Looking through some referral logs today, I discovered that a decent handful of people are finding this site when searching Technorati for “oblivion.” Rather than individuals who’ve got an obsession with the end of the world, I surmise these are instead people who are searching for information on The Elder Scrolls IV video game.
Sorry, dudes.* Not here. Just posts about songs of the 80s.
But it’s not as if there isn’t reason enough for you to stick around. Between posts on Tarantino, Captain America and uh…Van Halen, there’s plenty here to keep you entertained. Sometimes I even bury a Halo joke in a hyperlink within the post. Like an easter egg.
Speaking of comics, I’m starting to wonder if Joss Whedon leaving the Wonder Woman movie project is the worst thing to happen to the character since Frederic Wertham.
Wonder Woman’s history – both in and out of comics – is flat-out remarkable if for no other reason but the inspiration for William Moulton Marston’s character came from both his wife and the woman with whom they were in a polyamorous relationship (a detail which I’m sure has made it into someone’s fanfic story). Though a founding member of the Justice League of America and a part of the Golden Age of comics, she didn’t become truly iconic until the 1970s when she regained her original origin story, and rose as a torchbearer for feminists. Not coincidentally, she was given the small-screen treatment around this time as well.
I grew up in a house of almost all women, women have been some of my closest friends, and – from time to time – I find myself in romantic situations with women. And I know all of them thought Wonder Woman was pretty awesome at one time or another. So great was the impact of Lynda Carter‘s portrayal, I’m willing to say that 90% of the women I knew in my age cohort had Wonder Woman Underoos (nevermind the impact she had on men in my age cohort).
Recently, DC has re-positioned the character as one of the Big Three, along with Superman and Batman. She’s on equal footing with both, and is in the middle of (and still reeling from) storylines fraught with questions of identity, responsibility and the consequences of a life of duty. It’s heady stuff, and with author Jodi Picoult taking a turn at writing duties, the character is due for a renaissance.
And that’s why the worst thing in the world is for Joss Whedon to leave the project.
Whedon’s probably the best person alive to bring Wonder Woman to the screen. He’s shown a deft hand in navigating the comic world whether handling characters of his own creation (Fray and his Buffy “Season 8” series on Dark Horse, which is so fantastic that I want to light myself on fire) or those entrusted to him (Amazing X-Men). His dialogue mixes equal parts of humor and pathos, while staying true to the characters despite the creative freedom he’s given.
Whedon’s also a master at writing for women. Most impressive is his ability to write strong, smart, independent women who are sexual, but not pandering. They’re not flawless women, but they’re human beings, driven by equal parts mind and heart, which is a rare find in mass entertainment.
Of course, all this makes Whedon a rusty gear in the machine of movie-making.
His original Buffy film is…an interesting failure, for reasons that aren’t Whedon’s own. Serenity was a solid film – though hindered by trying to serve both die-hards and newbies – that didn’t do as well as many expected. His scripts for other films have often been chewed-up and spit back out at him. Like Kevin Smith, he works best not in mass-market films but in boutique pictures that serve a particular audience.
So it’s little surprise that Whedon left the Wonder Woman project, which is destined to be a big-budget film with a star heavy on recognition but light on salary and time commitments (if Katharine McPhee or Anne Hathaway doesn’t end up in the title role, I’ll really be surprised), that will undoubtedly suck so hard, it will make The Fantastic Four seem like The Seventh Seal. It’s film-making by committee as opposed to filmmaker as auteur, and not an environment suited to the man’s talents (or fussiness).
Too bad, really. It’s been 30 years since Wonder Woman’s last bout of iconography. Give the lady her due.
* This is not sexist. It’s just fact. If people were finding this site as a result of a search for “Legend of Zelda” or “The Sims” then you’d have a point. But “The Elder Scrolls?” Come on.