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NYCC | DC Comics reveals Wonder Woman’s father is …

New York Comic Con may not kick off for another couple of days, but DC Comics is already parceling out some of its big announcements. On Sunday, there was news that Andy Kubert will join Grant Morrison for two issues of Action Comics, and now comes word that another major change is in store for Wonder Woman.

The New York Post reports that after nearly 70 years, the Amazing Amazon will receive … a father. Warning: Spoilers!

Since at least 1942, Wonder Woman had been a mystical creation, formed as an infant from clay by her mother Queen Hippolyta and imbued with the attributes of some of the Olympian gods. But with November’s Wonder Woman #3, we — and she — will learn her true origin.

“She’s going to learn she’s not who she was told she was,” writer Brian Azzarello tells the Post.

Wonder Woman #3

Who she is, it turns out, is a daughter of Zeus, philandering king of the Greek gods.

That revelation helps to explain the appearance of Hera in the first issue — the horse-slaughtering figure in the peacock-feather cloak — and her central role in the initial arc of the relaunched series, by Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang. It also provides context for the cover and solicitation for Issue 3: “Hippolyta, the queen of the Amazons, has kept a secret from her daughter all her life – and when it’s revealed, Wonder Woman’s life will shatter like brittle clay. The only one more shocked than Diana by this revelation? Bloodthirsty Hera herself – so why is her sinister daughter, Strife, so eager for the truth to be told?”

Wonder Woman #3 goes on sale Nov. 16. New York Comic Con runs Wednesday through Sunday at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. Keep checking Comic Book Resources and Robot 6 for complete coverage of the convention.

Update: DC has followed up the announcement by unveiling Chiang’s cover for Wonder Woman #5, below.

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Comments

49 Comments

Glad to hear it, I was never happy with the made from clay origin.

How … underwhelming that he chose Zeus. How bout a left field choice, like Hercules or Hermes or …. Pan?!

That would be awesome! Bacchus! Hades! Someone from another pantheon!

But I suppose the news of the fatherless, made from clay, two breasted Amazon now having a father is … interesting enough.

The moment I read the heading of this article I knew it would be Zeus. Big surprise. Maybe the next reboot DC will think of something that really comes as a surprise.

Knut Robert Knutsen

October 10, 2011 at 5:56 am

OK. That’s just monumentally stupid. Wonder Woman has a unique, symbolic origin where Hippolyta, like a female Pygmalion, creates her own Galatea (Wonder Woman) who embodies pure feminist strength and ideals. Being literally fatherless and with over a thousand older “sisters” she has no “daddy issues” and no patriarchal authority holds any power over her.

And instead she’s one of Zeus’ thousands of bastards? And the queen of the Amazons is just his “bit on the side”. I sincerely hope that this is just a misdirect and that Azzarello will prove it’s just a ruse of some kind, turn her back to her old origin.

Stripping a feminist character of something unique in order to turn her into a brat with daddy issues. Great. Just, please: keep her off the pole.

1) One of the few truly unique aspects that’s remained thru all the reboots has been the “clay statue” origin.
Now, sadly, that’s gone.
2) Why Zeus?
If DC had to do it, why not make Hercules, who’s already been shown to “have relations” with Hippolyta, Diana’s dad?
Now it appears BOTH father (Zeus) AND son (Hercules) have “been intimate” with Hippolyta!
3) It dilutes the “proud, independent woman” aspect of the Amazons in general and Hippolyta in particular.
Now Hippolyta is just another woman screwed over by powerful men (as has happened to so many women in real life).

And Jim Lee’s quote in the POST article is the real kicker…
“In this case, making her a god actually makes her more human, more relatable,” DC co-publisher Jim Lee said.

Uhhh, yeah…

Grrrrr Changes!!! My World is Spinning!!

A good story is a good story… and that is still what I hope Azzarello & Chiang deliver, but I’m not crazy about the idea of Diana having a “father”. It’s an integral (and pretty unique) part of Wonder Woman’s origin.
However, this is not new. Back in the 60′s or so it had been established that Diana’s father was a warrior that died in some far away war. But that didn’t last, and pretty soon she went back to being made out of clay.
I don’t think it’s the case here, but to me it always felt like male creators were always bothered by a woman being able to have a child without a man. They might feel threatened by their utter uselessness. So, maybe I’m being too sensitive, but whenever (male) creators make Hippolyta HAVE to have a father for Diana I sort of imagine them forcing her to sleep with this man and I can also imagine the misogynistic rhetoric in their subconscious: “You can’t have a baby by yourself! Submit, bitch!”

I also want to point out that if anyone attempted to tamper with any minuscule detail of Batman’s origin, The Powers That Be would go berserk and never allow it! (“Um, what if Martha Wayne was wearing a feather boa instead of pearls? Oh no, god no, please don’t chop my head off–!”)

It does feel like there is a diminution of the feminist concepts inherent in WW’s backstory. Concepts that were given a lot of strength and heft by George Perez and by Greg Rucka. This decision inadvertently makes Diana just another child of Zeus, a Her-cules if you will. It is not the route I would have taken.

But I won’t say this makes anything Azz and Chiang are doing good. Or bad. I just find myself approaching the material a bit wary. Which was my strategy anyway, not being a big Azz fan.

I can appreciate the feminist symbolism inherent in Diana not having a father, but in practice, I never felt it did anything to make her a better or more interesting character. While I’ll wait to judge the execution, I have no problem with this on a conceptual level.

Mmmm…. Tentacly…

they turned wonder woman into hercules

Seems to me that being given her powers by the females in the Greek pantheon, and being created from clay (as embellished nicely back when Perez wrote the title), is the better origin. WW will be nothing more than a female version of Herakles now. And, more than that, this seems rather pointless – I don’t care how good the story turns out. Azz, in an earlier interview, claims not to have read any of the Perez WW or the rest of it in prepping for this gig. Obviously, he read enough of something to know enough to make this change. And, as is often the case with Azz, he’s about to blow it.

“Seems to me that being given her powers by the females in the Greek pantheon, and being created from clay (as embellished nicely back when Perez wrote the title), is the better origin.”

I agree. Her name’s Diana, not Cassie Sandmark. :-(

This is a very good idea.

I hope they give the clay origin story to Donna Troy.

Hm, for having no context for this information and knowing nothing except that Zeus is now her father we all sure seem to know exactly what’s going on here. Exceptional.

well, unless he’s an adoptive father and not a biological one, there doesn’t seem to be that much that require more insight than what we know now

After all, here’s the reveal again: “She’s going to learn she’s not who she was told she was,” writer Brian Azzarello tells the Post.

Wonder Woman #3
Who she is, it turns out, is a daughter of Zeus, philandering king of the Greek gods.

what more is there to know as far as this change in her origin after almost 70 years?

I have always assumed that Diana indeed had a father, but Queen Hypolitta was covewring it up. The most logical candidate would have been Herakles (Huecules) who wass 1/2 man and 1/2 God. It seems pretty accepted that in the process of collecting the Golden Girddle he did indeed rape the Amazon Queen…. and you knowI think she never let her pregnancy be known, so the clay statue story was concocted, to include a stormy night and all that !

This certainly explaIains why Diana had greater strength than any other Amazon, even as a baby. and her other gifts from various aunties, and Mercury. But I think it must be emphasized that Diana “Wonder Woman” is indeed a complete human woman, and the embodyment of Peace and Truth and Love. These were always centeral to her being.

HOLA ! to WONDER WOMAN

“Hm, for having no context for this information and knowing nothing except that Zeus is now her father we all sure seem to know exactly what’s going on here. Exceptional.”

Of course we do. Everybody knows that the only important thing in storytelling is the specific sequence of events that happens.

Another DCnU fiasco. This book will not even be selling 20000 a year from now! Is it to late to undo this DCnU crap?

pathetic and stupid. once again: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I was hoping the “shocking your-whole-past-is-a-lie revelations” wouldn’t happen until issue 12 or so. Ahh well.

I prefer the JLU paternity, where Hades alluded to being her father.

Brings a whole new meaning to the exclaimation, “GREAT HERA!”

Sam Robards, Comic Fan

October 10, 2011 at 10:50 am

Wow, people are really jumping off a cliff here, aren’t they?

How does Diana having a father automatically give her daddy issues or diminish her place as a feminist icon? Answer: they don’t.

There’s a difference between feminism and man-hating psychopathy.

Diana clearly represents the former, and her being biologically affiliated with *GASP!* a man (or man-god, as it were) doesn’t change that.

I hope this isn’t part of the clay origin…that would just make it much more confusing.

Does anyone really believe that real life feminist icons are diminished by having had biological fathers, and in many cases, fathers who helped raise them to adulthood?

The importance is are the deeds and motivations of the hero, not their conception– and either way, Wonder Woman still has a magical birth.

Nothing quite like erasing the uniqueness of DC’s superheroes into plain and ordinary shmoes in the name of ‘more relatable to the fans’, even though no fans really asked for this. Congratulations DC, for utterly failing once again.

Now she’s God of War’s sister. Like to see that family dinner.

WW has been one of those properties unable to resonate with many general readers. You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect same results. There is also a small fan base of WW fans that just want to hog the character and seem to get miffed if others like something they don’t. Well if they really cared for the character…they should be glad people are picking her up. They want her the equal of Batman and Superman but can’t deal with what needs to be done.

Chill out.

Read and then form an opinion.

@MK… exactly. WW has this kind of strained and weird origin. Perez’s origin went like this. Hippolyta was actually pregnant or something when she was killed and then reincarnated as an Amazon. So there was a father for Diana. But we never meet this person because he is irrelevant because it is in Hippolyta’s past life. But Hippolyta, because she was killed while pregnant, craves this child that she never gave birth to. So that’s why she begs the gods to give her a child. So they take the soul that she WOULD have given given birth to, and place it in the clay form she crafts. THEN, this child is granted many powers by multiple gods. MUCH more convoluted than: Diana is the daughter of Zeus and the Amazon Queen. Done. Very simple.

Seriously people? Having a father makes her less of an feminist? That doesn’t make any sense. Guess what feminists…you have a father too. Having a father does not make you a victim of masculine society. Individuals decide if they are victims or not. To me, the real feminist is the woman who is who she is DESPITE her origins and the world around her.

What a tremendously stupid move. How do you take an American Iconic hero and just change her origin to this extent? DC comics continues to fail. DC continued obvious disdain for Women and in particular Wonder Woman continues to show.

Rape scenes, Refrigerator deaths, now they systematically destroy and de-power and re-write the most famous and respected Female figure in comics, to turn her into A Xena clone that THEY like. Not what the rest of the world knows, or the fans want.

Subscription cancelled.

I actually think this is a good idea, purely on the basis that of all major DC characters, Wonder Woman is by far the one who needs most work done on her. The clay origin doesn’t really work for me – there’s nothing really wrong with it broadly speaking, but it’s far far more convoluted than “child of a dying planet”, “billionaire orphan fights crime” “gets a “magic” ring from a dying alien” “spilt chemicals grant powers” etc. The fundemental problem with WW as a character is that she is in the weird position where her costume is infinitly more famous than anything about the character herself. If it was me writing a DCNU WW book, I’d literally have a “to do” list which went something like:

1) Improve rogues gallery
2) Get a more simple, iconic origin
3) Define why Diana is not just the generic superheroine prototype. Particularly, how is she not just female Superman.
4) Give her a specific purpose that sets her apart and makes her significant within the DCU

Not that I’m saying she didn’t have any of those things before, but realistically, they all needed doing if nothing else to stop WW just being played as a generic superheroine who just happens to be wearing a very famous costume.

@Blake

Yes, I’d forgotten about that. I *heart* the JLUniverse.

And it would be ok if Zeus (or Hera!) alluded to him being the father, for mystery’s sake.

But to come right out and say it… like I said, her name’s Diana, not Cassie.

I just don’t see this as being a big deal in terms of the impact on the story. If someone came up to me today and said, “Oh, by the way, your dad isn’t really your dad. You were adopted.” I don’t know that it would fundamentally change my character. I’ve been on the earth living and learning and adapting for 56 years now and think my character and my approach to life is pretty well set.

The made from clay origin was charming. But it wasn’t selling a lot of Wonder Woman comics. Heck, I’ve been reading comics since about 1961 – many of them Wonder Woman comics and I never knew the made from clay story until (I think) 1985 when she was unmade in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. It just didn’t matter to me and I doubt it matters to anyone picking up the book for the first time today.

I can see that people have an emotional attachment to the Wonder Woman they grew up with. Personally, I’d love to go back to the Ross Andru drawn Wonder Woman of my youth where she had mer-man and bird-man boyfriends and was a lot more light-hearted and less “warrior-woman-y”. But it isn’t going to happen in the current publishing world. Still, I have all those old comics to go back to and re-read. So, it seems to me that we have the best of both worlds: If you like the story currently being published (and I’m still undecided on that, myself), good for you! If you don’t like it and want to go back to back-issues and reprints, good for you! You can indulge yourself in either or both!

Typical. If I had to guess one Greek god as the father, it would be Zeus. (See: Europa, Leda)

So her half-brother, Ares (Zeus+Hera), is also her grandfather (Ares+Otreta = Hippolyta). Which makes Zeus both her father and great-grandfather.

But that’s not the crazy part. Ares’ parents are brother and sister.

And her Great-Grandfather is Eurus, the East Wind, not to be confused with the characters currently seen in Fables.

Any chance we’ll see her aunt, Melanippe (since the other two were reportedly killed)?

(Ares is just as randy as Zeus. Check out the Wikipedia page!)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ares#Consorts_and_children

Hmmm… add in some Elektra/Oedipus complexes and simmer.

@KET

“Nothing quite like erasing the uniqueness of DC’s superheroes into plain and ordinary shmoes”

It’s not original. They did it in Gumby.

@JessicaUSA

“de-power and re-write the most famous and respected Female figure in comics, to turn her into A Xena clone that THEY like. Not what the rest of the world knows, or the fans want.”

So do you get this upset when you watch old episodes of the Wonder Woman tv show? Do you scream at the tv because Lynda Carter was not formed of Clay? If you think anyone outside of long time DC readers or WW afficianados know a damn thing about WW being made of clay then you are, well, deluded. DC and the new WW series are doing just fine without you. Your 3 dollars will not be missed.

Torsten

“Typical”

Typical what? Typical that a creative team working on the reboot of a character whose comic has historically poor sales, are tasked with making the character interesting for once jetisoning an obscure particle of her origin that few knew about or cared about? Or Typical that the evil white men come along and rape the character by giving her less in common with an Art Clokey character? Or Typical that as usual you have no point?

One other point…
How will this affect Hera’s formerly-friendly and helpful relationship with the Amazons?
Hippolyta slept with Hera’s hubby, Zeus!
Diana is the child of Zeus and yet another woman he screwed behind Hera’s back!
Hera had an extremely vengeful nature, notably against Zeus’s lovers and offspring.
You think she’s NOT going to be, well…pissed…at Hippolyta and Diana…and by extension, the entire Amazon culture, which Hippolyta rules?
Hera continually tried to kill Hercules.
Think she’s gonna be any nicer towards Diana?

They should have gone with Hades being her father, it would’ve been a great nod to the Justice League episode “Paradise Lost”.

Knut Robert Knutsen

October 12, 2011 at 4:01 am

“How does Diana having a father automatically give her daddy issues ”

It doesn’t. But they made Zeus her father AND made it a secret to be revealed so that they could use her feelings about her secret paternity, her conflict with her new father or conflicted emotions about her paternity etc. an issue in the story. They gave her a father in order to give her daddy issues.

Aside from the fact that Zeus tried to force himself sexually on Wonder Woman when Perez wrote her, this is, as mentioned above, John Byrne’s origin for the Cassie Sandsmark Wonder Girl.

William Marston was a very clever man who created Wonder Woman with a specific agenda in mind. It is not an accident or oversight that she was made of clay and there was no father in sight. The first thing that happens now when they bring out a father is that she starts being defined by who he is, what he is, how she was conceived and why she wasn’t told.

The fact is that when she was made from Clay, her “father” didn’t matter. “he” was irrelevant. No part of Wonder Woman’s life was defined by a father. That is threatening to the patriarchal establlishment, especially these days when women can choose to have children with the “father” being relegated to anonymous sperm donor and treated as irrelevant. And isn’t that precisely the point?

Wonder Woman isn’t just a feminist icon, she is a particular type of feminist icon whose function is to teach little boys that it is good thing to submit to powerful, independent women. No-one says it’s necessary for feminists to be fatherless, but this strikes me as the equivalent of remaking Conan the Barbarian and including a scene to show Conan wasn’t breastfed as a child. (That’s the source of everything right there)

@ Knut Robert Knutsen

[The fact is that when she was made from Clay, her “father” didn’t matter. “he” was irrelevant. No part of Wonder Woman’s life was defined by a father. }

You are talking about one version of WW and she is a feminist icon to many women who know NOTHING about her origin. Please get some perspective. It matters what she does and how she does it…not whether she was crafted from clay, has a ‘dad’ or just some amazon lolling on a beach with no good explanation until a man drops in.

JL cartoon says she is Hades daughter.

Lynda Carter series had nothing at all just as Marston did not even bother. Just had to accept she and immortal amazons exist. No good reason why or why they sat on their asses for thousands of years.

Wonder Woman has been seen as rip off of Superman for far too long cause they really don’t have a good reason why she is what she is. It gets confusing and messy cause it is confusing and messy. Please if this means she gets a more distinct stamp to her then it’s good. Many things in WW’ does not make sense and is confusing.

I don’t know where feminism is suddenly something that must be scared of male influence. What a load of bs is that.

Clay,

I made no mention of the loss of her golem origin, or her feminist iconography. So, yes, there was no point to those topics. Feel free to discuss those topics here or elsewhere.

My point regarding her mythological heritage:

“Typical” in that Zeus is the biggest womanizing player in the Greek Pantheon. If you asked students of Greek mythology, “Guess which Greek God is Wonder Woman’s father!”, most would guess Zeus. Zeus even “fathered” a few children himself, Dionysus via his thigh, Athena via his cranium.

That was the only point I wanted to make, in that it was not very original. It does create an interesting dynamic, as Hera, one of the most powerful of the Greek deities, is now a nemesis to Wonder Woman.

The current Wonder Woman is now a demi-goddess, which raises some interesting ideas:
1) Are the Greek gods magical? Can Wonder Woman access this magic? Could she beat Superman?
2) As a demigoddess, she can be worshiped. Chthonic rites reflect her terrestrial origins. Was this theme explored in the last series, similar to the Superman cult in Action Weekly?
3) When was WW conceived? What have the Greek gods been up to since they vanished from veneration? Does Hera know Zeus is the father? Was the Golem Myth just a way to cover up WW’s paternity?

This is easily the funniest thing I’ve read. Three issues in and we’re already seeing the in-continuity retcon origin? Way to move forward and break new ground DC! lololololololololol

Knut Robert Knutsen

October 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm

“I don’t know where feminism is suddenly something that must be scared of male influence. What a load of bs is that.”

Who said anything about being “scared” of male influence? What’s happening here is writing that reflects fear of feminine power that is not subject to male control, which is something else entirely.

Wonder Woman used to get her power from a purely feminine source. Formed from Clay (i.e. the Goddess Gaia, Mother Earth) by her mother and brought to life by the intervention of Goddesses, raised by a society of women.

Now she gets her power from her Daddy, the God of one-night-stands and dead-beat dads. The source of her power is male, and she is subject to the patriarchal system of the Greek pantheon where she only gets to keep her power as long as she meets with daddy’s approval. Do you honestly not see how this undermines her as a feminist icon?

As for being MORE distinct with this origin? Are you kidding? They gave her (the Cassie Sandsmark) Wonder-Girl’s origin. Which is also remarkably similar to the origin of Jesus, Hercules, Xena, Raven, Merlin, Hellstorm and a few dozen mythical demi-gods and demi-godesses. Probably a few more actual superheroes, too, but this should be enough.

This change makes her less of what she’s supposed to be.

I had read somewhere (wikipedia I think) that when Hera inbuened the clay with life, the soul she used was that of Hippolyta’s unborn child in a past life (reincaration).

Here is an excert from the WW wiki page I think the writers should read:

In an October 25, 1940 interview published in Family Circle, William Moulton Marston described what he saw as the great educational potential of comic books. This article caught the attention of comics publisher Max Gaines, who hired Marston as an educational consultant for National Periodicals and All-American Publications, two of the companies that would merge to form DC Comics. At that time, Marston decided to develop a new superhero.

it was Marston’s wife Elizabeth’s idea to create a female superhero:

William Moulton Marston, a psychologist already famous for inventing the polygraph (forerunner to the magic lasso), struck upon an idea for a new kind of superhero, one who would triumph not with fists or firepower, but with love. “Fine,” said Elizabeth. “But make her a woman.”

“Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world,” Marston wrote. Although Gloria Steinem placed Wonder Woman on the first standalone cover of Ms. in 1972, Marston, writing in an earlier time, designed Wonder Woman to represent a particular form of female empowerment. Feminism argues that women are equal to men and should be treated as such; Marston’s representative of femininity is a 6-foot-tall Amazon wielding a golden lasso that forces obedience on those it encircles. In Marston’s mind, women not only held the potential to be as good as men but to be superior to men.

In a 1943 issue of The American Scholar, Marston wrote:

Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.

This is so wrong on so many levels
In Greek myth Ares god of war is the son of Zeus and Hippolya’s father.
This rings too much of an incestuous relationship between a grandfather and his granddaughter.
Plus when you consider Hercules who is the son of Zeus had relationship with Hippolyta.
Just seems too sick and perverted. Dam that incestuous rapist Zeus.
If anyone should be Diana’s father it should be Hercules and not thru a rape.
The whole story started with Hercules 9th labour.
Hippolyta and Hercules made an agreement she would give Hercules her belt and he would get her pregnant with a female child. That’s Greek myth.
I just think this decision to make Zeus Diana’s father crosses the line on what should be morally acceptable.
I mean Hercules, than Hades in Justice League Unlimited, Ares in the Wonder Woman animation movie and now this? Just seems sick.

“This is so wrong on so many levels.”

The Greek gods didn’t have too many qualms about incest: Zeus and Hera were brother and sister as well as husband and wife; Aphrodite is, in some stories, the daughter of Zeus and Dione, which means she took one half-brother (Ares) as a lover and another (Hephaestus) as a husband; Zeus and his sister Demeter produced Persephone, who became the consort of her uncle Hades; Persephone in turn had two children by Zeus; and so on and so on …

There are certain defining elements associated with any comic book character that should not, no – MUST NOT – be changed – NOT EVER! It’s bad enough when you get an artist who decides to decides to render the character in such a stylistic way that it ruins the aesthetic look of the book. It’s just as bad when you get a writer, who should have stuck to writing for TV and , who suddenly think they can writer a comic book better than the “masters.” It’s like suddenly changing Batman’s origin from “witnessing parents being shot dead in alley by lone gunmen,” to “surviving the drunk-driver-caused car crash that killed his parents.” DC comics needs a thorough house-cleaning – the ones in creative control of such things should be removed, since they don’t seem to have any respect any of these characters, their history, and what they represent and symbolize.

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