Late September, Detective Comics (DC) writer Greg Rucka made an announcement during an interview with comicosity.com stating Wonder Woman had past relationships with women. The character’s main love interest has always been Steve Trevor.
When asked if Wonder Woman has ever had a same-sex relationship, Rucka replied, “obviously yes.”
Wonder Woman grew up on the all-women, feminist utopia of Themyscira. It makes sense for her character to have had an intimate relationship with another woman. As Rucka pointed out in an interview with comicosity.com, “an Amazon (people who live on Themyscira) doesn’t look at another Amazon and say, ‘You’re gay.’ They don’t. The concept doesn’t exist.”
Comic books have long been trying to seem more inclusive, especially since their fan base has expanded outside their traditional male, usually white, base. Comic book fans are older, more diverse; and more progressive than ever before. They have steadily risen in popularity among women.
Comic books are no longer for little children. We are currently in the modern age of comics. Plots are dark and emotions are complex. Comic books act as a social commentary and are intended for an adult audience. The introduction of queer characters is a natural step for an industry that is desperately trying to seem more inclusive. Comic books have a reputation for being a “white man’s” past time, and that’s no longer the case.
Wonder Woman is hardly the first queer character to smash onto the comic scene. Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn were romantically involved. According to an article by the Advocate, both the Green Lantern and X-Men’s Cyclops are gay. Catwoman is canonically bisexual. The most famous queer comic book character is probably Batwoman, who is a lesbian. She was discharged from the military under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Wonder Woman is significant in a few ways, the first being she has a huge blockbuster picture slated to come out in June. Secondly, Wonder Woman has a history of being the symbol of movements. She was the symbol of the feminist movement of the 1970’s and is still seen as an image of women’s empowerment.
Wonder Woman will be one of the only super heroines with her own movie, especially as high budget as the one DC has in post-production right now. Hopefully the company won’t neglect her sexuality; it would be a missed opportunity.
Wonder Woman fights for the rights of people everywhere and believes women deserve the same rights and opportunities as men. She doesn’t leave her home to follow a man; she leaves her home to save the world. To suggest otherwise is an insult to her character. As Rucka said, it “diminishes her heroism.”
With Wonder Woman out of the closet, DC walks a fine line. On one hand, the writers cannot let it be her one defining feature or dominate part of her personality. Wonder Woman is and always has been greater than the sum of her parts. On the other hand, if DC chooses to neglect this topic, then any impact the revelation would have had will be lost. DC has to find the perfect balance.
Wonder Woman’s revelation is hugely important. It’s proof we as a society are moving forward; our norms and expectations are changing. Wonder Woman is a symbol of empowerment and progress. She is whatever we need her to be. She embodies our absolute ideal and is the perfect role model for girls growing up. She is the hope we have for our future. No matter who you are, you can be like her.
As Wonder Woman herself would say, “Of all people, you know who I am … who the world needs me to be. I’m Wonder Woman.”
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Conmunity – Pop Culture Geek’s Flickr account.
Sara Karlovitch is a freshman journalism and government and politics major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.