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This essay is a very belated response to a " part 1 " published in February 2015. The gist of that essay was a response to a corre...

Friday, May 25, 2012


Sometimes I wonder if I'm a little paranoid when I preserve comments here that I've put elsewhere.  Surely, as long as a comment is essentially polite even if dissenting, no one would delete one just out of personal malice.

Well, said deletion took place in the last couple days on Kelly Thompson's SHE HAS NO HEAD.  Since I didn't preserve the comment, I can't prove it was essentially polite if dissenting.  Since Thompson did ring in once on one of the Sequart threads, the conclusion is fairly obvious.

I have no idea if Noah Berlatsky might do the same, but just to be sure I better hurry and copy this dissent against a Charles Reece piece on HU:

Charles, I believe I’ve caught you in a contradiction.

In paragraph 6 you say:

“Wonder Woman is the dominating will. When she’s bound, it’s always wrong. The reader is to identify with her regaining control, making others submit. Similarly, Wonder Woman does a lot of hitting, but is rarely hit herself. (I count only once: Giganta nails her with a club. [p. 44])”

Maybe I missed something about volume(s) you read but I recall the Marston WW getting hit quite a lot, though of course she dishes out more than she takes. There may be periods where she’s sandbagged less than others, but one could say that of Batman or any long-lived hero.

The contradiction appears in paragraph 5:

“Although Wonder Woman regularly uses dominating tactics (the lasso, fisticuffs) they’re always reactive (the villain strikes first). Like Billy Jack, she wants to love, not fight, but she’ll kick your ass if you force her.”

I find it really hard to reconcile a “dominating will” who waits until the other guy strikes. That too would seem not to line up well with your “fascism” charge. I’ll agree that a reluctant hero is inevitably going to kick ass. But that doesn’t eliminate the connotative difference between the reluctant hero and the quasi-hero who’s ready to go Lobo on anyone with the least provocation.


Actually, Charles R. does touch on a topic that I've mentioned somewhere hereabouts before, as to whether Wonder Woman truly presents an ethic of masochism.  Don't know when I'll get around to giving my very different take on the matter, though.

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