BEAUOLOGY 101: THE secret identity OF wonder woman
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by beau Smith
Wonder woman By Adam Hughes
I’ve always been a fan of the DC Comics character, wonder Woman. Well, let me be more exact, I’ve always been a fan of the potential of the character wonder Woman. except for a few shining spots, the wonder woman comic has never been known for high readership and sales for DC Comics. As a character, she has always been high profile, but it has never really equated into sales for DC Comics as a monthly comic book. By that I mean according to the publishing time period and what other comics were posted as top sellers.
The wonder woman TV series that starred Lynda Carter in the ‘70s was a hit, a cult hit and pop culture classic, but it was no equal to the viewership and ratings of peer TV show like Charlie’s Angels. Hollywood has tried numerous times to get a wonder woman movie out there, but it just doesn’t happen. same with a new TV series. The reason being, in my opinion, is that when they start truly investigating the wonder woman character they find the same problem that the comic book industry runs up against: wonder woman has a complicated, mixed up continuity with an origin that has never really connected with a broad based readership. She’s an Amazon warrior princess from an island full of other women with some mythology mixed in. Some writers have had her hating men, loving men, stronger, weaker, and befuddled by men. Her powers and weapons have been all over the place and one thing that DC Comics has never figured out (from sales and potential) is that a majority of readers find her Amazon background pretty heavy-handed and boring. If they enjoyed it, sales would should it.
Wonder woman through the years.
I’m not saying that her origin should be scuttled. Nope. I’m saying that less of it should be focused on. A little mystery goes a very long way. An example of that is Wolverine at marvel Comics. His mysterious past was always hinted at and is what made him so very popular for so very long, or at least until they told you his full origin. Then, like too much of The Fonz on the TV series happy Days, he became less interesting.
“One of wonder Woman’s finer moments in comics”
In over 70 years, the one thing that needs to be focused on is the personality of wonder Woman. everybody knows who she is, but no one really knows her as a person. Her lack of a consistent, recognizable, and likeable personality has never truly been constructed. everybody says they like wonder Woman, but what they really like is the look and idea of wonder Woman. The character of Superman has battled with this same problem through the years as well. more times than not, he was the most boring character in comics, yet the most recognized. You can attribute a large part of the rise of marvel Comics in the ‘60s to the fact that Superman, wonder Woman, and other DC characters were ships without rudders as well as boring.
Today, with the main focus of the corporations that own DC Comics and marvel Comics being profitable license and merchandise, you would think that the editorial/publishing end would see that focusing on the personality of the characters and making them likeable would be the main goal to not only sales and success, but job security as well. I think much of the publishing end has become too isolated within the direct market in creativity. They should be looking to reward long-time readers with a wonder woman they feel they truly know and bring in new readers with a wonder woman they want to know.
“Villainy At It’s Best–Egg Fu!”
Thinking up a powerful villain and powerful confrontation isn’t that hard. Making the hero a person the reader can – or wants – to identify with is the hard part. I think the character of wonder woman proves that. You give the readers a character they feel they know and have a true emotional investment in and they’ll care about whatever situation you put that character in. It’s the key to selling a great story every month.
Wonder woman doesn’t look too happy here.
Look over the past 71 years of wonder woman comics. tell me the last time you consistently saw her smile, laugh, enjoy the company of others or really share an inner part of her life.
Heed my advice: With fictional characters, if they identify, they’ll buy.
“I told you I knew wonder Woman!”
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