Of Batwomen And Squirrel Girls: Why Comics Are Becoming Increasingly Female

None of which predicts the shift in tone, or the invention, of Williams and Leth's "Patsy Walker," a knowing, candy-colored workplace comic that finds Patsy, freshly fired from the legal offices of She-Hulk, starting a job placement agency for people with super abilities. In a clever meta-twist, Patsy, who is dealing with her cringy, former life as a romance-comic heroine, also sets out to control the rights to her 1940s comic books.

The Legend Wonder Woman Created: 1941, William Marston (writer), Harry Peter (artist) New creators: Greg Rucka (writer), Matthew Clark and Liam Sharp (artists).

Like Superman, Wonder Woman is one of those superheroes who has always had a problem connecting. She's powerful and, as Chicago artist Jill Thompson puts it, "a bit perfect, a little boring. So I never read her when I was growing up." Drawing Wonder Woman, a cornerstone character, was Thompson's first job for DC; and last year, her graphic novel "Wonder Woman: The True Amazon," dug deep into the character's roots. The history of the comic book would look very different without Wonder Woman, but enthusiasm for her ebbs and flows. Unless you're Rucka, then the love is eternal.

He said when he first told DC he wanted to write Wonder Woman, he told them the politics of her feminism needed embracing, too often writers run from her meaning. After that, DC sent him to lunch with Gloria Steinem, where he took notes for four hours. Indeed, after 20 years of superhero stories, Rucka is that rarest of male comic-book writers: He is arguably more celebrated for his female characters than his Batman and Wolverine. He's written Elektra and Black Widow and was key to the creation of the new Batwoman. But his Wonder Woman, which he returned to recently, is his finest hour.

"I see her as a Dalai Lama or a Gandhi," he said. "Not so much a character as a vessel for an idea. A person of pure empathy.

Batman goes out every night to stop what happened to 8-year old Bruce Wayne from happening to others. Superman is out promoting the values he was raised with. But Diana, she's from a utopian society. She leads by example. She does not always throw a punch. Add all the baggage heaped on a self-actualized woman in a male-gaze-laden society, it's is an uphill battle.

But worth it. I have her fighting Cheetah, a nemesis, in one issue and the fight ended with Diana restraining her with her arms. She lets Cheetah basically tantrum it away. She hugged it out. You can fight her, and you will lose. But can you think of another character, in the whole superhero universe, who would have the patience to carry that off as a solution?"

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