UPDATE: The review has now been pulled but is still available here.
Wonder Woman: Earth One by Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette is an original graphic novel in hardcover to be published by DC Comics in April. Available for pre-order here in the US and here in the UK. It has already received plenty of publicity for Morrison’s discussions about the character, and exploring her origins and the interests of her creator William Moulton Marston in both feminism and pulp bondage fiction. Oh, and having a black Steve Trevor.
NetGalley is a publisher service that provides digital advance copies of media products for reviewers to read in advance of publication. There’s a compact between reviewer and publisher, the reviewer may write about the book at an appropriate time, create art assets, not spoil too much ahead, and basically prepare in advance for as full and as comprehensive write up to accompany the release of the title.
Anne over at GoodReads may have shot that bolt a little. Not so much for the very negative review that slates Morrison and Paquette’s work….
This made me sad and slightly sick to my stomach.
But mostly angry.
…but for doing it so early – and with so much detail and art. Anne begins with…
This whole thing looks like a porn rape fantasy.
It’s gross! Stop! Stop portraying women being chained up in some skeevy pose. It makes me cringe when I see this sort of thing, and I sincerely doubt I’m the only one. Rape happens, and I’m all for realistically adding it into a story. What I’mnot for, is half naked women weeping prettily while they arch and writhe.
If you’re going to show sexual assault, show it like the ugly ASSAULT that it is.
Chains and bondage are a theme in this book, so prepare yourself for a lot of panels that make you wonder if anyone with a vagina (or a dick that can function normally) was called in to look this shit over. You know, before they decided to print it and send it out into the world.
Ok, having all of the Amazons in same sex relationships makes a lot of sense. But instead of taking a real look at what their love would look like, we’re given something that looks like it’s one step up from mud wrestling.
I would like to think that the juxtaposition of the reality and fantasy of bondage was deliberate, and there are already critiques of this critique for “kink-shaming” – but then I haven’t read the comic. Though I have applied to NetGalley to see if I get accepted. As the comments suggest, many reviewers haven’t…
But I do recall Grant Morrison telling Rolling Stone Magazine, regarding the work of Alan Moore, “I managed to do thirty years in comics without any rape!”. As with Mark Millar, declining to add the word “yet” afterwards…
There’s a lot more to Anne’s critique, including issues with the treatment of fat characters as jokes, black characters as legacy slaves and more issues with the treatment of bondage. If you are immune from spoilers, you might want to read the whole article in context. But the mentions of Etta Candy, the use of bondage and the jousting kangaroos, amongst others, might have benefited from a greater knowledge of the character’s published history. But should that be necessary?
Here’s the rest of the art that Anne posted.