DC Women Kicking Ass has an article that discuss the changes in Wonder Woman’s portrayal of the Amazons. This also reminds me that DC has a new origin story for Harley Quinn that came out on the 14th.
Let’s play a game shall we? Do you think either of these new stories are really all that positive of a change? If you answered with “No,” “Of course not,” or “It’s DC” then I’m sad to say you’re right!
The Amazons now trick men into sleeping with them so they can get pregnant, and afterwards they kill the men. Effectively, they’re human praying mantises. That’s not all though. They then trade away any male-born children for weapons from Hephaestus.
As DCWKA points out, while this may have connections to some historical groups (not necessarily the Amazons), it doesn’t mean that the magic-as-hell DC version of the Amazons need to be sexist cliches. I generally like what the new Wonder Woman comic is doing, but this was a misstep in in its re-imagining of the world of Wonder Woman. We have a generally great comic, but then we get this, and I’m just reminded that I can’t escape some of the crap in comics.
And Harley. Oh, Harley…
I have actively been avoiding the mess that is the new Harley Quinn since I saw her new outfit, which looked like a reject back up dancer. The new character has lost all the charm of what made Harley fun and replaced it with Sex (the capital s is important due to it being her defining mark. See the “clown car” example. … Actually, don’t do that. Ever). This is similar to how Starfire has been ramped up in the idea that Sex is her defining characteristic. You know, cause they’re women.
Originally, Harley was the Joker’s psychiatrist, and while talking with him she started to fall for him. As she continued to fall for the man, she herself began to take on her own madness. She would go on to join the Joker as both lover and partner in crime. Harley and Joker were constantly on-again-off-again in their very messed-up relationship.
Now, Harley’s dumped into the same chemical that made the Joker, by the Joker, and against her will.
So instead of the tragic story of a person who fell for the wrong guy and made all the wrong choices, we get someone who is forced into a life of crime by someone else. One of the reasons Harley was so fun is because she made her own decisions. She might be nuts, but she owns it. She is madness; hear her roar. Now we just have another villain made by another villain. This story has been done before, usually for short-lived villains who exist as just another victim. Harley isn’t a mad fool in love anymore, now she’s just a copy and paste of the Joker.
DC, I gotta ask: why change these things? Were people clamoring for new Amazon or Harley origins? Were the previous stories really that displeasing to the fans? I don’t think we had a problem before, but now we do. This is just more evidence for the “DC is in a race with Arizona for misogyny capital of the world” argument. DC has made me, a straight 26 year-old male (their supposed target demographic), turn away from one of his favorite characters. I have been avoiding Harley since they rebooted her. All news just gets shoved away, since it’s never good. The Amazon thing just seems like a need to make things gritty in a series that has been otherwise stellar.
Knock it off, DC. You just make me want to leave this behind, when your brilliant new look involves turning characters I like into cheap eye candy with even worse dialogue. Seriously, a clown car? Ugh.