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Wonder Woman: Gayest Character Ever

posted Jul 13, 2014, 5:31 PM by Vu Nguyen

WONDER WOMAN #19 (Aug 1988)
DC Comics
Jim McLauchlin's PANEL DISCUSSIONS: WONDER WOMAN - Gayest Character Ever
by Jim McLauchlin Date: 10 July 2014 Time: 05:45 PM ET


Take a look at any second-grade playground and you’ll see a raft of 8-year-old girls with Wonder Woman tennis shoes and backpacks. There’s little doubt: Wonder Woman is a merchandising bonanza for DC Comics, and the sweet spot of that rich marketing field is little girls, and the moms who buy their T-shirts at Target.

But take a look at The Castro in San Francisco, the “Boy’s Town” of West Hollywood or Christopher Street in New York, and you’ll find an equally dedicated, but perhaps less marketable fan base. There’s little doubt: Wonder Woman is wickedly popular among…gay men.

Does it seem strange? That a character would find two such disparate audiences, with seemingly nothing in common? It may be. But that’s likely because Wonder Woman is the strangest of all comic book characters.

(excerpt)

George Pérez tried to address the feminine. Pérez wrote Wonder Woman for a celebrated five-year run from 1987-92. He thinks a one-size-fits-all mentality, when it creeps in, is problematic.

“I think one of the problems that comics has in dealing with superheroines is that they try to hard to make them superheroes,” he says. “All they’re doing is the same thing that men do. Just the idea that they’re no different that men, except in how they look, always seemed a bit off to me. The difference between Superman and Wonder Woman is not strength, or power level, or origin, but the fact that she is a woman.” 

Pérez set out to make Wonder Woman a book that women would like…and hopefully everyone else as well. “At the time I started, not a single woman at DC Comics liked the book,” he says. “I insisted on having a female editor to police me, and police the book. I figured if I could please her, and make her proud of the character, then I was doing a good job and providing a proper role model.”

Pérez was lucky in that Karen Berger, one of comics’ all-time top gun editors, got the book. The title flourished under their direction. So much so, that a young Phil Jimenez read and enjoyed the book, developing an artistic style very close to Pérez’ own.

“I think there are two definitive versions of Wonder Woman: The Lynda Carter version and the George Pérez version. Those two versions have defined Wonder Woman for the past 30 years,” Jimenez says today. “I think she became a gay icon with Lynda Carter.”


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