Just finished and before I get to the discussion questions, I want to talk about issue #7, because I think it’s an important issue. Important in the sense of this is the issue that I think either makes or breaks one’s enjoyment of this run.
It establishes something that in a sense is very antithetical to what was done with the Wonder Woman mythos in the past – basically that to replenish the population of Themiskyra, the Amazons go on raids near the border of their island, find nearby ships, and basically use the sailors in hopes they reproduce. Then, if they are to give birth to boys, they are traded for weapons with Hephaestus, or the Smith.
I think this moment more than anything else is what causes some people to hate this run, especially the hardcore fans of the character. For me personally, I don’t like the idea, but I think there’s something compelling to what Azzarello is trying to do with the Amazons, he just did it in a bad way.
First off, it just creates a lot of plot holes. Like, how did Diana not know about this? She could be forgiven for thinking it was divine as a child, but surely she should have figured out some other cause now that she’s…what, in her mid-20s? Were there no raids while she was alive? No one slipped up and mentioned it? An even better question – if they have to repopulate, does that mean they’re not immortal?
Second, it makes the Amazons almost irredeemable. It helps that outside of Hippolyta none of the other Amazons are characters we’ve read in the past, but not by much. The issue implies that the men consent and I imagine some would, but certainly not all of them. So…that’s rape. And then what is even the point of killing them? It’s not like anyone would believe these sailors. It seems to make the Amazons into something more like barbarians, a society in need of constant conquest.
Which brings me to what I think Azzarello was trying to do, which is that: make the Amazons an imperfect nation. It’s understandable in some ways: a nation is isolation often never leads to paradise. In a sense, having this ambassador come from a place that is inherently perfect trying to teach us can to some come off as somewhat imperialistic. Take up your Amazon’s Burden.
So in this take, Azzarello is making it so that not only is Diana trying to make Man’s World better by teaching them the ways of the Amazons…she’s trying to make the Amazons better by teaching them the ways of Man. Truly creating a bridge between the two worlds. I think it’s a very interesting idea, a compelling mission for the character, but I think Azzarello did it in a way that’s far to extreme.
…Man, that came out WAY longer than I thought it would. Pardon my word vomit.