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Wonder Woman Wednesday: The Feminine Mystique

Feminine. Lady-like. Girly. Three ways to describe a woman that has more “female-like” qualities. They’re also derogatory ways to describe a man with more feminine qualities. Hmmm. Isn’t it funny how the same words can have such extremely different impacts, depending on how you choose to use them?

I was reading an article recently about the “Best Comic Artists of 2017 (So Far!) and it included Bilquis Evely.  As fans of Wonder Woman know, Bilquis is the artist that took over for exiting Wonder Woman artist Nicola Scott -no small task, and a quite daunting one to boot.  Bilquis is relatively knew to the scene, and WW fans are pretty devoted to Nicola’s work. The article pointed out Bilquis’ lovely style lent itself well to Wonder Woman, and I completely agree – she’s doing a fine job indeed.

The part of the article that struck a chord with me is that the writer mentioned the care an artist must take when depicting Wonder Woman. Citing that she must be strong and heroic, yet maintain her femininity without being too girly or slutty. (Now I’m paraphrasing a bit, but you get the gist.)

I’m sure many a feminist has had a field day when it comes to the subject of Wonder Woman. Hera knows I’ve written about Wonder Woman and feminism plenty of times. I think Wonder Woman is a philosopher’s dream and a therapist’s nightmare which is ironic, as she was created by noted psychiatrist Dr. William Moulton Marston.

Although Wonder Woman is my favorite character of all time, I rarely like the way she is depicted in comics. I do find that she is often depicted as too harsh, or mannish, or unpretty.

On one hand, I think it’s a fairly tall order. You have all of these conflicting attributes, and you have to make them come together in the perfect way. On the other hand, I don’t think it’s strictly Wonder Woman. I think there are other  female characters with the same problem. She-Hulk comes to mind.

Wonder Woman’s Superfriends appearance is one of my favorites, and it also happens to be a fairly “butch” representation of the character. On the flip side, my absolute version of Wonder Woman is, of course, Lynda Carter’s from the ’70s television series. She brought the perfect amount of strength and femininity to the role.

So, the takeaways from this article are that Wonder Woman is not like pizza: bad pizza is still pizza, but bad Wonder Woman is just unacceptable.  And the other one being that while it may take more care and difficulty to represent the awesomeness of Wonder Woman, it can be done! Just ask George Perez, Nicola Scott, Phil Jimenez, Adam Hughes, Liam Sharp, and Yannick Paquette.

Okay, Wonder Ones, that’s it for this week. Be back for more Wonder Woman Wednesday next week, and be sure to check out the I Am Wonder Fan Facebook page.

For more Wonder Woman fun, follow me on Instagram (@michaelfirztroy).

Michael Fitzgerald Troy, Fanbase Press Contributor



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