What are your thoughts on the New 52 Wonder Woman?
She no longer embodies the feminist ideals that made her iconic in the first place, and she got turned into a sex object for Superman in the New 52. :(
The Earth-2 Wonder Woman has compensated a bit for the mainstream one, the downside is she’s dead. :(
Hi! I'm new to Helena Wayne. I'm curious, what stories about her that you can recommend? Especially, in the new 52?
Hello! Thank you for taking interest in Helena Wayne. :)
For the New 52, I do recommend picking up Huntress: Crossbow at the Crossroads which establishes how Helena Wayne operates as the Huntress. I do have to point out that she does use the name ‘Helena Bertinelli’ as an alias in this mini since this story takes place five years after she arrived to the mainstream DC universe from Earth-2. It’s also illustrated by Marcus To, which is very beautiful!
For the character’s history on Earth-2 in the New 52, I recommend reading Worlds’ Finest #0 and Earth-2 #1 since both explore her past on this world and how she functioned as her world’s Robin. I’d also recommend picking up the Worlds’ Finest Annual #1 next month since it’ll explore another story from her past on Earth-2.
For her history on the mainstream Earth, I’d read Worlds’ Finest #1-4 and Worlds’ Finest #8-9. The first four issues establish via flashbacks what she did on the mainstream Earth when she first arrived from Earth-2. Issues #8-9 provide closure for the Huntress mini as well as show flashbacks of Helena’s childhood on Earth-2 and how she acquired her Huntress costume at age 17.
For more history on her family and friends, definitely check out Batman/Superman #1-4 written by Greg Pak. I’d also read Earth-2 #0 if you want a story of how the Earth-2 Trinity fought in the Apokolips War prior to their deaths.
For the Classic Helena Wayne (which is still my favourite version of the character), definitely checkout Huntress: Darknight Daughter and Justice Society of America Annual #1 for a character-driven Huntress and Power Girl story on Earth-2. It’s still one of my favourite Helena Wayne stories told in recent times and it’s written by Geoff Johns with beautiful artwork by Jerry Ordway. :)
Hopefully this is plenty of material to start with. :)
I just wanted to say thank you for your comments on Gal Gadot's casting. I get that there are concerns over the direction of this movie and I get why people are skeptical over some of the casting choices. But I was sorely disappointed to see DCWKA (of all people) dismissing an actress's acting abilities on the basis of her short resume and implying she's not good enough for not being an Oscar-nominated actress. What terrible thing to say about an aspiring actor at the beginning of her career.
Yeah, like I said, Wonder Woman making her first cinematic appearance in history is the only reason I’m even considering watching this movie now. My main concern with this film is the premise. From what I’ve read so far, it really does sound like a desperate attempt to cash in on the success of Marvel’s The Avengers (which is currently holding the #3 spot for highest grossing film of all time) without actually taking the time to build a cinematic universe first. As such, this could either turn out to be very good if it has a strong script, or it can turn out to be Warner Bros first Spider-Man 3 movie.
With regards to DCWKA’s latest fuck-up, I honestly can’t say I’m surprised in the slightest. I stopped expecting impartial commentary from her months ago after the whole Huntress statue debacle, which was yet another case of her poorly framing her opinions in a way that upset fans of the character, and did her fair share of dismissing fan concerns when she was called out on it. Just like this latest one, she also refused to see why people took issue with her wording, she got passive aggressive in a way that made it difficult to explain the problem to her, she did not demonstrate a desire to listen, and maintained that she did nothing wrong. (Have fun reading).
I do have to admit some responsibility for the way that one went down since I responded to her when I was running on zero hours of sleep, plus I had other things going on in my life at the time that made it difficult to stay level-headed and coherent in that situation. But the point she kept deliberately missing wasn’t that she preferred Helena Bertinelli, but that knowingly dismissed a statue that she knew was of Helena Wayne, which was both in poor taste and subscribed to the idea that the Huntress is interchangeable (something that already upsets Huntress fans as is). The responses that she gave in her defence were equally ludicrous to boot.
With this latest shake-up, the fact that she dismissed Gal Gadot’s ability to act on the basis of her short CV and her lack of Academy Award nominations compared to the two white actresses she compared her to is just a reminder of why I cut ties with this person in the first place. Sue may have valid opinions on most things, but she also has a history of doing her fair share of dickish behaviour as well. This isn’t the first time she’s said something in poor taste and remained unapologetic for ‘her opinions.’
If the WF-B/S is well received, do you think that it has a chance of being made into an animated movie? After all, they probably want to release another Superman/Batman to coincide with Batman vs. Superman and it seems that they're only interested in adapting New 52 material.
I think the concept of Batman and Superman meeting and teaming up with their alternate daughter and cousin from a parallel universe alone would be a seller for WB Animation.
I very much doubt they would follow the storyline from Greg Pak and Paul Levitz’ books since it heavily hinges on the meandering narrative of Worlds’ Finest (which let’s be honest, isn’t great), but I can see them establishing a mutual universe-hopping villain for all four characters to battle. Not only would this easily provide the grounds for bringing these four characters together, but it would also provide a strong backbone for moving the narrative forward with potential for great character moments amongst the four.
What do you think of Grant Morrison's upcoming projects wonder woman earth one and Multiversity?
I’d have to actually read the books themselves to have a proper opinion on his handling of Wonder Woman and the DC Multiverse.
My experience reading Morrison’s work is that he’s very hit and miss with me. When it comes to his handling of women, he can either write some truly amazing stuff (he did write a great Catwoman in his first volume of Batman Inc) or resort to some truly atrocious characterisation as a way of moving his story forward like he did with Talia Al Ghul throughout his Batman run.
With Wonder Woman, the main concern that I have with his writing her is his strong emphasis on sex, which in itself is not a bad thing, but Wonder Woman should not be reduced to her body or sexuality. It spectacularly misses the point of her being an icon of female liberation and that her character exists precisely to challenge many preconceived notions that are taught to us about gender throughout our lives. That is the strength of her character and any straying from that concept weakens her power (something we’ve already seen happen across two universes in the mainstream comics).
Originally the Wonder Woman: Earth One book was supposed to go to Greg Rucka (who in my opinion has a better handle on her character and female characters in general), and it saddens me greatly that he was robbed of that opportunity to hand the project over to a writer who’s vision for Diana is dubious at best. If Rucka had remained on the project, I would buy this book in a heartbeat.
Lastly, Morrison’s handling of the Multiverse could similarly go either way. It can either be truly amazing or absolutely atrocious. My only lament is that we didn’t get the Geoff Johns-written Earth-2 that we were originally supposed to get for this series since he had a very good handle on this world post-Crisis. I loved that he stayed true to the original concept of Earth-2 and I was hoping to see more stories with Helena Wayne and Power Girl written by him.
How would you compare and contrast the relationship earth one superman has with supergirl with their earth 2 ccounterparts? Also in the new 52 do Kal-L and Kara Zor-L obtain their powers form the sun like the earth one superman and supergirl, or form the gravity difference of krypton and earth like the golden age superman?
Within the pre-Crisis continuity, the Earth-2 Power Girl was treated more as her cousin’s successor since he had already retired from superheroics by the time she arrived. Not only did she take his place in the JSA but she also functioned as that world’s second generation Kryptonian protector. Basically, she fulfilled Superman’s role on Earth-2. On Earth-1, Supergirl was treated more as an adjunct to Superman since they were closer in age and Kal was still functioning as his world’s protector.
Within the New 52 continuity, the Earth-2 Power Girl and Superman had a closer relationship and Kal was even her mentor. He trained her to succeed him as Earth-2’s protector should he fail to survive the Apokolips War. It was also established in the Zero Issue of Worlds’ Finest that she had a mother-daughter relationship with Lois Lane who was Kal’s wife on Earth-2.
On the mainstream universe (that I will refer to as Earth-1 for now), the Super family is more distant from one another. Supergirl and Superman do not have the close relationship that their Earth-2 counterparts share and are more estranged to one another. They are also angrier and do not embody the hope that the Earth-2 counterparts embody. Also, Clark is in a faux romance with Wonder Woman on Earth-1 and Lois Lane isn’t even a part of his narrative on this universe.
As far as powers are concerned, Power Girl did confirm in the latest issues of Worlds’ Finest that she gets her powers directly from the sun’s radiation. It hasn’t been explicitly confirmed if gravity plays a hand in her ability to fly in the New 52, thought it is probably safe to assume gravity differences between Krypton and Earth is a contributing factor.
Do you think Helena and Bruce will fight they will meet in the cross-over. And also do you think Supergirl will or must be a part of it to explain to Superman who she is?
Considering that the New 52 has the whole ‘superhero vs superhero’ trope going on right now, it honestly wouldn’t surprise me to see Batman vs Huntress in the crossover. They did this for years with Helena Bertinelli’s Huntress, and we even saw an antagonistic father-son relationship with Bruce and Damian Wayne. I can’t imagine they’ll do much differently with the Huntress as Helena Wayne.
Supergirl may factor into Power Girl meeting the mainstream Superman since she is her only link to the mainstream Super family. It is just as possible that Power Girl decides to run into Kal-El herself and mention her meeting with her doppelgänger to legitimise her story. Supergirl does at least have a good relationship with Power Girl at the moment, so this may well work in her favour. Then again, mainstream Superman is a pretty angry lad who isn’t even close to Kara in this universe, so that too is a 50/50.
How do you feel about Gal Gadot's casting as Wonder Woman?
She’s honestly the only reason I’m even considering watching this ‘Superman sequel’ now. Originally I was thinking of skipping it since I’m not interested in a narrative that will pit Superman against Batman before they decide to work together. Even less so if Frank Miller (of all people) was consulted for helping with the direction of a Superman movie. (You can also blame the New 52 for tiring the ‘superhero vs superhero’ trope). :P
That being said, I like that they cast an unknown actress in the role because it lessens the chances of me judging her acting abilities on her past roles. I regrettably did that with Heath Ledger when he was cast as the Joker in 2008, Anne Hathaway when she was cast as Catwoman in 2011, and even with Amy Adams as Lois Lane and they all proved me wrong in the end. These actors not only played their parts well but proved to be versatile actors. Needless to say, lesson learnt: never judge a book by its cover.
That being said, Gal Gadot deserves the same opportunity that all these other actors had in playing their respective parts regardless of how many films she’s done. She could—like all the rest—surprise us all and turn out to be an excellent Wonder Woman. If the script for this movie is well written, this role could even open doors for her acting career.
I completely understand not wanting Warner Bros to fuck this up for Wonder Woman since she’s been struggling for years to get her own movie and TV show. I also completely understand having concerns over the creative direction for this movie and what it could mean for both Wonder Woman and Lois Lane, the latter of which has been consistently marginalised within the comics continuity alone. I can even understand if Gadot’s role in The Fast and the Furious franchise leaves fans feeling sceptical over whether or not she was the right choice for Wonder Woman, especially since she has little else to compare this performance to. But judging and dismissing the actress as unsuitable for such an iconic role on the basis of her short CV alone is utterly ridiculous and nothing short of dickish to compare her to the other actors who have had more opportunities to beef up their CVs.
It is worth remembering that before Amy Adams landed better roles later on in her acting career, she similarly appeared in less than memorable movies and had equally rubbish roles very early on in her career. Cruel Intentions 2 in particular comes to mind, and everything about this movie was complete shite from the way the movie was scripted to the terrible acting. Anne Hathaway also started her career with movies like The Princess Diaries which was a fun movie, but also saw her character behave in ways that reinforced negative stereotypes about teenage girls, particularly the ‘geeky and socially awkward’ teenage girl. This is what she was remembered for before she landed roles that gave her the opportunity to portray complex characters. Ben Affleck similarly appeared in his fair share of stinkers throughout his lengthy career with regrettable films like Gigli and Daredevil permanently stamped on his CV and has appeared in almost every Kevin Smith film ever made. But that didn’t keep him from landing better roles in other films.
The point is none of these actors started their careers with Academy Award-winning films, starring in Academy Award-level roles. Literally Amy Adams’ first role in a movie ever was in Drop Dead Gorgeous which was funny, but also a pretty forgettable film. Someone even compiled ALL of her scenes from this movie on one youtube video in case you’re curious. Anne Hathaway’s first movie was The Princess Diaries, and Ben Affleck’s first memorable role in a film was in Mallrats after appearing in smaller/supporting roles in other works before that. All of these actors started becoming Academy Award nominees when they started appearing in better films later on in their careers. For Gadot, this role could be her big break that could land her better roles in the future. She deserves that chance like any other aspiring actor.
What other blogs would you recommend to follow that either provide similar Helena love or just female characters in general?
Hi! Just wanted to let you know I love your blog and have been a lurker for some time. It occurs to me that I haven't read your thoughts on Ben Affleck being cast as Batman. Do you think he'll do better as Bruce Wayne than he did as Matt Murdock on Daredevil? Have you seen any movies with him that make you think "yeah he can definitely do Bruce?" I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks! I’m glad my blog has been one of your favourite spaces on the web. :)
On Ben Affleck being cast as Batman, aesthetically, I think he looks the part, though whether or not he can pull it off in the acting is to be seen. I haven’t seen enough of Ben Affleck’s movies to have a proper opinion on him as an actor, but I do think he can pull off Bruce Wayne at least based on his performance in Hollywoodland, where he ironically portrayed Superman actor George Reeves.