Friday, September 4, 2015

Discuss: Ambassador of Peace or Amazon Warrior?


Karen: Define this how you like -it could be "What should Wonder Woman's role be?" or "Which version of  the character do you prefer?" or "Can these two aspects (ambassador of peace/Amazon warrior) co-exist in the character?" -whatever ideas you have regarding these two seemingly-conflicting roles, go for it.
















19 comments:

Martinex1 said...

Good morning. My preference would be that Diana be an ambassador and messenger of peace, but a defender with great capabilities when called upon. I would like to see it portrayed that even though the Amazon women are aggressive warriors, she has a different perspective on war so stands apart with her views on conflict, while also remaining in respected leadership of traditional Amazonians. I’d like to see her take a reasonable approach to conflict, that if somebody else starts it she will protect to the point of finishing the fight, but battle will never be her first path. I enjoy seeing people trying to reason through conflict before coming to fisticuffs; that to me is more interesting and I think Diana would fit nicely into that model. I think that would set her apart from other heroes, because typically it is a thuggish approach of “let’s fight and ask questions later”. I never want to see Wonder Woman in a misunderstood hero / hero battle because Diana would take the time to analyze and understand what is going on and not just throw punches. I’d like her to be optimistic but tough when necessary; it should be her wisdom that is her highest strength. Now, that is not to say she wouldn’t kick butt if somebody was endangering innocents, but I’d like her to be a thinking heroine, and I think she is at her best when being like that.

William said...

I see her as an ambassador of peace who upholds the peace by kicking ass.

Humanbelly said...

Yes, I agree with you guys. The second image is a little bit less of how I would picture her, since she seems to be right at the edge of surrendering to battle-lust. Honestly, I'm not that familiar with her character, but at her best she's always struck me as being a heck of a lot like Cap: the most capable warrior ever, but doesn't take any particular joy in the act of battle itself. She could even take well-earned pride in it without actually loving it, y'know?

HB

Anonymous said...

I don't really have a preference for either approach, so long as WW had a good writer with a feel for myth and at least some understanding of the ideas behind the original Marston character. DC don't seem to be able to manage that....

Actually, at this point I'd be impressed if they found someone who could write a halfway convincing female character.... the most recent WW I've read was the first couple of issues by Brian Azzarello, which were terrible. I'm not much up on (relatively) new DC stuff, but isn't he considered to be one of their better writers?

-sean


Colin Bray said...

Creative and philosophical tension has always been inherent in the Wonder Woman character. William Moulton Marston created her as an embodiment of both his own genuine belief in women's liberation and his parallel belief that women are liberated by submission to what he called 'loving authority.' There is quite the potential for conflict of ideas right there.

Following Marston, writers have had to decide what form of non-conformity Wonder Woman should assume - does she stand outside traditional feminine values as the Amason warrior, or does she stand outside societal values, representing more feminine (and non-traditional super-hero) ideals as an Ambassador of Peace?

But the short answer: I prefer Wonder Woman as Amazon warrior because of George Perez.

J.A. Morris said...

I prefer her as an ambassador of peace who will fight when pushed. Of course my view is shaped by the fact that I came to know Wonder Woman via Superfriends and the Lynda Carter TV series, which stresses the ambassadorial aspects of the character.

Dr. Oyola said...

I like the Marston version best. An Ambassador of Peace, a exemplar of the benefits of a matriarchy, and reluctantly willing to subdue by force those who endanger innocents. - But also with crazy adventures and lots of bondage play.

Garett said...

I think Martinex said it perfectly. If she's just another Amazon warrior, what makes her special? She has warrior capabilities, but her preference is to be a wise ambassador of peace.

Humanbelly said...

I have to say, though, that there's something about the version of WW in KINGDOM COME that keeps you glued to her track. She's flippin' scary and driven and resolute and empassioned. Ross' brilliant visual realization of her, of course, goes a long way toward putting all of that across w/out words getting in the way. Lordy, that single panel of her face, just before she furiously kisses Clark goodbye--- capturing her barely-suppressed outrage and incomprehension. . . one of my favorite panels ever.

That's certainly an alternate-U Diana, there, no question. . .

HB

Ozone said...

I haven't read much Wonder Woman but I do like the character a great deal. I was very impressed with the first issue of Perez's WW. In hindsight I should have stuck with it. I really need to buy the collection. The version that really left an impression on me was from the Warner Bros. Justice League cartoon. I really liked WW in that.

I prefer the Ambassador of Peace over the enraged warrior version. It doesn't really suit her and comes across as such a lazy choice. She's more impressive in the "walk softly, carry a big stick" vein. She can bring the thunder if she has to, but she'd rather find another way.

And why am I not surprised Azarello's WW stinks? I haven't read the run, but I have his "For Tomorrow" Superman books he did with Jim Lee and the story is just awful. -JJ

Edo Bosnar said...

Ambassador of Peace somehow seems like the default setting, but still a capable warrior when need be - I agree with HB's comparison of certain aspects of her personality with Cap. That seems pretty spot on.
This post reminds me that some day I'd really, really like to read the Perez run, as well as the original Marston run (I read one or two ages ago, which didn't leave much of an impression on me - I'm more interested now after learning what an interesting character Marston was).

Kenn Dunn said...

"Peace through strength" pretty much sums it up for me. The whole "ambassador" thing bugged me because I couldn't figure out where she got off imposing her idea of a perfect society on a world where there were two genders, and varying ages. I DID like, that before she was written as a sword-wielding warrior woman, she employed a lasso as her main weapon (aside from the tiara), and actually succeeded at reforming an adversary (something not achieved by many other heroic figures), literally standing for Truth and Justice. I would think that writers would also take a hint from the way Captain Marvel is written, allowing for his "Wisdom of Solomon" to guide him, and recall that Diana is gifted with the Wisdom of Athena, which also should, I think, include Athena's strategic wisdom as Goddess of War.

MattComix said...


Honestly, Diana seemed stronger to me when all she needed was her bare hands and her lasso. I'm getting really burned out on the image of her with a sword or an axe. I think of the Bronze Age comics I read of her as a kid and Lynda Carter's portrayal (quality of stories and other silliness aside) Wonder Woman just had more grace and class, even in a fight. The Amazons IIRC were more a combination of scholarly and athletic rather than an island of Klingons. Not to say that I'm against the character having an aggressive side or the Amazons having a warrior aspect.

Mainly, I just don't think she needs to be Xena or Red Sonja or one of a gajillion other warrior women that exist in fantasy entertainment to have a strong presence. So I'm inclined towards Ambassador Of Peace or the Peace Through Strength idea. She doesn't need to be snarling and soaked in blood to be interesting or to get cool action scenes.

The Prowler said...

Again, in my opinion, as a US American, the portrayal of the Amazons in the Wonder Woman world is as a people that have made war/conflict a science.

In Diana's role in the world, she went to be a guide to a life that recognizes that true strength is in living together in peace. But that did not work out as planned. As HB said, the WW in Kingdom Come is the warrior that sees a life wasted. Man is still fighting it out despite her best efforts. It's only her realization,through Capt Marvel's sacrifice, of the good buried deep in humanity that saves her.

Just to make sure, she's not real right?

Anonymous said...

Same as everyone else, I like her as an ambassador. I think one of her duties, however, is to show that Amazons won't be pushed around. She battles evil for humanitarian reasons, of course, but also to demonstrate the strength of her nation. She also serves as a role model, especially for women.

- Mike Loughlin

Karen said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment fellas. I had much more written originally but decided to just see what your thoughts were. People often talk about the "Wonder Woman problem" -in that her basic identity seems poorly defined, but I'm inclined to think that it's more a case of a rejection of her original identity than anything else. The Marston stuff had its good sides but a lot of weirdness too; the superiority through submission thing is not one that is likely to fly with most people, certainly not most women, these days. But the uber-violent warrior woman also makes me cringe.

Like most of you, I prefer the sort of strong, "protector of innocents" type of character we saw on the Justice League cartoon (that show has the Batman I prefer too -I think they really knew how to distill the characters to their essence). I like the comparison to Captain America -and I think it's telling that both began their careers with defensive equipment -he had his shield, she had bracelets and a lasso. I can see her using a sword very occasionally, against a mythic monster, but in general it bothers me as much as Cap using a gun. What little I've seen of her current depiction makes me feel like they are having her go overboard on violence to show she's just as strong as the guys. It's so wrong-headed. Her strength comes from her restraint, not reveling in bloodshed.

Kenn Dunn said...

And by "restraint" you mean.... Sorry, couldn't resist! well said.(Speaking of Cap,I've always had this idea, beginning back when Marvel and DC were doing occasional crossovers, of having Steve Rogers, and not Trevor, crashing on Paradise Island.)

Jerry said...

When did she start using swords???? :-) I'v been out of modern comics for a long time...

I guess I'm with the majority where she is the wise, ambassador of peace, who can kick butt. But I also dig the jumpsuit and I-Ching days as well when she was a rad women's liberator! She really has been all over the place!

Anyway, at first I thought the comparison with Captain America was a good one, but as I began to think about it, it may be correct based on how we interpret Cap today versus how and why he was originally conceived. The same holds true more so for WW..,

Captain America began as a soldier: to fight a war, which means to kill the 'enemy'. Wonder Woman's origin is completely different (at least those that I'm aware of!) from CA's in this regard.

In a way, WW has become more 'warrior' and Cap has become more ambassador of peace vs soldier over time.

Anonymous said...

While I loved the Lynda Carter TV series, my ideal vision of WW has always been as the Amazon Warrior, although a reluctant warrior who preferred peace as opposed to seeking conflict like your typical amazon. Let's face it, the Paradise Island amazons are a warrior tribe, trained as soldiers much like the ancient Spartans, so they were warriors in every sense of the word. However, they were also into peaceful pursuits like poetry, philosophy, and art. If WW came from a place like that, she would be a warrior who would eschew fighting unless absolutely necessary. There's an old saying in martial arts - "the highest skill in fighting is learning when not to fight".

The comparison with Cap is apt here because while both of them are trained to kill and are quite skilled to do that with their unique abilities, both Cap and Diana usually choose peace, only fighting as a last resort.


- Mike 'wants to see a Captain America/Wonder Woman crossover series' from Trinidad & Tobago.

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