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  1. #16
    Senior Member BlackFeath's Avatar
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    I personally don't see men treated better.

    The only character who has been always positive is Lennox, and in many situations he was not even there because he had to do the baby-sitter or he was injured, and now he is dead.

    Then we have Hermes who betrayed Diana and was forgiven by her. I'd say positive turned negative and then again positive.

    Haephaestus who helped her and then helped also Strife for some reasons.

    Eros...except for the fact he took them to his father, he didn't do anything.

    The soldiers in Lybia, negative, they shot Diana at sight and then lost her. Was Siracca lying when she said that the population was afraid of them? Not sure about that.

    Chronus, providing wine to Hades xD

    Orion, that even if sometimes helpful in battle, was quite a negative character with his behaviour and was helped by Diana too, who in some situations saved him, in others she made him believe in himself and become better, and convinced him to do the right thing going against his father's will.

    The First Born always negative from his first appearance.

    The Hyena-men, always negative and following their father.

    Doctor Cheever negative: following Cassandra's orders, and then dead in a awful way.

    Poseidon negative and then neutral.

    Hades negative and then neutral. He was uncapable of love and Diana made him start to love himself after all he had done first to Zola and then to her.

    Zeus negative: always cheating on his wife and casting the First Born away as a child because he was afraid he could take his throne. He has appeared only in flashbacks.

    Apollo negative, manipulative, too sure in his abilities and now dead.

    Milan first negative and then positive, even if he was showed in danger and not quite able to take care of himself.

    Dyonisus negative, following Apollo's orders, and then taking Zola with himself...maybe neutral now? Not helpful though.

    The Minotaur negative, then he showed respect when Diana spared him, and now he has returned with Cassandra but he seemed to recognize Diana. We don't know yet what he will do.

    Ares negative at the beginning (he wanted to teach Diana his way and makes her like him), positive in the end because he met and was changed by her.

    The High Father I'd consider negative since he wanted to keep Zeke with him.

    Zeke: the child who has to be protected and who could be the end of the universe.
    "Sometimes, it's best not to be who we are...but who we aspire to be". (Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman #23)

  2. #17
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    Hermes is fulfilling a promise to Zeus. I see him as basically honourable.

    High Father helped Wonder Woman and actually allowed them to leave when he didn't have to. His parting comment to Orion reveals this.

    Orion is Jayne.

  3. #18
    Senior Member BlackFeath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brettc1 View Post
    Hermes is fulfilling a promise to Zeus. I see him as basically honourable.
    Honourable toward Zeus...toward Diana not that much. First he asked her help, then he stole the child from her mother betraying Diana who trusted him.

    High Father helped Wonder Woman and actually allowed them to leave when he didn't have to. His parting comment to Orion reveals this.
    I'm still not sure about the necessity of the three days of coma since they wanted to sedate her again even after she had fully recovered... Anyway, he let Zeke go only after his son decided to do the right thing also thanks to what Diana had told him.

    Anyway, they are not positive male characters from start to finish...so, men are not treated better than women, and Diana inspires change in both as she should.
    "Sometimes, it's best not to be who we are...but who we aspire to be". (Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman #23)

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackFeath View Post
    Honourable toward Zeus...toward Diana not that much. First he asked her help, then he stole the child from her mother betraying Diana who trusted him.



    I'm still not sure about the necessity of the three days of coma since they wanted to sedate her again even after she had fully recovered... Anyway, he let Zeke go only after his son decided to do the right thing also thanks to what Diana had told him.

    Anyway, they are not positive male characters from start to finish...so, men are not treated better than women, and Diana inspires change in both as she should.
    Oh, I think they are.

    Lennox is helpful throughout. He's like Zola, but actually useful.

    Hermes is doing what he feels is best for the child and ends up at odds with Diana over what that is. A world away from Apollo who just wants the kid dead.

    Hephaestus is always helpful. He gives Strife a pin? Big deal. Turns out its just a pin. Pop.

    Orion is an ass but never actually an enemy. He saves her life on three occasions.

    Generally speaking I feel confident saying that in the run so far the supporting males have more useful and less damaged.

  5. #20
    Senior Member BlackFeath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brettc1 View Post
    Oh, I think they are.

    Lennox is helpful throughout. He's like Zola, but actually useful.

    Hermes is doing what he feels is best for the child and ends up at odds with Diana over what that is. A world away from Apollo who just wants the kid dead.
    He still betrayed Diana. Why didn't he tell her what he wanted to do instead of stealing the child? Why couldn’t he keep Zeke save and at the same time with Zola? Not a always good character.

    Hephaestus is always helpful. He gives Strife a pin? Big deal. Turns out its just a pin. Pop.
    Not still sure about that. Strife's plan seems still in motion. Anyway, he didn't know how, but he knew Strife wanted to use it against Diana.

    Orion is an ass but never actually an enemy. He saves her life on three occasions.
    And Diana did the same for him even if he was a jerk. Not a enemy, but still not completely positive.

    Generally speaking I feel confident saying that in the run so far the supporting males have more useful and less damaged.
    I don't have this impression. At the beginning maybe, but recentely things have changed.

    Anyway, a little curiosity: we even had 5 dead male characters (the scientist whose brain the First Born ate, Lennox, Ares, Doctor Cheever and Apollo) against 0 females (or two if you consider Siracca and Cassandra's mothers who though died before the beginning of this story xD).
    "Sometimes, it's best not to be who we are...but who we aspire to be". (Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman #23)

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackFeath View Post
    He still betrayed Diana. Why didn't he tell her what he wanted to do instead of stealing the child? Why couldn’t he keep Zeke save and at the same time with Zola? Not a always good character.
    Characters who live by a particular honor code might find themselves bound by it. If he had sworn to Zeus as his king to follow a set or pre-arranged instructions, he might feel obligated to follow those instructions.



    Not still sure about that. Strife's plan seems still in motion. Anyway, he didn't know how, but he knew Strife wanted to use it against Diana.
    Or that it was just a pin.



    And Diana did the same for him even if he was a jerk. Not a enemy, but still not completely positive.
    But extremely useful. More so than any of the women except Diana herself.



    I don't have this impression. At the beginning maybe, but recentely things have changed.

    Anyway, a little curiosity: we even had 5 dead male characters (the scientist whose brain the First Born ate, Lennox, Ares, Doctor Cheever and Apollo) against 0 females (or two if you consider Siracca and Cassandra's mothers who though died before the beginning of this story xD).
    Six if you count Zeus and seven if that last panel is any indication of Hades fate.

    But you are forgetting Apollo's disposable pleasures in issue one, and likely the ones he used after he seized the Firstborn. Also Persephone.

    Twelve if you count the Amazons Strife murdered.

    The Firstborn is singlehandedly responsible for all the male deaths. Maybe he doesn't see any of the women except WW as a threat. You could hardly blame him.

  7. #22
    Senior Member BlackFeath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brettc1 View Post
    Characters who live by a particular honor code might find themselves bound by it. If he had sworn to Zeus as his king to follow a set or pre-arranged instructions, he might feel obligated to follow those instructions.
    He still wasn't good.


    Or that it was just a pin.
    Still it had to be useful for something xD Why asking Haephaestus to make it otherwise?

    But extremely useful. More so than any of the women except Diana herself.
    If you mean in combact...but not in a resolving way like Hera in issue 29, though. Usually he arrives, but then he has to fight together with Diana, or he has to be saved by her, or he is knocked out for all the fight, or he goes alone against the enemies and falls in a trap.

    Six if you count Zeus and seven if that last panel is any indication of Hades fate.

    But you are forgetting Apollo's disposable pleasures in issue one, and likely the ones he used after he seized the Firstborn. Also Persephone.

    Twelve if you count the Amazons Strife murdered.
    Right, I forgot the amazons and oracles xD, and now that I think about that, there are also the people who died in the war in the first issues, when we saw Ares.

    Persephone though I don't think she counts. Hades took her in Hell according to mythology, not because Azzarello has decided so.

    The Firstborn is singlehandedly responsible for all the male deaths. Maybe he doesn't see any of the women except WW as a threat. You could hardly blame him.
    He killed the scientist to learn modern language, he killed Cheever just because he worked for Cassandra, Lennox sacrified himself, he wanted to kill Apollo because he had tortured him and took his throne, not because he was a threat, but because he just wanted to kill him xD But really...he just seems to like to kill, he doesn't care who. He wanted to kill Hera in issue 23, and he wanted to kill Artemis too.

    I think he made a mistake by not killing Cassandra...she seems pretty vindicative.
    And at the end he will probably be defeated by an army of women xD And who knows...maybe after this war Zeus won't return, and Olympus at the end will be ruled only by a queen.

    Anyway...the fact for me is that Wonder Woman doesn't apply to this better girl's principle. She was influenced by both men and women, she influences both men and women, she fights alongside men and women, she cares for men and women, she inspires both men and women. Just for the fact that there are women meaningful to the story and that wonder woman doesn't hate women at all, the principle doesn't apply. Even for what she did to Orion that principle doesn't apply xD

    About the characters...they are not static, and they have a personality. There are not really characters who are only good or only bad. There are characters who can be changed by a fact or by interacting with others, and that can anyway make mistakes. Think at the story of Cassandra and Lennox, for example. Cassandra had a power she couldn’t control, she killed her mother without really wanting it, she became mute. Then Lennox arrived and took her with him. He taught her how to use her power, not managing though to teach her when it was right to use it, and so he ripped her throat away...not really a good thing...She continued to live, and became maybe as she is now because of that. Now the First Born has imprisoned her. What will she do?

    Hera was like she was because of Zeus and a wrong and ancient way of seeing marriage.

    Even the First Born became as he is because his father wanted him dead.
    Ecc...

    I think the words of Diana about a child not being evil, but becoming like that because of how he/she is raised are really meaningful in this sense, and we have been showed that even an adult person can change and become better or worse.
    Change I think is one of the main theme of this run.

    At the end I see all of them as complex characters that make this story interesting together. Both women and men.
    "Sometimes, it's best not to be who we are...but who we aspire to be". (Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman #23)

  8. #23
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    I tend to agree that most of the goddesses represent sexist stereotypes; after all, as deities, they are used in the story to represent ideas from a sexist society. Hera, for instance, embodied a patriarchal society's view of women and of the role of queen. I don't think, though, that we're meant to look at her behavior in early isseus and believe that it is right or inevitable or typical of women in our world--so I don't think her portrayal validates the stereotypes. When we look at her, in contrast to a modern woman like Diana or even (in her own flawed way) Zola, I think we're supposed to be reminded of how these stereotypes needed to change and, wherever they can be found, still need to change, and then we see Hera change.

    I'd be more concerned if I saw Zola as a stereotypical character. But I see her as having a mixture of traits which are not stereotypical together, though they might be stereotypes if taken in isolation: she's a tomboy/gun-totin' Annie Oakley, a survivor, someone who enjoys casual sex, a lost girl without a family or sense of purpose (until now), a dedicated mother, a loyal friend, courageous but also foolish and inept in defense of her friends. But what's most important to me is that she was actually able to teach Wonder Woman something; in issue 4, she reminded Wonder Woman of the value of family, from the perspective of someone who had log lacked family. And Wonder Woman knows that she herself is not perfect and she tells Zola so very clearly, and to me this mitigates the "better girl" criticism somewhat. It's an interesting critique, though, and worth mulling over some more.

    Quote Originally Posted by brettc1
    But extremely useful. More so than any of the women except Diana herself.
    Perhaps, but the female characters have been useful to Diana on occasion--especially lately.

    Hera saved Diana, Zola, Zeke, Hermes, Artemis, and Dionysus from the First Born on Olympus. That struck me as pretty useful. Artemis, despite everything, made herself pretty useful in finding Zeke. Siracca was useful in alerting Diana to Milan's imprisonment. She also appears to have been the brains behind that lovable lunkhead, Lennox; remember how indecisive he was in Heph's workshop, when, as he pointed out out, he didn't have "the wind" (aka, Siracca's voice from afar) to guide him. I find it interesting and appropriate that the demigoddesses of the 20th century (Diana, Siracca and Cassandra) seem to be the more capable members of their generation, for good or evil. And with Zeus, Apollo, Ares, and perhaps Hades apparently gone, the women of Olympus may be poised to take on more leadership roles, if they survive the war of the First Born. And the Amazons, if they learn their lesson by guarding Zeke and hopefully learning that they can love males, may take on more positive roles as well.
    Last edited by Silvanus; 05-10-2014 at 05:15 PM.

  9. #24
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    One thing I thought about with the Better Girl idea itself was - would this be a problem if it was a guy?

    For example, if you look at almost any superhero movie the male lead is the best looking guy in it. Chris Evans in the first Captain America, Robert Downie Jnr, Christopher Reeve - they don't really get much competition in the looks department from their male co-stars. About they only one I can think of are the Thor movies, where Tom Hiddleston has taken on a symbol status on the strength of his Loki performance, despite not having the physical attributes of hunky lead Chris Hemsworth.

    So in those terms, is it really that bad a thing if all the other girls are a not set forth by the story as not being as OMG drop dead gorgeous?

    The other one that bothered me even more is the girlie girl idea. What is that? Have we not had half a century of trying to break down the idea that girls [and boys] can be whatever they want? So if you don't wear a dress or make-up, it doesn't mean you are less of a woman.

    This probably runs to the caretaker/protector role as well.

    Then there is this comment...

    Many Better Girl stories feature familiar, and even cliched, themes already explored ad nauseam by stories with male leads, but they’re considered “fresh” and “new” because they simply replaced a man with a woman. However none of them actually tell female stories, or allow the female leads to be multidimensional and reflect the complex nature of real women.


    Now I don't disagree that many action movies follow a familiar pattern, but what exactly is a 'real female story'. Is there a set of rules for what is a female story and what is not? And if these stories do present characters which are not multi-dimensional, is this not also a problem for male characters? And yet I thought for the definitive 80's actions movie Die Hard presented a lead that was pretty well layered.
    Last edited by brettc1; 05-11-2014 at 02:53 AM.

  10. #25
    Senior Member Blacksun's Avatar
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    without the "Better guy " principle I can't imagine a James bond movie, he is always the best, most handsome, get the hot girls...

    I think Azzarello managed very well to avoid the better girl principle. They are all women that has strenghts and weaknesses and find in each other the support they need. He could easily put one woman jealous of the other, but we never see this cliche. Zola has just a normal body and doesn't envy the great diana's body. Hera is just beautiful as diana, and beauty is very subjetive.

    Girly girl, this is another thing that Azz avoid. I mean, sometimes in series the girl that is not "girly" thinks she is better because she isn't like the other girls. Diana never said that she is better than other girls because she is warrior like. There is girls that are girly and others that aren't, both have to be respected. Again points to Azz.
    Red Sonja #9 is a good issue about this. Also Korra.

    the problem is when in tv, movies they put the masculine woman better than the feminine woman

    Quote Originally Posted by brettc1 View Post
    Hermes is fulfilling a promise to Zeus. I see him as basically honourable.

    High Father helped Wonder Woman and actually allowed them to leave when he didn't have to. His parting comment to Orion reveals this.

    Orion is Jayne.
    what is a Jayne?

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangent Man
    Wonder Woman traditionally embodies sisterhood with women. Diana empowers women, instead of minimizing them.

    Yes, well said.

    We could think of Wonder Woman as the better-er girl. She "betters," or improves, other women--and men, too-- by her inspiration and influence, rather than just making others look bad by contrast (as "the better girl" does). Rather than being the exception that proves the truth of the stereotypes, she's the example who gets other people (especially owmen) to break out of streotypes and other mental prisons that have held them back. This is true of Marston's Wonder Woman (See her interactions with Dr. Psycho;s wife) and Azzarello's (see her inteactions with Hera, and probably most of the other versions.

    I guess I'd agree with you guys about Azzarello's representation of women if Hera, Artemis, etc. were supposed to be human women. I'd wonder why they seemed to be reduced to one narrow point of view instead of being well-rounded, like flesh-and-blood human beings. But since they are goddesses, they are not usually supposed to be well-rounded, flash-and-blood human beings; they're closer to allegorical representations of queens, huntresses, etc. from a more-or-less culturally specific point of view. And because that point of view is that of a patriarchal culture with a lot of misogyny , they represent stereotypes--and when we see these goddesses, we are (or were) meant, I think, to see how limiting and absurd these stereotypes are.

    I say "usually" and "were" because, of course, a lot of this is no longer true of Hera, and Artemis maybe be starting to get a more well-rounded portrayal as well. And of course, Orion and Hades and Ares have also shown better sides as the story has gone--and in all those cases, and in others, the improvement is largely due to Diana's influence. She's the better-er girl--which, really, is another term for "feminist icon."
    Last edited by Silvanus; 05-11-2014 at 01:47 PM.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blacksun View Post
    what is a Jayne?
    The hero of Canton.

    Seriously dude, your nerd stock is plummeting.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvanus View Post

    I guess I'd agree with you guys about Azzarello's representation of women if Hera, Artemis, etc. were supposed to be human women. I'd wonder why they seemed to be reduced to one narrow point of view instead of being well-rounded, like flesh-and-blood human beings. But since they are goddesses, they are not usually supposed to be well-rounded, flash-and-blood human beings; they're closer to allegorical representations of queens, huntresses, etc. from a more-or-less culturally specific point of view. And because that point of view is that of a patriarchal culture with a lot of misogyny , they represent stereotypes--and when we see these goddesses, we are (or were) meant, I think, to see how limiting and absurd these stereotypes are.

    I say "usually" and "were" because, of course, a lot of this is no longer true of Hera, and Artemis maybe be starting to get a more well-rounded portrayal as well. And of course, Orion and Hades and Ares have also shown better sides as the story has gone--and in all those cases, and in others, the improvement is largely due to Diana's influence. She's the better-er girl--which, really, is another term for "feminist icon."
    Making people better is not a uniquely feminist trait. That would be a humanist.

    The point with the goddesses is negated by the fact that they appear in human form and are capable of change at all. Azzarello's whole thrust has been to portray them as the original crime family - in other words, to humanise them for the purposes of helping the reader better associate with them and their motives. Also - Diana doesn't call Strife a culturally invalid stereotype from a bygone age, she calls her a bitch.

  14. #29
    Senior Member Blacksun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brettc1 View Post
    The hero of Canton.

    Seriously dude, your nerd stock is plummeting.
    ah Firefly/Serenity reference.Well, ok. I can't take all references

    Quote Originally Posted by brettc1 View Post
    Making people better is not a uniquely feminist trait. That would be a humanist.

    The point with the goddesses is negated by the fact that they appear in human form and are capable of change at all. Azzarello's whole thrust has been to portray them as the original crime family - in other words, to humanise them for the purposes of helping the reader better associate with them and their motives. Also - Diana doesn't call Strife a culturally invalid stereotype from a bygone age, she calls her a bitch.
    Humanist? yes. But most of times the big savior is a white straight man.

    WW is human after all. At least she isn't calling Strife B*tch over a fight for a man
    Last edited by Blacksun; 05-11-2014 at 03:16 PM.

  15. #30
    Junior Member 3DMaster's Avatar
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    Actually, anyone paying attention should know the whole trope is sexist, and not toward women. Shall we name the traits this "better girl" would exemplify, hmm?

    Truthful, responsible, dedicated, hard-working, through which she's strong, capable, has both feet on the ground, protective of her loved ones aka caring/compassionate about others; self-sacrificing - yet not forgetting a healthy self-interest.

    Notice a trend? These are not masculine traits, they are all MATURE traits. These are traits that do not belong to a gender, they are traits all good, mature human beings exemplify.

    The "better girl" is not a man in a woman's body; she is a RESPONSIBLE ADULT.

    Indeed, what good traits are there left for women if those are all masculine traits? Nurturing? I'm sorry, but it falls under caring and compassionate to others for me. Indeed, to use Kadniss they put on top of the article; the only reason she's not holding her Hunger Games mate and holding him all "feminine"-like is because she used his crush on her to escape a final fight with him and live. It's her very compassion and sense of responsibility that won't let her do that, because she knows it'll just tear open the wound she created by her actions.

    Stop me if you notice a trend in the following feminist programs and tropes: White Ribbon, "the personal is the political", patriarchy theory, the Duluth model of domestic violence, complaining that men should stop other men performing "street harassment", Anita Sarkeesian and her ilk complaining while conning people out of money that the industry of mostly male creators should change games to fit her personal sensibilities, a feminist, from a group calling themselves skepchicks crying and leaving a skeptic con sparking anti-"bullying" regulations to protect women from evil men after a WOMAN wore a t-shirt saying, "I feel safe and welcome at TAM" and on the back "I'm a skeptic, not a 'skepchick', not a 'woman skeptic', just a skeptic."

    If you've noticed yet; it's all about placing the blame on men and absolving themselves of any responsibility. In other words; they're immature, and expect men and society to somehow protect them from the consequences of their immaturity.

    Immaturity; the opposite of the maturity that "the better girl" exemplifies. And then the trope is essentially aghast at a woman have male mentors, male friends, and isn't a woman isolated by other women, a woman that unlike the one writing the trope, isn't hateful of men. After all, if you aren't hateful of men, why the hell would you care there are positive men, and positive relationships between men and the female protagonist. But what is this hatefulness of men that's also projected on the "masculine", actually mature woman. A maturity the writer lacks. While at the same time, all her life has been told she is the equal and even superior of men; that merely her vagina means she's more spiritual, more moral, etc. etc.

    Well, she considers herself a great woman with all kinds of great feminine traits. The traits she imagines in herself, she does not see in the way men are portrayed. She doesn't have them, she's a woman, feminine, so those traits must be masculine, they couldn't just possibly be simply "mature". Yet, at the same time, she's calls these masculine traits, "good traits", because well, all heroes and heroines in fiction carry these traits, they must be good. The result is actually a self-loathing that her own immature ego unable to take responsibility for her own short comings and grow demands she projects outward onto that other, men, that does exemplify those traits. And of course, all those women who do show the traits of a responsible adult, well clearly they must just be men in a woman's body, because a real woman, like her, has entirely different good traits, which she neglects to mention because she can't name them.

    So there's actually no point in trying to fit or take Diana out of "the better girl"-trope, because the trope itself is inherently flawed. And one has to wonder; if feminism is rejecting traits of maturity for women as wrong because it is inherently masculine, are they actually misogynist?
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