Going to the Chapel

Posted by RazzaTazz (8968 posts) - - Show Bio


Recently I picked up a not so old issue of Wonder Woman, where Diana is accompanying Etta to help her pick out a dress.   More contemporary from this is the Black Canary Wedding Planner where Diana goes along to help Dinah shop for various clothes (including lingerie).   I have reviewed both of these issues, but in sense of plot it is not really fair to compare them to one another as one is dealing with a plot to kill Diana and the other is just basically an attempt to peer into the lives of females.       

I don’t really understand why these plotlines are written into comics.   Even in comics like Wonder Woman the readership is still overwhelmingly male.   There may be an aspect of voyeurism into the female world I suppose, by both the writers and the fans, but this is usually handled so poorly that it is irrelevant.  



It was common in the George Perez run that he would write his narrative in the form of a journal or diary entry of one of the characters, or of a heartfelt letter from one female character to another.   While women may be more likely to do such things than men, usually it ends up being clichéd (just like the lingerie shopping scene).   Really if the male fans wanted such an exposure to their favourite female characters they would be better off watching 27 Dresses or Bride Wars (neither of which were very good) and pretending Diana is one of the characters.  



This is where I thought that the other treatment of shopping for a wedding dress was better.   There was a bit of a setup here as it basically served the purpose of corralling the characters to a mall where the action was meant to take place, and so I can understand why they went there, but never in my days of shopping have I seen a wedding dress store in a mall.   Anyway this is beside the point as the main focus here was the interaction between Diana and Etta.   Etta has been starving herself to fit into a smaller dress (which we call anorexia) and Diana reaction to this is exactly what we expect out of the character, she picks her up and carries her to the food court to get her a meal.   The shopping part was nicer too.   In the BC Wedding Planner Diana gets in on the action and starts trying on lingerie.   Here Diana actually just does for Etta what a good bridesmaid should.   Instead of using it as an excuse to shop herself, she simply compliments Etta choice of dresses, but makes her opinion known that another dress makes her eyes look more beautiful.  

I think in an era of “Girls Gone Wild”,   “Sex and the City” (the movies not the show) and “The Real Life” that people expect when girls or women get together that they are going to get crazy and drink exotically-named cocktails while trying on clothing.   There are in fact some women like this, but as for me, I would rather the portrayal of this behaviour stick to sub-standard movies and reality tv shows, and not to comics.           

#1 Posted by Jake Fury (19553 posts) - - Show Bio

For me personally, (I'm 35 & male) I wouldn't have much interest in something like this. I could see where younger fans (presumably female) would like it though. Do you think these issues were just done as filler to knock out a couple of issues or the author seriously thought people would be interested?
#2 Posted by RazzaTazz (8968 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jake Fury

I think it depends on the case.  The BC Wedding Planner was just fluff and I dont know how it ever got greenlighted.  Perez on the other hand dedicated so much timer to some of these issues that it would be hard to believe otherwise that he intended as only filler.  I personally liked the other one the best, it shows Diana as actually a woman, even interested in dresses, but more intersted in her friend.  Plus it set up the action well. 

#3 Posted by Unwritten Duck (105 posts) - - Show Bio

Offering a point of view from the other side, I probably would be interested in this. I'm currently 22 and male, but I'm often fascinated by women and their point of view on things, and just how different their lives are from my own. Keep in mind I probably wouldn't want to see this all the time, but the occasional issue of fluff I do not mind. Should it stay out of comics completely, I disagree because it can sometimes be a nice change of pace to see the other, sometimes softer, side of a fierce woman who's day job is taking on some of the more dangerous aspects of the universe. In my opinion it only adds more depth to the character.

#4 Posted by RazzaTazz (8968 posts) - - Show Bio

@Unwritten Duck

Fair enough, but why not then just watch a chick flick or pick up a dime novel where this stuff is written much more accurately.  Or just read a few issues of Cosmo?

#5 Posted by Unwritten Duck (105 posts) - - Show Bio
@RazzaTazz: Cause you don't get the same sense of character from a regular chick flick. Comparing the two, other sources of fluff and comic fluff, the two hardly ever, if at all, ever match up. That's because the majority of comic writers are male, and they don't quite understand a female. I personally like watching these fierce heroines sometimes struggle with the more softer side of their lives such as love and leisure. Though it probably wasn't written well, there was probably some sense of awkwardness to Wonder Woman, a person who usually fights mythical beings and super powered foes, trying on dresses and  lingerie, and just engaging in the typical "girl talk". When I see the occasional bits of fluff in comics it's just "another piece of the puzzle for that particular character. 

One of my favorites and best examples to seeing into the life of a super heroine, is Huntress Year One:

Despite that this story arc, in my opinion, was overall sexist towards the male gender in depicting every male as a pig with an ulterior motive, it provided the perfect blend of looking at the complexity of the character Helena Bertinelli. There are small snippets of fluff in the arc, but we learn more about the character. We see her preference in men and even discover that she hates dresses. So that's why I think fluff shouldn't be excluded, because they give us deeper insight into the characters. One cannot just simply imagine what a specific character is like by watching or reading something else and making judgments based on generalizations.
#6 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6836 posts) - - Show Bio

Its just temporary eye candy really for some and perhaps a mild interest to others.  For me its just marginal stuff that is cool if its there but not necessarily a bummer if it isn't.

#7 Posted by SC (13734 posts) - - Show Bio

First panel is creepy!

I understand the flaws in this writing practice, for me its about whether it fits the character. Fluff I actually cool with. Female fluff, male fluff. Though i prefer to view it as the mundane. Just depends on the writer and character, the top example I didn't like, second I am okay with, other writers with other characters have used such moments much better. 
#8 Posted by RYU/BATMAN (388 posts) - - Show Bio

So this is about Wonder Woman and ratings on Comics? Then what is the reason for the weird name?


#9 Posted by TypingKira (3345 posts) - - Show Bio

Never been to a wedding dress store in a mall? Apparently you've never been to Aloha Tower. 

Honestly, I applaud the effort of at least putting WW in situations like this. I think that it has the potential to be an interesting scene, since WW never gets to do anything 'fun' like shopping and stuff. If you've got the cojones to put WW in a dress or at least a dress store, do it. Because WW is a girl, and there has got to be at least one aspect of her that understands that clothes and looks are important in america (I'm not getting into Themysciran culture here). There are female comic fans, and 98% of the time, the male audience is catered to, so a scene every now and again with WW doing normal girly things is fine to me. 

Athough that lingerie scene was pure fanservice. 
#10 Posted by Unwritten Duck (105 posts) - - Show Bio
@TypingKira:  There's nothing wrong with the occasional fanservice....hehe.

Still they could have left that one out cause I noticed that in that particular panel Diana's face bears strong resemblance to Clark Kent....XP

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