Sunday, May 1, 2016

Is Wonder Woman a Xena Rip Off now?

Remember when only comic fans discussed comic characters? Yeah, there was once a time when some bit of comic book news would only be discussed on comic book message boards. Now, just about every sub culture news site post news articles about comic books and movies. And while this has democratized the discussion of comics and characters, it also allows people to perpetuate false information about comics much in the same way that FaceBook lets your mom warn people about Herpes from toilet seats.

One of the things I see pop up a lot that bothers me is the notion that Wonder Woman is now just a Xena rip off. Usually, the poster is implying that a sword/shield bearing Wonder Woman only exists because Xena exists.

 Let's put that falsism to rest today.

First, she was shown using a sword in the Golden Age

AND there are some instances where she used a sword in the Bronze Age

But, the sum total of both are probably less than the number of times Batman used a gun in the Golden Age.

The real game changing stories are the ones George Perez created just after the Bronze Age. When Perez rebooted the character for the Post Crisis era, he gave Diana and the Amazons a very distinct warrior makeover. This is in 1987, 12 many years before Xena [ appeared on Hercules ].

Later, in 1995, John Byrne would add to this by presenting a Justice Society of America with a more warlike Wonder Woman. Again, this precedes Xena's television appearances. UPDATE: This actually is about the time Xena started appearing on Hercules, so while it's possible that John Byrne might have been influenced by Xena, the precedent set by George Perez was already well in place as a more likely influence.

IF you wanted to find one glimmer of truth in the whole Xena/Wonder Woman aspersion, then I would say that Xena may have popularized the visual imagery of women warriors in a way that has helped Hollywood feel more comfortable with the character.

But that's a far cry from just being a Xena rip off.

- Jim


Trey said...

Good post, and I totally agree with your conclusion. One quibble, though. The Byrne run on Wonder Woman comes after the appearance of Xena (in Hercules on March 13 of 1995).

Jim Shelley said...

Ah. Good catch. So, technically, Byrne could have been influenced by Xena.
Still, he used a lot of what Perez established in the Volume 2 run of Wonder Woman, so the main point stands.

Luke said...

Another small correction: Because Xena first appeared in 1995, the math doesn't work for "This is in 1987, 12 years before Xena". :)

Unknown said...

While writers who do those articles clearly don't research them very well honestly, I think it's more that DC has hammered the warrior aspect of Wonder Woman to a point where character wise and visually she starts to blur together with other warrior woman types. I'd kinda like to see her look and act more like a superhero again rather than being sort of Brunette Sonja or a Klingon.

Jim Shelley said...

@Luke - thank you for the reminder!

Unknown said...

These super girls are very famous characters of television and we can see one of them in new movie batman vs superman. Must watch that movie after completing buy dissertation task because it will refresh your mind very nicely and you can see this super girls in action.

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