Monday, May 15, 2017

Writers' Block: Wonder Woman Origin Pérez vs. Rucka

I got the trade for Rucka's origin for Rebirth Wonder Woman thinking I'd continue to enjoy the story. I didn't and found my self comparing it to the Pérez version. This is a comparison of similar story beats in their stories.

Steve Trevor

This is an area Rucka surpasses his predecessor as Steve Trevor was previously written older and his role was greatly diminished in the old version. I've never heard a reason for the change but if I had to guess I'd say DC didn't want him as a love interest because they a.) had the mind set that he was too "weak" for her and/or b.) wanted Diana to be able to date others. I was shocked how long it took Diana and him to speak to each other under Pérez. Since DC had already reintroduced Steve in New 52 (though still making him less important) and with the movie coming out it seems Rucka would have more freedom. Steve now has more of a connection with Diana and is around more for her introduction into man's world. That's such an improvement.

The Contest

While it's sensible from a certain stand point (the Amazons would probably know how the others fight hence a disguise seems a bit silly) removing Diana's need to hide her identity takes away an important part of the story. The characterizations of the mother and child. Hippolyta is very protective of her daughter and Diana was willing to rebel to do what she felt was needed. The Pérez version felt more important while the Rucka version sadly feels a little rushed.

The Guide/Teacher 

Rucka has Barbara Minerva as the guide which gets rid of two characters Pérez wrote: Julia Kapatelis and her daughter Vanessa. I understand the need to add more depth to Cheetah but I'm saddened that this means the Kapatelis aren't in canon anymore. I'd rather have them than a friendship between Wonder Woman and Cheetah.

The Gods

They were EXTREMELY important under Pérez and while they still help Diana their not nearly as epic as they once were. Most of them appear as animals and help her stop Ares (in normal form) which feels very anti-climatic. You understood why the Gods respected Diana under Pérez, including Ares as she gets him to understand the folly of his own actions.

The Amazons

My favorite thing about the Pérez tale was the built up of the Amazons. There was a lot of history and emotion to their story. While Rucka didn't truly need to explain their origins we don't get as much of a feel for their backstories. To his credit Rucka still makes them act like the Amazons Pérez wrote while others in the New 52 failed to keep the same tone.

There were things that didn't work for me under Pérez like the 80's themes which read a bit dated but I have to say it reads stronger than Rucka's version. I admit I enjoyed a lot of Rucka's work especially how Diana interacted with people and the world. But there still feels like a lot is missing.

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