We’ve definiely been thrilled lately about the representation of women in the superhero world (although we could always use more women—and, ahem, with bigger roles), but there are definitely some groups that are still left out of that universe, Marvel or otherwise. One of them? The LBGTQ community, who remains pretty invisible both in comic books and on the silver screen. But Greg Rucka, the writer behind the latest series of Wonder Woman books, has confirmed some welcome news about his main character’s sexuality that begins to help to alleviate that discrepancy.
It turns out, Rucka says, that Wonder Woman is queer. If you think about it, this makes perfect sense: Princess Diana, a.k.a. Wonder Woman, is a demigod from a paradise island called Themyscira, an island populated only by fierce warrior women like herself.
Rucka explains the decision to Comicosity as being purely logical: “It’s supposed to be paradise. You’re supposed to be able to live happily. You’re supposed to be able—in a context where one can live happily, and part of what an individual needs for that happiness is to have a partner—to have a fulfilling, romantic and sexual relationship. And the only options are women. But an Amazon doesn’t look at another Amazon and say, ‘You’re gay.’ They don’t. The concept doesn’t exist. Now, are we saying Diana has been in love and had relationships with other women? As Nicola and I approach it, the answer is obviously yes.”
Along with challenging the largely heteronormative world of superhero characters’ sexuality via a major film, the best part of Rucka’s decision to share Wonder Woman’s identity is that it gives the character further agency in how her story is represented.
And we’ve gotta say, we like where he’s going here: “Diana deciding to leave her home forever—which is what she believes she’s doing—if she does that because she’s fallen for a guy, I believe that diminishes her heroism,” Rucka explains. “She doesn’t leave because of Steve. She leaves because she wants to see the world and somebody must go and do this thing.”
Despite this significant realization, don’t expect to see a direct acknowlegement of Wonder Woman’s sexuality. Rucka quickly dismisses the idea that “the character has to stand up and say, ‘I’M GAY!’ in all bold caps for it to be evident.” Instead, Rucka prefers to show, not tell, which allows readers to see if (and how) it relates to the story instead of being woven in as a point of novelty or sensationalism. As Rucka points out, it allows us to move away from “a long history of people—for a variety of reasons, including sometimes pure titillation, which I think is the worst reason—say, ‘Ooo. Look. It’s the Amazons. They’re gay!'”
Now the real question is, what does this mean for the upcoming Wonder Woman film starring Glamour cover girl Gal Gadot? Though female comic fans been desperately waiting for more dynamic female representation in the endless sea of male superhero movies, what goes on in the comic universe doesn’t necessarily transfer to the film universe. But we’re hoping that this enlightened—and logical—character development works its way in.
SELF – Entertainment