Wonder Woman: Feminist? Of Course!

by Emma Tilden

Wonder Woman pretty much epitomizes the ‘strong, female character’ that is sadly rare in current media. She battles bad guys (and gals), she is confident, and she is a powerful person. Basically, she is a wonderful feminist role model. 

Or not. 

David Finch, the artist who is taking over the drawing of the DC Comics hero, recently said that he wants the heretofore feminist icon to be “strong.”  But “feminist”?  That’s going a bit too far for him. 

In an interview with Comic Book Resource News, David talked about what he’s excited to explore in the new Wonder Woman book:

“I think she’s a beautiful, strong character. Really, from where I come from, and we’ve talked about this a lot, we want to make sure it’s a book that treats her as a human being first and foremost, but is also respectful of the fact that she represents something more. We want her to be a strong—I don’t want to say feminist, but a strong character. Beautiful, but strong. 

“I’m pretty visual and I’m really interested in that. She’s got a great costume and she’s got a lot of history—I’m really very visually attracted to “Wonder Woman.” She just looks great on the page.

David’s drawings of the comic book character reflect this view:

Clearly, she has one of those impossible bodies: huge breasts, tiny waist, etc.  But she also has notably muscled arms. So she’s strong, but she is still a sex object. That’s halfway there, right? 

The surprise at David’s anti-feminist conception of Wonder Woman is widespread: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, creator of the film “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines” described Wonder Woman as “an obvious feminist role model for many people for many reasons…It’s like getting rid of her kryptonite to say” that she’s not a feminist. 

Lucky for everyone, David’s wife Meredith Finch, who has been appointed to write for the book, will have far greater control over the plot than her husband. Her grasp of Wonder Woman’s feminist character and history seems to be much stronger than his:

“She’s really a female icon from way back in the ’70s when females were stepping up and taking such powerful roles. Being able to take on that quintessential female superhero who represents so much for myself and for millions of people out there—especially at a time where comics are coming more into the mainstream—I feel like it’s really special, and that’s really where I’m coming from when I’m writing this. I want to always keep who she is and what I believe her core is central to what I’m doing.” 

Last week David Finch responded to the widespread criticism of his comments via twitter, stating that:

Well it’s nice that he thinks feminists are infallible, but unfortunately that’s not true. Nor is it true that we are neither “human” nor “real.”  Hopefully Mr. Finch can take a bit more time to think about the women that he’s portraying.  

Images courtesy of popwatch.ew.com and th01.deviantart.net.  

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