While we're officially taking a stance of "begrudging enthusiasm" for DC's new Superman/Wonder Woman series due to the involvement of Outhouse heartthrob Charles Soule, something really ground our gears when it came to the announcement of the title. If you're remotely familiar with the comic industry, you know that DC has a certain...reputation when it comes to the treatment of female characters, namely that they're largely treated like animated sex pillows for sad perverts to ogle in the corner of their basement bedrooms. This has led to some fierce criticism by the fanbase (and bloggers) which inevitably springs up everytime they announce some hare-brained plot twist involving female characters.
DC knows this is the reaction that they garner, and they're also aware that the romance between Superman and Wonder Woman has been panned by most of the industry, largely as the romance has been bland and one-dimensional under the hands of Geoff Johns in Justice League. There's also a very justified fear that DC will portray Wonder Woman as a love interest to Superman first and an independent character second, one that isn't helped by DC's top-selling comic recently revealing that Batman's contingency plan for Wonder Woman is to have Superman kill her (for realz).
With all of these fears and misgivings floating around, one would think that DC would put its best foot forward in framing the book and give Soule a chance to pitch the series to fans who could easily make the book sink. After all, what are sites like IGN or CBR for if not to provide incredibly friendly platforms for DC and Marvel to sell comics to fans? Instead, DC chooses to release a one paragraph statement about the comic, saying nothing about the plot outside of that it'll focus on Superman and Wonder Woman's romance, and also reveals the cover to the first issue, which shows the two characters locking lips.
No comment or interview for Soule, no bland marketing blurb by Didio or Haras, nothing. Just a cover, featuring the last thing that anyone wants to see Superman and Wonder Woman do in a comic. Could DC spare no one to give IGN something about this book? Is there nothing anyone could say about this book besides "this'll focus on that romance we've done a crappy job portraying"?
The question here is whether DC really thinks that a Superman/Wonder Woman romance book is something that will generate any buzz simply on name recognition. That's seems to be what DC thinks. After all, unlike Earth 2, which got a full blown feature on MTV Geek and PR blurbs from both new writer Tom Taylor and Nicola Scott, Superman/Wonder Woman's announcement was all but dialed in. Seriously, IGN couldn't muster more than six sentences to talk about the book at all.
So instead of generating any sort of really positive buzz, we're left with naysayers complaining about how crappy Wonder Woman is going to be treated and how Wonder Woman's been relegated to second billing, with the only defense being "I don't think Charles Soule would do that." Which he won't, because he's awesome. Still, that's not the strongest defense against DC's proud history of finding new ways to destroy their female superheroes.
Now, I firmly believe that Charles Soule will make this comic not suck. And if DC tries to turn Wonder Woman into a one-dimensional sex pillow, he'd quit rather than write it. I have that much faith in the man. However, DC has once again done itself no favors by letting imaginations run wild with what this book could be about and setting an already divided fanbase into even more of a tizzy. So, good job DC. Way to not build any sort of hype with your books whatsoever.
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