Saturday, October 24, 2009

Helping women with Wonder Woman

Some of you may not know this but October 25th is Wonder Woman Day. CBR has an impressive rundown of the event by one of the founders here. This is a day to celebrate Wonder Woman, duh, but it's also for a great cause. Even if you're not going to be anywhere near Portland or New Jersey to meet famous comic book writers & artists, you can bid on awesome pieces of art done for the day online. Every piece of art bought goes to a very important charity - helping Shelters for Victims of Domestic Violence. I'm not terribly rich but I'm happy to donate time and attention to this wonderful day and wonderful cause. If you want to just stop reading here and click on over to thumb through the amazing gallery of Wonder Woman sketches for sale, I completely understand. Please donate even a little something, if you can.

Still here? Okay, time to get personal.

I know some people don't really "get" Wonder Woman and that's fine. Some people like chocolate, some people like rum raisin. What this day is, however, is a pure celebration of the spirit of the character as she's come to be known - the premier superheroine of the modern age. The character who little girls pretend to be when they play superhero, embracing the idea of the strong woman for the first time. Paradise Island, the Invisible Jet and the Golden Lariat are as part of the cultural landscape as Kryptonite and Alfred the Butler.

I know she's got her detractors but I love her. Yes, she's a deliriously complex character with so many facets that even great writers get a little lost getting a handle on her and too few even try. Still, that's part of why she's so fascinating. Batman, Superman, they can be summed up in a simple phrase or two. Wonder Woman - Diana of Themyscria - is a warrior and an ambassador of peace. Both an outsider and also the most trustworthy person in the DC Universe (even Superman doesn't have a rope brushing against his hip that renders him incapable of lying all the time). Complexity in comic book characters should always be celebrated and I love Wonder Woman as a character even when I don't care for her book.

To be honest, the last time I really enjoyed reading Wonder Woman was under Greg Rucka's pen (no slight to the fantastic Gail Simone but all the continual doses of tragedy and seriousness in her run leave me a bit cold). Greg Rucka wrote Wonder Woman as the one person in the DCU to have the strength to do what Batman and Superman could never, ever do (possibly should never, ever do, given their characters) and the heart to know what exactly what it would cost her. I know it put some people off but that? That's a hero I can both admire and understand. That's a soldier saving lives. That's a cop making a hard decision. That's a woman who makes hard choices. That's somebody I'd want a daughter to look up to as an example. Hell, I could make a long post about Rucka's Wonder Woman of it's very own but I won't, as it's already getting late.

In the end, I'm just thrilled Wonder Woman finally has a day to call her own. The fantastic cause it's supporting makes it even better.

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