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Friday, March 30, 2012 

Brian Azzarello demonizes the Amazons

Kelly Thompson wrote on Comics Should Be Good about the new rendition of the Amazons in Wonder Woman, which is disturbingly unlike William Marston's or even George Perez's renditions, and is surely even worse than how the Amazons were depicted in the original Greek mythology. I may not agree with everything she says, but as far as the depiction of the DCU Amazons is concerned, Azzarello's characterization is definitely repellant:
Azzarello’s Amazons are absolute monsters. They are presented as women who not only rape in order to procreate (and yes, I believe rape is the right word), but also women who kill after they mate, women who either kill their sons or sell them into slavery, and who seem to lie and hide what they do and who they are. I don’t see any way in which these women – an entire nation of women – can be labeled as anything except monsters.

[...] the idea that Diana has no idea that these people she came from and that, for a time at least, raised her, are murders, rapists, liars, and slavers seems far fetched. It makes Diana out to be either incredibly naive, or just galactically stupid. Diana is neither of these things. I have seen arguments that this is only something that happens every 33 years and thus could be easily hidden from Diana, but I don’t think rape, murder, slave trade, and the broken heart of giving up your child against your will, would be so easily hidden. Do you think you would not know if your mother was a rapist, murderer, liar, and slave trader? Do you think you would not know if your mother was the Queen of a people that behaved this way? I suspect most people would know if they were being raised by monstrous murders.

And if the Amazons don’t think it’s wrong – as they do not seem to in these brief pages – then why hide it? People hide things only when they know they are wrong.

And if these are Diana’s people, why has she been sent to “Man’s world”? We must assume that Diana’s entire mission has been rebooted as well, since it seems ridiculous that these women would send her on a mission of anything other than utter destruction. Obviously there could be more still to come, but it’s hard to imagine how any of this fits together in a way that isn’t devastating.
And that's something I can agree with, being one who always remains aware of just how rock bottom DC's become under Dan DiDio. The worst part is that it's not so new: just a few years ago, in Amazons Attack, they were desecrated as man-haters who led to alarming disaster, and even during Flashpoint, they leaned in this direction. It made no difference if a disguised Granny Goodness from Apokalips was the one who encouraged them to attack earth society in the former; the Amazons should have been able to tell something was wrong, and under better characterization, they would not have attacked innocent males - or even females - out of one-dimensional hatred.

All Azzarello's depiction amounts to is desecration of a famous figure's background, much worse than DC's change of how WW was born from enchanted clay into being the daughter of Zeus instead. It also cheapens the impact of the material, making it hard to appreciate WW if she belongs to such a society and doesn't have a clear grasp on just how repellant their customs now are. And it's downright embarrassing.

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God, it seems like no writer aside from George Perez and maybe Gail Simone understands Wonder Woman... the optimist in me is hoping that this New 52 nonsense turns out to be just like Marvel's lame Heroes Reborn experiment from the 1990s, but unfortunately because the inmates are running the asylum, it's just a dream.

Carl

"even worse than how the Amazons were depicted in the original Greek mythology."

Read the original Greek Mythology. It's far worse. You have it backwards.

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