I think the hullabaloo started when writer Grant Morrison lambasted the grim and gritty direction that Wonder Woman seems to be going, if not in her comic book, then certainly in Zack Snyder's forthcoming Batman V Superman, featuring a sword-wielding Gal Gadot snarling at the camera.
Morrison says he turned to WW creator William Moulton Marston's original vision of a peaceful healer and scientist for his highly anticipated Wonder Woman: Earth One OGN illustrated by Yannick Paquette, citing he had no interest in writing a more violent WW.
While this isn't exactly fresh news, it seems to have stirred the proverbial pot, and I have seen more than a couple of articles about Wonder Woman becoming more of a blood-thirsty warrior than a gentle pacifist.
I mostly disagree with this sentiment. I think this is a tough debate to have. Wonder Woman has always preached peace and reluctantly resorts to violence as a means to keep order - a major turning point being when Wonder Woman turned Maxwell Lord's head all the way around until snapping his neck and murdering him.
But, she didn't have a choice. She didn't have a choice? Isn't there always a better way? Exactly why I didn't like Superman killing General Zod in Man of Steel. We have "peace keepers" in real life killing people because they don't "have a choice." Do we really need our fictional heroes following suit? A true hero always finds a better way.
I'm reserving judgment for the big screen debut of WW. Inside sources have indicated she is not relegated to a blood-thirsty barbarian. And, let's face it: In a live -action movie, don't we kind of want to see Wonder Woman kick some butt?
There are several good examples of women kicking @$$ while kicking @$$ on film. Angelina Jolie in Salt. Angelina Jolie in Wanted. Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider. Okay, so maybe Angelina Jolie is the most prominent female @$$-kicker in Hollywood history, but there certainly are more examples. (Sigh, I still wish Mrs. Pitt would have been the one to bring WW to the big screen, but, alas, just add to the list of Hollywood's disappointments!) Oh! Oh! Oh! Kill Bill! There were plenty of chicks with chops in those flicks! I think a female character can certainly carry an action film and just be cool and not necessarily a war monger.
People are concerned about the sword. And, I can't say that I'm that excited about it either. But, I'm more disappointed in the cop out of having her brandish a weapon for no apparent reason. It says to me that you don't have the imagination to use her more commonly established strengths to the character's own advantage.
What strengths do I speak of? Hello! Magic Lasso, anyone? It is the one of the coolest and most unique assets the character has in her arsenal. I think there are some very creative, unexplored ways to turn that lariat into legend. If nothing else, it is a catalyst for truth. And, at the risk of sounding too hippy dippy, can you think of a more powerful weapon than the truth?
Too bad Todd McFarlane never took a proper crack at Wonder Woman. I think he could do for Diana's Lasso what he did for Spider-Man's webs, and THAT would be too cool for school.
I'm not opposed to the sword for moral reasons, per se . . . I just think it looks silly and out of place. On the rare occasion, Diana wielded a sword in the past, but it just always seemed weird to me. Like if Aquaman had a hook instead of a hand. Oh . . . Yeah. Well, that was messed up too. Could you imagine Lynda Carter brandishing a saber week after week in the WW television series? I'd much rather hear her exclaim, "Hola!" than "En garde," I can tell you that much.
The good news is that comic book characters with the longevity WW has live in and through many incarnations during their careers. It's not the first time we've seen the not-so-softer side of Sears in Diana. Frank Miller certainly put his Sin City spin on the character in both Dark Knight and All-Star Batman and Robin. I think I was more offended by her Rick James hairdo than her castrating countenance.
I can certainly see people's fear of Diana joining the dark side. Zack Snyder's Superman isn't exactly the big, blue Boy Scout we have looked up, up, up in the sky to for all of these years. In her own comic book, after murdering her half brother Ares, Wonder Woman is crowned the new God of War. What the hell? I guess she didn't have a choice again? Being a vegetarian is a choice. Murdering someone is just rude - not to mention illegal.
As a fanatical and devoted fan of Wonder Woman, I'm not concerned. Wonder Woman, at her core, is a peaceful, loving embodiment of good. That will never change. Unless they gave her a chainsaw. That might be going too far. The point being - swords and white pant suits come and go . . . The Beauty and Truth of Wonder Woman is Forever!