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Quote of the day | Stop fussing about Wonder Woman and just do

by  in Comic News Comment

In his response to ICv2’s question about whether Wonder Woman is a cursed concept, Tom Spurgeon suggests that they — and everyone else — may be overthinking it.

Sure, an invisible airplane could look dopey if you do it one way, but I imagine it could be the coolest thing in the world if you do it another. I’ve said this before, but once you realize that Wonder Woman could absolutely get over if she were to crash that invisible airplane of hers into the front of Wayne Manor and beat the holy guano out of Batman for 15 minutes in the middle of his next movie, just punching him right down long hallways, it becomes clear that there are several ways for a character like that to work. You have just to stop fussing over the character and do one of them.

I agree for a couple of reasons. First of all, though I have a ton of respect for the recent Wonder Woman writers who have spent a lot of time thinking about who the character is and what a story about her should focus on, there comes a time when you have to put that aside and — to paraphrase Gail Simone — just have her fight some talking gorillas on top of a waterfall.

While it’s important to know the character you’re telling a story about, the story itself doesn’t have to be an overt demonstration of how you’ve figured that out. In other words, know who Wonder Woman is and why she came to Man’s World, but you don’t have to make the story about who she is and her mission here.

Related to that, ICv2 is focusing on the wrong part of Robert Greenblatt’s explanation of why NBC passed on the David E Kelley pilot. Rather than his idle musing about Wonder Woman being cursed, the more pertinent comment he made was in an interview with TV Line where he said, “It was tricky for me to step back and take a look at it and see if this was going to be the right take on this show. With this kind of audience, you have to get these things absolutely right; there’s no room for error. At the end of the day, I didn’t think we had done that.”

In other words, they overthought it. Those who followed the development of the pilot know that it was full of tweaks to the Wonder Woman concept in hopes of making her more applicable to modern culture. Joss Whedon’s failed script reportedly did the same thing. When you go down that road, you very much have to worry about “getting these things absolutely right.”

If there’s a curse, it’s the tendency of writers to “figure out” Wonder Woman to death. Why can’t she just be a strong, confident woman who beats the crap out of bad guys?