Wonder Woman – The Amazon Princess: Queer Diplomat of DC Comics

Wonder Woman by Christopher Moeller
Wonder Woman by Christopher Moeller

Wonder Woman, Diana Prince, with her powerful abilities, centuries of training and experienced at handling threats that range from petty crime to threats that are of a magical or supernatural nature, Diana is capable of competing with nearly any hero or villain.  She’s concurrently the fiercest and most nurturing member of the Justice League, capable of making the hard decisions.  Wonder Woman’s hard-decision making is derived from her backstory and characterization.  In comic books and the DC Universe Wonder Woman’s nickname, The Amazon Princess, makes obvious the dichotomy inherent in the premiere super-heroine.  As an Amazonian she is a trained warrior, powerful, strong-willed, and does not back-down from a battle.  The princess aspect of the character places her in the political and diplomatic spheres, pursing peace without escalating conflicts.  In both worlds Wonder Woman is a leader, who, unlike Superman and Batman, understands the ramifications globally and locally of her actions.

In the DC Trinity Superman is the admiral inspiring heroes to be their best; Batman is the general making the plans other heroes follow; Wonder Woman is the soldier shoulder to shoulder with the other heroes in the battle.  Soldiers are the decisive faction in an army, and in an army of superheroes Wonder Woman is the hard-decision maker.   Where Superman and Batman hold tightly to the superhero code, do not kill, Wonder Woman comes at solutions with more ambiguity.  She is the decision maker who makes the difficult decisions, where killing is never completely off the table, such as when she kills Ares God of War by cleaving an axe through his skull (vol3, #33).  There is also the infamous neck snap of telepathic villain Maxwell Lord to save Superman and by extension the planet.  Maxwell Lord had taken control of Superman and used him to nearly kill Batman.  A brutal battle ensues, Wonder Woman defends herself by slicing Superman’s throat with her tiara, and uses the Lasso of Truth on Lord to demand to know how to end his mental control over Superman, which he revealed was to kill him; if put in jail he’d just escape, regain mental dominance of Superman, and begin again.  Seeing no other way to end the carnage an amoral Superman would cause, Wonder Woman snapped Maxwell Lord’s neck.  While Wonder Woman’s actions are defendable, saving her friends and the planet, her decisiveness put her at odds with other heroes who ardently stand-by the superhero code.

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2017.05 Wonder Woman – The Amazon Princess: Queer Warrior Diplomat

Wonder Woman as Queer

Wonder Woman by Nathan FoxWonder Woman is from Paradise Island, a single-sex island, where in the twenty-first century began canonical displays of romantic love towards one another.  Wonder Woman’s advocacy of queer eroticism, which began with her creation by William Marston in 1942 until Dr. Fredric Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent labeled Wonder Woman dangerous to young American girls by promoting lesbianism.  Fearing cancellation DC Comics’ writers and artists began suppressing Wonder Woman’s textual queer support, barely addressing her erotic history as subtext.  During this time Wonder Woman abandoned promoting equality between the sexes for earning Steve Trevor’s affections.  In the twenty-first century writers leaned-in to modern interpretations of Paradise Island, once again freeing Wonder Woman from heteronormativity, and regaining her role as an advocate of queerness.  Freedom from heteronormative expectations removes preconceived notions of “sex” and “gender” labels, allowing Wonder Woman to embody the idea of universal love.  Wonder Woman’s love for all extends to acceptance, such as in the 2016 (v3, #48), when she officiated over a same-sex wedding, legitimizing homosexuality as a mainstream.  Additionally, given Wonder Woman’s Amazon Princess role means that Hippolyta, queen-mother, would have performed officiations on Paradise Island, and given being royalty her participation would lend significance and validity to the ceremony.

Wonder Woman’s Dichotomy

 

Wonder Woman by Adam Hughes
Wonder Woman by Adam Hughes

Wonder Woman, Diana Prince, with her powerful abilities, centuries of training and experienced at handling threats that range from petty crime to threats that are of a magical or supernatural nature, Diana is capable of competing with nearly any hero or villain.  She’s concurrently the fiercest and most nurturing member of the Justice League, capable of making the hard decisions.  Wonder Woman’s hard-decision making is brought from her backstory and characterization.  In comic books and the DC Universe Wonder Woman’s nickname, The Amazon Princess, makes obvious the dichotomy inherent in the premiere super-heroine.  As an Amazonian she is a trained warrior, powerful, strong-willed, and does not back-down from a battle.  The princess aspect of the character places her in the political and diplomatic spheres, pursing peace without escalating conflicts.  In both worlds Wonder Woman is a leader, who, unlike Superman and Batman, understands the ramifications globally and locally of her actions.  Throughout the character’s seventy-five-year history, and several retcons, Wonder Woman has remained consistently nurtured humanity through compassion and a strong conscience.

 

Wonder Woman and American Ideals

 

wonder woman by iumazark-d3iekm2
By Gabriel Iumazark

Batman and Superman are aspects of the American experience in ways that Wonder Woman is not.  Superman is the immigrant experience, constantly having to be better and stronger than the ideals – truth, justice, the American Way – he embodies because if he does not than all immigrants/aliens/heroes would be viewed as untrustworthy.  Batman is the guilt wealth brings, fighting the shadows to right the wrongs upon which success is built upon.  Wonder Woman though is not born of the American Dream – she does not come from guilt due to success, nor is she an immigrant who holds ideals of a culture.  Wonder Woman, is a visitor to America; she is an emissary of foreign ideals that she hopes to impart.  By her actions and adventures Wonder Woman inspires all peoples to possess physical and mental strength, values, and ethical and moral attributes, proving that not only American values need dominate the world stage.  She is not looking to eclipse the core of American ideals, rather Wonder Woman’s goal is to symbolize that anyone can embody truth and justice.  Wonder Woman normalizes that esteem for human life is a source of strength.  This diminishes the American belief, which has vacillated through its history, that armed conflict leads to conflict resolution.

 

Wonder Woman as Soldier

Wonder Woman and Batman by Kevin WarrenIn the DC Trinity Superman is the admiral inspiring heroes to be their best; Batman is the general making the plans other heroes follow; Wonder Woman is the soldier shoulder to shoulder with the other heroes in the battle.  Soldiers are the decisive faction in an army, and in an army of superheroes Wonder Woman is the hard-decision maker.  Where Superman and Batman hold tightly to the superhero code, do not kill, Wonder Woman comes at solutions with more ambiguity.  She is the decision maker who makes the difficult decisions, where killing is never completely off the table, such as when she kills Ares God of War by cleaving an axe through his skull (vol3, #33).  There is also the infamous neck snap of telepathic villain Maxwell Lord to save Superman and by extension the planet.  Maxwell Lord had taken control of Superman and used him to nearly kill Batman.  A brutal battle ensues, Wonder Woman defends herself by slicing Superman’s throat with her tiara, and uses the Lasso of Truth on Lord to demand to know how to end his mental control over Superman, which he revealed was to kill him; if put in jail he’d just escape, regain mental dominance of Superman, and begin again.  Seeing no other way to end the carnage an amoral Superman would cause, Wonder Woman snapped Maxwell Lord’s neck.  While Wonder Woman’s actions are defendable, saving her friends and the planet, her decisiveness put her at odds with other heroes who ardently stand-by the superhero code.