats this villain Giganta, but at the end of the story Giganta reveals something to Diana, the story of her birth was a lie. Diana uses the lasso of truth on herself and sees her body transform into a living statue. Essentially, she was an artificial woman created by Hypollita and the memories of her childhood are a lie. She never was a child and she never was made out of flesh. At first Diana is sort of stunned and confused but she goes for a walk and after some things happen in man's world something interesting changes in her. Suddenly she looks at this big lie and instead of having a depressive and sort of self defeating insecurity about being an artificial being and lied to her whole life, she instead comes to realize that this is something amazing. "How incredible, I have absolutely no idea what I am. Everyone else knows so much about themselves that it becomes boring, but I have so much to find out about this unique and fascinating thing that I am myself". She is the literal opposite of depression. The third meaning of Wonder for Diana is that she herself is a Wonder to others in her spirit and how she makes others feel. To be clear, she isn't naive, nor does she give excuses for others. But she gets to decide how she dedicates her own time and emotions to the world, and she chooses the things that excite and fascinate her. I don't know if this will make sense to you but I would compare her to a character called Ted Lasso (from a great new tv show called Ted Lasso) and to the personality of Alicia Keys and how she interacts with others in interviews and reaction videos and all kinds of promotional materials (yeah it's kind of a strange comparison). They really know how to make others feel good and they both have such wonderous curiosity in how they present themselves.

    Contrary to Clark's kind and amusing smirk, Diana would smile wholeheartedly. Mouth wide open, and eyes and eyebrows compressed in the funniest of ways. Oh and she sits in this matter of fact, unassuming but posterous way. Like she's saying "I'm present, this is me, let's start the meeting"
    Last edited by Alpha; 01-13-2021 at 04:20 PM.

  12. #12
    Leftbrownie Alpha's Avatar
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    You probably wanted more of a comparison of how they handle action than what I wrote. Well I think Clark should always try to be like a tank. Once he decides to act he will move forward in front of the crowd and leading with them behind him, giving the enemies time to either move out of the way or be pushed aside by him. You will not stop him nor will you destroy him. Of course there are lots of villains that don't let him get away with this, and that's when Clark gets thrown for a loop and kind of just tries to hang on by a thread to take care of business.

    I like to think that Diana is all about grabbing you. If Cheetah starts creating chaos and attacking someone Diana will lasso her and tie them both to each other and just drag Cheetah around, smacking her with the lasso into a wall or another and just keep trying to knock some sense into her. Imagine that scene in Into the Spiderverse where Miles is running away with an unconscious peter tied to him, well Diana would do this with Cheetah, just try to subdue her and force her to stop acting around. Of course that if the situation gets more serious Diana has to smack her around even harder and try to completely constraint and imprision the dangerous creature.

    I think Diana would absolutely get frustated and embittered at having to kill someone but she was taught the procedure. I don't think the amazons have actually killed many people ever since they got to Themyscira. They are an isolated society and so they train for an invasion, but it has become theoretical at least until Diana leaves for Man's World. So Diana never killed someone before she went to our world. Clark and Diana both equally value life, but ironicaly I think Clark would be pro choice while Diana would be pro life with some uncertainty once she understands how in Man's world it's kind of a feminist issue. The big difference when it comes to killing villains is that I don't think Clark would consider himself worthy of deciding if someone should die. He would probably let the world decide, and then he would enforce it if asked to.
    Last edited by Alpha; 01-13-2021 at 03:32 PM.

  13. #13
    Extraordinary Member Lightning Rider's Avatar
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    It's an interesting question because both have such varied interpretations, Superman particularly.

    With respect to how they handle their enemies, a person could easily picture Superman as the one who gives a boy scout speech before engaging, and Wonder Woman as the one with more of an edge who makes a direct challenge. Just as easily, you could imagine Superman as the brash social crusader who punches first and asks questions later, and Wonder Woman as the diplomatic and compassionate one who tries to appeal first. I prefer the latter dynamic, but obviously fans don't like it when characters are reduced to one single extreme, and I'm not trying to do that here.

    I like Alpha's description of Superman as a meditative, content observer, while Wonder Woman is more curious and passionate.

    I get the sense that Wonder Woman experiences guilt far more often. She embraces people with open arms (FAR more often than secretive Clark does, in fact), but once in a while, they get hurt, and she assumes that responsibility on a personal level. Superman sulks from time to time, but I don't think it's the same sting.

    I would also agree that Superman is more grounded in our culture. He may not be human but he's lived long enough to understand their behavior and empathize on a personal level. Wonder Woman may not be naive, but I think part of her will never truly get used to man's capacity for violence, fear, and hatred. She is an effective pursuader, but I believe Clark can access those base emotions more sincerely in himself.

    I don't think either does or should have a no-kill code.

    I also think Diana truly believes she's here for a divine purpose. The gods gave the Amazons unique treatment and her origins are special. In a sense, she's deferring to that divine judgement, even though from time to time she butts heads with the gods. Clark isn't really fulfilling a religious mandate, even if he does take influence from Jor-El; he still had to live a human(ish) life and choose to be Superman.

    This is a cool thread idea and I think after more people comment I'll take a crack at a venn-diagram like I did for Barry and Wally.

  14. #14
    Leftbrownie Alpha's Avatar
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    What Venn-diagram? Show me, I'm curious.

  15. #15
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightning Rider View Post
    It's an interesting question because both have such varied interpretations, Superman particularly.

    With respect to how they handle their enemies, a person could easily picture Superman as the one who gives a boy scout speech before engaging, and Wonder Woman as the one with more of an edge who makes a direct challenge. Just as easily, you could imagine Superman as the brash social crusader who punches first and asks questions later, and Wonder Woman as the diplomatic and compassionate one who tries to appeal first. I prefer the latter dynamic, but obviously fans don't like it when characters are reduced to one single extreme, and I'm not trying to do that here.

    I like Alpha's description of Superman as a meditative, content observer, while Wonder Woman is more curious and passionate.

    I get the sense that Wonder Woman experiences guilt far more often. She embraces people with open arms (FAR more often than secretive Clark does, in fact), but once in a while, they get hurt, and she assumes that responsibility on a personal level. Superman sulks from time to time, but I don't think it's the same sting.

    I would also agree that Superman is more grounded in our culture. He may not be human but he's lived long enough to understand their behavior and empathize on a personal level. Wonder Woman may not be naive, but I think part of her will never truly get used to man's capacity for violence, fear, and hatred. She is an effective pursuader, but I believe Clark can access those base emotions more sincerely in himself.

    I don't think either does or should have a no-kill code.

    I also think Diana truly believes she's here for a divine purpose. The gods gave the Amazons unique treatment and her origins are special. In a sense, she's deferring to that divine judgement, even though from time to time she butts heads with the gods. Clark isn't really fulfilling a religious mandate, even if he does take influence from Jor-El; he still had to live a human(ish) life and choose to be Superman.

    This is a cool thread idea and I think after more people comment I'll take a crack at a venn-diagram like I did for Barry and Wally.
    I think Superman for sure has a general rule against killing unless absolutely brought to the brink...while Diana generally avoids killing whenever possible unless she's fighting something where she has absolutely no choice but to use lethal force.

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