Monday, July 27, 2015

Grant Morrison's Wonder Woman comments

Nerd Post:

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Grant Morrison.  I don't always love everything he does, but there's no denying his genius.  He has a way of presenting classic characters in new and interesting perspectives.  Some of these characters are over 70 years old, so evolution is a necessity. However, his recent comments about Zack Snyder version of Wonder Woman really annoyed me.

According to Mr. Morrison, the warrior princess iteration of the Wonder Woman character is not what the original creator, William Moulton Marston envisioned for his character. This may be true, but who cares?!?  This character is 73 years old.  Of course it's going to go through several interpretations.  If Wonder Woman stayed exactly the same this whole time, people would lose interest.

Based on a nearly 4 minute trailer in which Gal Gadot appears as Wonder Woman for a total of 1 and a half seconds, Grant Morrison has decided that this version of the character is going to be too much of a stretch from the original creator's vision.  If you don't believe me, go back and watch the trailer again:

She appears in the costume for less than 2 seconds!

Now, I don't know if Mr. Morrison has access to more info than the general public, but if this is the basis for his hypothesis, then it's pretty silly.

But even if he is correct in assuming that this version of the character will be all about busting skulls and kicking ass, is that so bad?  Wonder Woman was sucking wind for a very long time until New 52 creators, Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang made a few tweaks and saved her from obscurity.  Their interpretation is probably the best thing to happen to the character since the animated Justice League series.  If you like Wonder Woman, and haven't read their run, I highly recommend it.


In this New 52 Version, they play up the Greek Mythology end of things with Wonder Woman being a demigod.  It's revealed that the whole "you were formed from clay" story is a lie.  Her mother, Hippolyta, was impregnated by Zeus, and desperately wanted to keep it a secret, so she concocted this clay story.  When Diana (Wonder Woman) finds out about this, she is forced to deal with her half brothers and sisters on mount Olympus as she is drawn into their petty power plays. This is a particularly bloody and violent interpretation of the character, and I think that played no small part in the series' success.  At one point she even becomes the God of War, and it's awesome!

So, Grant Morrison, who's made a career of looking at characters from different angles, thinks this version is too far from the original creation.  Again, I love Grant Morrison.  I've bought a lot of his work, but I 'm calling shenanigans on this.

Grant Morrison is coming out with his own Wonder Woman book.  I'm very excited to read it and I'm sure it will be awesome.  His version of the character is supposed to be in line with the original version.  I think that his comments about the Zack Snyder version of the character (of which we've only seen 1.5 seconds) are nothing more than a promotional tactic.  Every comics blog posted about him, and here I am writing about them, so obviously the guy knows what he's doing.  So even though Grant Morrison may be the greatest comics genius of our time, he's not above using cheap promotional tactics to sell books.  In fact, this was my big problem with his recent Multiversity series.  It felt like a sales pitch to me.

Things that don't evolve eventually become extinct.  Look at how many different interpretations of Batman there are.  This constant re-interpretation is what makes the character relevant year after year. Because we live in a time where everything is preserved, you can stick with your favorite version!  If you hate Christian Bale, you can pull up the Michael Keaton version on Netflix!  Think Keaton is too dark?  Well, the Adam West episodes have all been digitally restored!  Is Adam West too corny?  Well, then pickup the animated series and experience Kevin Conroy's performance.  We have options!

Zach Snyder is carrying the torch on this characters.  He is re-imagining them for new generation.  As anazing as the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman was, you can't have that kind of character in a serious comic book movie in 2015.  The character has to evolve.  Look what happened when Bryan Singer tried to re-do the Christopher Reeves Superman in 2006.  It was a horrible bomb.  The character has to evolve.

If you prefer Lynda Carter to Gal Gadot, or Christopher Reeves to Henry Cavil or Michael Keaton to Ben Affleck, then guess what?  All of those videos are easily accessible.  Knock yourself out. They're all great.  There's also a possibility that we will see more traditional interpretations of these characters on the big screen in the future.  But for now, Zack Snyder's version is what these characters need to keep them alive in 2016 and beyond.

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