Grant Morrison, perhaps best known for his Batman run, has a new graphic novel series set to release early next week. Wonder Woman: Earth One, like other DC Earth One titles, offers a new approach to the character with never before seen, or imagined, twists and turns in play for her backstory. However, some people aren’t particularly keen on the changes being made to the iconic heroine. Namely, her birth and Steve Trevor’s race.
In an interview with IGN, the writer explained why those changes were put in place for this telling of the Wonder Woman mythos.
Historically speaking, Steve Trevor is, and has always been, depicted as a white air force pilot. In Wonder Woman: Earth One, he is drawn and written as a black man. Morrison wanted to take a different approach, to him, Trevor was “too weak compared to Diana.” “He’s just a kind of standard, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Army guy,” Morrison noted. “And I was never convinced that Diana would instantly fall in love with this man and completely change her life…”
He chose to alter the character. He made him stronger and wrote him out of the love interest role Trevor usually inhabits. Trevor may or may not be a good guy in this telling, and Morrison wanted to play with the idea of him being a far more “ambiguous character.”
Wonder Woman’s origins lie in her being born of clay. However, the New 52 reset her origins and made her a demigoddess, daughter to Zeus. A change that led to outrage in the fan community, as many people felt it made the character beholden to man in a way she hadn’t been in William Moulton Marston’s initial creation. Morrison disagrees, and in Earth One her father is Hercules. It sounds like an awesome match, but again the question is raised of whether or not the character, born out of 20th century feminism, is beholden to man.
Morrison addresses the issue by first confirming that his idea came about in 2009 prior to the New 52. “I was really just focused on trying to do something that was more like the original Marston version, but in the modern era.” He played with the aspect of Wonder Woman’s mythos a bit differently, he continued. There are no gods or goddess, per se; the Amazons are “technological,” as opposed to “supernatural.” To avoid divine elements, he chose not to use Zeus, Hercules was the best option.
“There’s a moment in the hero’s career when he’s doing bad things, and he’s basically stolen Hippolyta’s girdle and enslaved the Amazons. So we kind of thought, “Okay, Hercules is a bad guy in this,” and we play him very much as a symbol of brutish, masculine dominance. He’s there as this monstrous trigger of patriarchal domination. So we played him in a very symbolic way, and he represents everything about masculinity that the Amazons had to get away from and everything that’s so toxic about men.
So I guess what I chose to do was then, instead of a mythical, magical origin, I decided that Hippolyta was just a great scientist along with everything else and basically that Diana’s birth is more the product of genetic engineering than anything else. So I got a little bit of the original idea of a woman creating another woman still in the story, but I wanted to add much more tension to the Wonder Woman story, because in the past it was quite simple.”
Tell us what you think of Steve Trevor’s race and the alteration of Wonder Woman’s birth story. Do you plan on picking up Wonder Woman: Earth One when it releases on April 12?