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  1. #1

    Default Is This The Wonder Woman And Donna Troy We Get? (PART I)

    No matter what it gets labeled, Rebirth has retcon/reboot elements in it. After all Clark Kent/Superman's entire adult life has been rewritten (relative to The New 52). He and Lois have been married for 12+ years, and have been raising a son for 11 years or so.

    Obviously, this can affect, and in some cases does affect, everybody he's connected to - their history changes too, a little or a lot. For example, almost every pre-Rebirth issue of SUPERWOMAN - which were all based on The New 52 Superman getting sick and dying, Lois Lane (not married to Clark Kent) getting superpowers and then dying, and so on - "no longer applies." (I have no clear idea what went on with Lana in the new continuity.)

    And Wonder Woman too. Obviously her lengthy, intense romance with Superman has been retconned - either to non-existence or triviality. Who knows what other ripple effects or butterfly effects there have been on her?

    On top of that, the whole Azzarello run - whether you loved it, hated it, or somewhere in between - is no longer a real part of Diana's experience. It didn't happen, at least not in this continuity. (This doesn't seem to have anything to do with the changes affecting the Superman Family, but it might.)

    Okay. But for some reason DC seems to feel the need to take major elements from The New 52 that they're getting rid of and still include them, in a distorted and/or metanarrative form, in the Rebirth continuity. Beyond just saying "it didn't happen, and/or happened in a different continuity" (like the WW/Supes 'ship). I don't really know why. Sometimes I think it's meant as a consolation prize to the fans, or even the writers and artists, of The New 52 - but if so, it's a meager one, and I doubt they find it very satisfying. More likely it's a sad reminder of what they no longer have.

    So the Azzarello run, instead of being assigned to Earth-Azz, becomes "the Lie" that Diana believed for many years, and now she's learned "the Truth." The question is, is this really best for the character and her backstory? Or is it just something that really won't play much of a role in a year or two, and that we can do without?

    Really: if someone said to you, "DCU time and history are shifting and changing, and the lat six years of it may or may not still be in play - now create a backstory for Wonder Woman," would your natural response be: "I know! Let's decide that for 10-15 years she believed a complete falsehood about herself, her Amazon sisters, her mother, and her patron deities - and in some ways a pretty ugly one - and she's finally learned that it's not true! Let's go from there." [NOTE: when I said "a pretty ugly one," I am not saying the story was bad, just that it had elements about the characters that were, quite deliberately, ugly compared to past versions or the current version. Author's decision.]

    From the point of view of character development, does this really help create a Diana/Wonder Woman that's best for stories going forward - compared to simply saying, "Naw, that was just Earth-Azz"? Do readers really want to see the implications of Wonder Woman being completely and horribly confused for a decade have an impact on her feelings and thoughts in the years to come, or will it just be treated as "one of those things that happen" but don't matter?

    Actually, I don't even have a clear sense of what the new status quo backstory is. All those years Diana believed "the Lie," she thought she could go back to Themyscira. (That's part of the Lie, right?) Did she try? Would she leave her JLA buddies, fly away, go into some kind of dreamlike trance state, and then come back to her and say "hey, I was just visiting my mother, and she told me the most interesting story...." Or did the Lie also contain some subconscious compulsion to never do any quite natural thing (like visiting home) that might test it?

    That's a lot of baggage for a backstory, and it just seems entirely unnecessary to me.

    I am hoping that, after the Mr. Oz/Dr. Manhattan/Doomsday Clock arc is over, we will have gotten further retcons that clean these kinds of things up, and that the parts of The New 52 that are no longer really included in the DCU will just be written out, leaving us with something more coherent. And a Wonder Woman who makes a little more sense to me as a character.

    But that's not the sense of been getting from the comics I'm reading. Instead it looks like they're construction a Frankenstein's Monster of a DCU, with people remembering things that never happened (or, "never happened"), and characters with memories wiped out who are just getting them back, and the activities of superheroes and entire teams of superheroes being wiped from the memory of every person on Earth (along with any photographs or newspaper stories or other physical evidence) - which now some people remember again and some people don't - and so on. Where you can see the seams, and a lot of things are implicitly labeled "we just don't ask about that stuff." Which, I can say as a reader of fantasy, science fiction, superhero stories, and so on, is not my top choice for how to build a fictional setting.

    But that's just me.
    Doctor Bifrost

    "If Roy G. Bivolo had seen some B&W pencil sketches, his whole life would have turned out differently." http://doctorbifrost.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
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    I am basically against the wholesale removal of previous events and stories unless it is part of a companywide reboot.
    Because I feel like it is an extremely lazy way of getting rid of things you (the writer) don't like, and just disrespectful of the writer who's work you just threw out the window.

    If you really have big problems with something someone else did and you feel the need to change or fix it, then come up with a fix that makes it acceptable for you and your readers, like:
    -The sex raids, borrowing from the other thread, if thats what needs fixing... come up with a story where the information Diana got was simply wrong, either because Hephaestus knowingly changed it or because he just didn't know anything else and it turned out the Amazons didn't do it or simply left the sailors alive at the end with holes in their memories.
    -If you dont like the whole barrier of no return that now exists between Diana and her people, don't just return Themyscira to the land of the living without a word as if the barrier never was, show us the barrier coming down... like Paradise Island returning to Earth unexpectedly.

    Build and adapt these things, dont just unmake them.

  3. #3

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    In many cases I agree with you. In this case, however, I think that Rebirth, the Superman Family retcon, the "removal of ten years from the heroes' histories" by Dr. Manhattan or whoever, and the wholesale designation of the Azzarello run as "events that never actually happened" is close enough, conceptually, to Reboot City to justify going a little further and making the Azzarello run "events that never happened and Wonder Woman doesn't remember as happening." And that that would be better for the character going forward.

    You could just as easily say that the Azzarello run was a story written by an Amazon poet with a fantastic imagination, and it would have about as much relevance to the post-Rebirth world as it seems to now.

    But I can understand people who think that they shouldn't have even gone as far as they did, much less go any further.
    Doctor Bifrost

    "If Roy G. Bivolo had seen some B&W pencil sketches, his whole life would have turned out differently." http://doctorbifrost.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Bifrost View Post
    1) In many cases I agree with you. In this case, however, I think that Rebirth, the Superman Family retcon, the "removal of ten years from the heroes' histories" by Dr. Manhattan or whoever, and the wholesale designation of the Azzarello run as "events that never actually happened" is close enough, conceptually, to Reboot City to justify going a little further and making the Azzarello run "events that never happened and Wonder Woman doesn't remember as happening." And that that would be better for the character going forward.

    2) You could just as easily say that the Azzarello run was a story written by an Amazon poet with a fantastic imagination, and it would have about as much relevance to the post-Rebirth world as it seems to now.

    3) But I can understand people who think that they shouldn't have even gone as far as they did, much less go any further.
    1) If it had been somekind of coordinated effort, then I could agree with you, but both Superman's rebooting, Rucka's Wonder Woman and the now revealed tamperings of Manhattan just appears slapdash and random:
    -Superman gets merged with his past and current self by an angry Mxy, destroying everything the current one was and had... and his Lois bites the bullet as well soon after.
    -Manhattan took 10 years away from everyone without them noticing, but all of that happened way back in the conclusion of Flashpoint adding yet another layer of confusion to an already muddled event since Pandora never mentions this.
    -And Wonder Woman just gets up one evening realizes something is wrong and everything is just suddenly changed for no obvious reason.

    And I dont really see these kinds of things as being positive for the characters, because it just fractures the fanbases because there were people who liked Azzarello's Wonder Woman and there were people who liked the New 52 Superman and the couple they formed, those groups of people just got to eat dirt when these were completely removed from existence. Yes I know the argument exists that these new version did the same to the older versions, but as I have mentioned elsewhere, I dont see the cases as being equal because the New 52 had the backing of Flashpoint where everyone had to change... Wonder Woman was changed back because Rucka felt that was the way to go, not because he had to.

    2) You could, but that doesn't really soften the blow... in both cases the world that we thought was real and gotten invested in has turned out to have never really existed. In Rucka's case when I realized where he was heading, I had hoped he would simply merge the existing Amazons with the older ones to make a decent compromise... you'd have Philipus, you'd have Dessa, you'd have Aleka, you'd have Io and you'd have to decide what haircolor Hippolyta has again. You could then simply edit the most poisonous matters out of the book. Like if the Lies and Truth had played out like the thing with Superman did, Diana could have gone to discover that there were 2 Themyscira's and that at the conclusion the 2 would merge and you could then just quietly fold away stuff like the raids and the killing of the manazons (and saving Donna from that cack) as stuff that didn't happen or happened differently (like the Manazons just going home after the First Born fight was over).

    3) And thats fair enough... but I am of the mindset that just because this is comics, then everything is subject to change and every writer can get to decide what's actually in the past and what isn't. I mean life in general is not something you can edit all the bad stuff out of, and I kinda wish comics would largely do the same. Big company reboots aside, I think even bad stuff in a comics past deserves to remain where it is, you dont need to talk about it in the current issues and you dont have to deal with it... but just leaving it there as part of the canon and you can one day return to it either to make fun of it or to pull something interesting out from it.

    Like:
    Diana's biker outfit: "Hey Diana, I found this picture, is that really you?" "Oh gods that old thing! What was I thinking?!/ Oh, yeah, that was fun, I still have it somewhere."
    Amazons Attack/raids: Its in the past, down the line you may be able to write a redemption story or explore the threat of the Amazons.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outside_85 View Post
    1) If it had been somekind of coordinated effort, then I could agree with you, but both Superman's rebooting, Rucka's Wonder Woman and the now revealed tamperings of Manhattan just appears slapdash and random:
    -Superman gets merged with his past and current self by an angry Mxy, destroying everything the current one was and had... and his Lois bites the bullet as well soon after.
    Minor correction, New 52 Lois was already dead (and haunting Lana Lang psychically) when Mxy attacked the Kents. She instructed Lana to sacrifice her energies so she and her Clark could come to the rescue of the pre-flashpoint versions and set the merger in motion

  6. #6
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    Honestly I still think its a "to be continued" on how Wonder Woman and the like get ultimately sorted out as it applies to Rebirth. I still believe that, as of now, only Superman is "whole", and the rest has yet to be fully fixed by the in the sense that the Rebirth saga is purporting the Earth to be busted.

    Really though we won't know until Doomsday Clock is over. As that's the end of the Rebirth saga. If things stay the same then I guess all this confusion remains (not that I'm saying there probably won't still be confusion even if my belief holds water).
    They can be a great people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you. My only son. - Jor-El.

  7. #7
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    I have to say I'm not really happy about how the whole lies or truth thing was handled as a fan of the the pre-new 52 continuity either. The juxtaposition of having Diana having flashbacks to that continuity implicitly denies that continuity as being false just as much as the new 52 Azzarello run. At the very least it's not in-continuity rebirth.(The absolute worst interpretation would be that the old continuity was "lies" before flashpoint to which I can only say "screw that!"). I'm definitely able to sympathize with Azzarello fans who wished that they could of kept more of the run.

    Since pre-new 52 continuity can't work with Diana never having been back to Themyscira and the new 52 continuity explicitly denied, effectively we got another complete reboot just with Diana having some memories of alternate realities. I wasn't expecting 100% complete reversal to the old continuity but I was hoping for more than just getting rid of sex piracy. Between this and Donna's origin getting messed up when it actually was starting to looking good for a little while, I've kind of grown sour and disillusioned with rebirth.

    As for what they could of done instead, I have to say I really like the continuity version presented in the Scholastics Backstories Amazon Warrior book that was released around the the time BvS. It used the new 52 designs for characters that had them while basing it's history of the volume 2 series while incorporating the #0 issue of the Azzarello run (and other wise ignoring volume 3 and volume 4) and I felt it did a pretty good job in it simplification and summarizing. I think either using that as the background for rebirth or something very similar would of been ideal.

    Here's a link to book if anybody's curious. https://www.amazon.com/Wonder-Woman-.../dp/0545925576

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemisfanboy View Post
    Since pre-new 52 continuity can't work with Diana never having been back to Themyscira and the new 52 continuity explicitly denied, effectively we got another complete reboot just with Diana having some memories of alternate realities.
    And that was really my point. I am, in fact, a big fan of continuity and consistency - for all the good that does me as a comic-book fan today. But the transition from The New 52 to Rebirth is not going to be an example of continuity and consistency. For Wonder Woman in particular, we are getting the equivalent of a full reboot.

    And a reboot where, in the current-day stories, she's been active as Wonder Woman for 10-15 years. Those 10-15 years are going to have to be, at the very least sketched in. So the question is, why burden that lengthy backstory with the baggage of "during that time Wonder Woman had a completely false memory and views of who she, the Amazons, her mother, and the gods were"? Does that make for a better backstory and history? Do writers and readers really want to grapple with the implications this kind of massive, long-term disconnect with reality (within the setting of the story) would probably have on Diana's ongoing character development, or is it something we're just not supposed to talk about, think about, or ask about in the future?

    I just have this image of flashbacks to Diana's early days in the JLA, or her first encounters with the Teen Titans as a team, or whatever, and a little footnote that says, "Oh, by the way, during this time Diana had no true knowledge of her personal history." Or, just as likely, writers forgetting or ignoring this aspect of Diana's life, and including references to her true history that would not be appropriate for her at the time.

    It's a messy thing to include in a character's history, and for what? It's not as if it's really giving us consistency and continuity with the Azzarello run - it's just giving us a nostalgic reminder.

    I loved Crisis on Infinite Earths, as well as the promise of a newer, cleaner continuity to follow the reboot. One problem that I had with the follow-through, however, was DC's unwillingness to commit to the reboot - they kept trying to include multiple aspects from previous continuities that didn't really mesh. And then repeated, increasingly complicated attempts to explain the conflicts - and that's how we get to Hawkman being such a complete mess.

    And that's what I'm seeing with Rebirth - a decision to get rid of major aspects of The New 52 (Azzarello's run; no original Teen Titans team; etc.), but still trying to fit pieces of it in where they don't really serve a purpose, in a more complicated manner than anyone needs (Diana thought the Azzarello run was her history for many years; the Teen Titans was an active and important team, and then everyone in the world forgot it ever existed, and now some people remember and some don't...?).

    I'd rather see them commit to their changes. If you're going to get rid of the Azzarello run as part of Wonder Woman's actual continuity (and that's a decision they seem to have made), then do it. Don't leave it hanging over the character in a distorted form. Unless you think it can be done cleanly, and/or doing so really helps the character going forward. Which I don't think is the case.

    But that's just me.
    Doctor Bifrost

    "If Roy G. Bivolo had seen some B&W pencil sketches, his whole life would have turned out differently." http://doctorbifrost.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
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    Rucka really messed things up. The new continuity we got is in no way better than anything we had before.
    I'm saying this as a fan of most of his work, but his Rebirth run only served to tear down the New 52 run. He didn't build nearly enough compared to what was destroyed.
    As a result, I fully expect most writers will just ignore the fact WW spent her entire superhero career being clueless about her past and imagining situations that never actually happened. What was she doing all the countless times she thought she was visiting her home? It's sad, but DC wouldn't allow their male heroes to seem so crazy for so long in ther fictional histories.
    Keeping Azzarello's run would have been better, even with the flaws.
    Even better would be to just update Perez's version a little. It's still the best in-continuity origin the character ever got.
    Change some stuff like her debut happening so long abter Superman and Batman's and Black Canary replacing her as a JL founder and just focus on writing good stories in the present.
    DC is too obsessed with completely rewriting WW's history every few years and it clearly doesn't work. She needs stability and a strong move forward.

  10. #10
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    To be honest you can't put all the blame on all on Rucka since DC doesn't know what to do with Diana's family. Dc should have also rebooted Donna. They never allow anything in Wonder Woman to general effect other books.
    Last edited by AmiMizuno; 09-15-2017 at 08:23 PM.
    Please sign this so we can at least show DC we want Legend of Wonder Woman part 2.

    https://www.change.org/p/comic-fans-...part-2-back-on

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    The real sad thing is it actually looked like they were doing a good job fixing Donna at first between titans hunt and the first issues of Titans. She had been retconned into predating her supposed creation in the finch run and it looked like they had chosen to go with the orphan girl raised by amazons origin. Then the annual came and turned the entire thing into some snarl by referencing the finch origin in ways that make no sense by what's been established over in Diana's book. And who knows where they're going with this evil Troia from the future thing they have coming up. I Just don't understand their logic. I hope the theory that annual will turn to be a red herring may be right but I doubt it. They should had just went with her original origin and told Rucka that an 11 or so year-old Donna was supposed to be on the island during year one so give her a at least cameo or something. Or the annual could have retconned in a scene where Diana says good by to her younger sister. This whole mess just makes me wanna scream.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    I don't think right now DC will ever get Wonder WOman's family right. I mean look at how they treat them and they don't often mention how the event have an effected on Diana or on the other heroes. Dc doesn't really kmpw ow to deal with her family. Even if we get a great run we have to deal with how they will be in other books. You need Diana to have her own editor.
    Please sign this so we can at least show DC we want Legend of Wonder Woman part 2.

    https://www.change.org/p/comic-fans-...part-2-back-on

  13. #13

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    /edit 10char
    Last edited by Doctor Bifrost; 09-16-2017 at 12:47 AM.
    Doctor Bifrost

    "If Roy G. Bivolo had seen some B&W pencil sketches, his whole life would have turned out differently." http://doctorbifrost.blogspot.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemisfanboy View Post
    The juxtaposition of having Diana having flashbacks to that continuity implicitly denies that continuity as being false just as much as the new 52 Azzarello run. At the very least it's not in-continuity rebirth.(The absolute worst interpretation would be that the old continuity was "lies" before flashpoint to which I can only say "screw that!").
    I wanted to go back and try to explain my frustration with this a little better. Basically, Was there suppose to be a point to Diana having flashbacks to the Pre-New 52 continuity, and if so what was it suppose to be? Specific examples are the Hippolyta's death in the Imperiex War, Her fight with Medusa in Rucka's original run, and Gail Simone's The Circle. She remembers these things alongside the New 52's "Holodeck" Themyscira/Olympus and the "Truth".

    As addressed the old continuity can't work within Rebirth's continuity so they aren't "True" there at least. I'm going to give Rucka the benefit of the doubt and assume he didn't mean to imply that the old continuity was also "Lies" before Flashpoint and his version is meant to be the only "True" version retroactively for the past thirty years. I don't even where to begin in explaining how utterly wrong I'd find that idea. I'm probably just over thinking the nature of the fluctuating reality of fictional universes. But that brings us back to the question. Why have Diana have memories of the Pre-Flashpoint universe at all?

    If they weren't going to actually try to restore any of this to continuity and go for effectively another reboot they shouldn't been brought up. They only needed to acknowledged the Rebirth continuity and the New 52 for the purpose that they were trying achieve. What does it mean for Diana to have knowledge of a third reality inside her brain? How would/ will Diana having the memories of the previous universe in addition the "Truth" and the "Lie" matter? Was it just poorly though out pointless fanservice? Part of a bait and switch tactic to make old fans think they were actually going to restore the old continuity?
    Last edited by Artemisfanboy; 09-16-2017 at 07:34 PM.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemisfanboy View Post
    Was it just poorly though out pointless fanservice? Part of a bait and switch tactic to make old fans think they were actually going to restore the old continuity?
    I think it's something like this, although with, perhaps, a bit less malice aforethought than you suggest in your latter choice.

    I think there may have been a moment where TPTB thought, "Okay, now let's have Diana remembering things from before the point where The Lies were implanted in her mind."

    But they haven't really figured out yet what Wonder Woman's post-Rebirth continuity is going to be. They're kind of busy right now with Doomsday Clock and all. So they just grabbed a few scenes from the "past" they had available to them, which happens to be the pre-Flashpoint past.

    Maybe they didn't really think about the fact that it can't possibly apply as written. Or maybe they thought "it will serve as a placeholder now, and reality and history is going to change again in a few months anyway." Or maybe they just don't think it matters, and even after the dust settles writers will continue to include flashbacks that don't actually cohere into a narrative, because, after all, it's just comics, right?

    None of those gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling about that state of the DCU fictional setting a year down the line. But we saw a lot of the same problems after Crisis on Infinite Earths, too. We were coming into a new continuity; the new continuity had an implicit history, even for its most important characters (since we basically started in media res at Year Five); but they never really decided what that history was.

    In the CoIE case I got the sense that there was some careful and detailed planning, which unfortunately was derailed by late-in-the-day decisions.

    (For example, if my information is correct, Roy Thomas was told that after CoIE he would be able to maintain a separate timeline for his All-Star Squadron and Infinity, Inc. stories. And then, at the last second, was told, no, everything will be on one Earth, and there can't be any Superman, Batman & Robin, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, or Green Arrow in the JSA/All-Star Squadron. And being a team player and not a prima donna, he scrambled like heck to make it all work. And we got the GA Fury and the II Fury out of it, and they were two of my favorite characters, so at least there's that. Years later John Byrne came along, and they told him, sure, you can change all of history and put a Wonder Woman, in the form of Hippolyta, back into the JSA. And then we had a whole new continuity for Wonder Woman that didn't really cohere.)

    In the Rebirth case, on the other hand, they're not calling it a reboot, or even really using the word retcon (although there are what most people would call retcons in play), and they don't seem to have a clean before-and-after demarcation point, so I don't get the impression of careful and detailed planning going on for a history of the post-Rebirth DCU and characters, or a manner in which that history would be communicated. So my expectations are... low.

    I could, however, be entirely wrong. And am quite willing to be.

    I'm probably just over thinking the nature of the fluctuating reality of fictional universes.
    Well, it seems quite possible to me that you - and I - are thinking about it a lot more than some (I'm not saying all) of the writers and editors involved. Whether that constitutes "overthinking" or not is a matter of taste.
    Last edited by Doctor Bifrost; 09-16-2017 at 11:14 PM.
    Doctor Bifrost

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