Comic books are a funny thing. Despite certain heroes being around for decades and having a ton of different universes, hardcore fans have been known to resist major changes in the characters. We saw this at Marvel this year when a female Thor and Iron Man were created, and it was revealed that Captain America had actually been a secret Hydra member the whole time. And now DC comics has stepped into the controversial ring by redefining Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman was recently confirmed as a queer character- having apparently had romantic relationships with women in her life, in addition to the male love interests we've seen her interact with in the past. But why did this revelation happen now?
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 [Scott, Rucka's artist and collaborator on the Wonder Woman: Year One storyline currently running in the series] and I approach it, the answer is obviously yes.
Regardless of how you feel about Wonder Woman's new queer identity, you have to admit that this makes a great deal of sense. Her home of Themyscira is completely devoid of men, so it's logical that the Amazonian denizens would find companions amongst themselves- regardless of how we traditionally think of sexual identity.
It's also important to note how very different Themyscira is from the outside world. The fictional Amazonian home operates completely separate from the traditional world of man. Concepts like sexual orientation and gender roles aren't present- the strong residents of Themyscira do it all themselves. So if the Amazons require companionship they just explore a connection they already have.
It should be interesting to see how Wonder Woman's newfound sexuality affects the DC Extended Universe. Both the MCU and DCEU have been facing some backlash over their lack of diversity. And while Marvel is finally diversifying with Black Panther and Spider-Man: Homecoming, neither production company has included any queer characters thus far. In fact, Star Trek is the only major action franchise to include an LBGT person- as Sulu's husband was introduced in Beyond. And while Diana Prince will presumably have a love arc in Wonder Woman with Chris Pine's Steve Trevor, perhaps her same-sex attraction will be explored in future DCEU entries.
What do you think of Wonder Woman's queer identity? Sound off in the comments below.