I guess as a self-proclaimed expert on Wonder Woman a lot of people are interested in my take on the latest issue of the series. Coincidentally enough though, the topics raised there sort of intertwine with another theme I have been thinking about. I should say first of all that I recently finished reading Brave New World for the first time. In the realm of dystopian novels I guess Brave New World sits on equal ground with Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 as the best in the genre. That having been said though, I was not particularly impressed with Brave New World. It seemed in a lot of ways too simple of a concept for me, and while it did raise some interesting points it also seemed almost too obvious. Of course in hindsight I realize that it is kind of visionary at the time seeing as it was written in the 1930s before there was 24 hour cable or the obesity epidemic, and I don’t want to take away from its brilliance in that respect, but simply as a society that already deals with some of the problems posed in the novel that it is not surprising to read. That is beside the point though, what I really had on my mind was this concept of manufacturing societies, in part by programming and in part by design. As this relates to comics is twofold (spoilers ahead). First of all in Green Lantern #7, Hal has been abducted by Sinestro to confront the Indigo Tribe. Granted not much has been revealed of the Indigo Tribe since their first appearance and there is a sort of mini-revelation that they are re-programming villains to act more like heroes (they already have Black Hand reprogrammed and they are planning on working on Sinestro.) In the other case there is Wonder Woman #7 where it is shown how the Amazons repopulate themselves. It is done by essentially raping male pirates or other seafarers and then keeping the daughters and being rid of the sons by trading them to Hephaestus. Both of these issues touch on the same topic, in one where the people can be reprogrammed (as in 1984) and the other where there is a form of genetic engineering occurring (as in Brave New World) albeit a crude version.
Incidentally I do like this explanation, as vulgar as it might be because it explains a few things about Wonder Woman which had thus been missing. First of all it explains how the Amazons have seemingly inexhaustible warriors to send into battle. Secondly it somewhat answers the unnecessary question of the sexual orientation of the Amazons. Thirdly it highlights the growing gulf between Diana’s very liberal tendencies, and the (now even more extreme) conservative tendencies of her sisters.
Back to the manufacturing of societies though, I find it interesting that comics are touching on these topics instead of simply going for an easier story. This builds on the dystopian societies which were evident in Flashpoint and especially so as both included Diana in such ways. For those who are interested in comics for action, that is of course available, but for those interested in something deeper it is nice to know that those stories are out there as well.