Frank Cho has publicly walked away from DC Rebirth’s Wonder Woman series, according to Rich Johnston over at Bleeding Cool. Cho had been chosen to create variant covers for the Amazon princess’s first 24 issues, but after disagreements with series scribe Greg Rucka, Cho has officially quit.
Cho cites Rucka’s “political agenda” as a primary motivating factor for the split, claiming that Rucka is the “only” person who has a problem with Cho’s suggestive artwork. Having looked at the first three covers, I don’t see a problem with the first two – Cho is a good artist, who brings a lot to any project that he works on.
However, the variant cover for Wonder Woman #3 is apparently the major point of contention between Rucka and Cho. And honestly, I’m siding with Rucka on this one.
You can see in the first three variant covers, the bits of fabric that make up the sides of WW’s “skirt” get progressively shorter. In the first, the outfit seems fine enough, easily in keeping with the character’s usual garb. In the second, the skirt seems to be half its original length, and by the third variant cover she’s basically just wearing decorative scraps of fabric attached to her belt.
Wonder Woman is a bad-ass warrior, someone who has trained in the art of combat from the earliest days of her childhood. Diana and her fellow Amazons are all of ancient Greek descent, and the ancient Greeks wore armor into battle, including helmets, greaves (leg protection), cuirasses (torso protection), shields, and more. So it’s not like the teeny-tiny, protect-nothing “battle skirt” she wears is true to her Greek heritage or anything.
I’ve always thought Wonder Woman’s outfit was ridiculous – just because she is nigh-invulnerable doesn’t mean she’s going to waltz into every fight with a borderline-lingerie costume on.
But I know what the expected outrage is going to be: “That’s what she’s always worn!”
Or maybe “It’s just a comic book, don’t take it so seriously!”
And the ever-classic “You’re just looking for something to be offended by!”
(Or, my personal favorite, “Something something social justice warrior grumble rargh!”)
Well, truth is, I’m not offended by it. But I can understand other people – such as women who are avid fans of comic books – being offended by it, and I appreciate Rucka sticking to his principles and stating that Cho’s fan service is inappropriate. Superman is an icon and a role model to comic fans the world over, and many young readers look up to him as their first ideal hero.
Wonder Woman serves the same purpose for young female readers, and I think sending subtle (or not-so-subtle) hints that confident, capable female heroes also need to be dressed like sexy pinups is ridiculous.
I’m not calling for an immediate change to her outfit (although, seriously, what was wrong with her wearing pants?). I’m simply saying that we don’t need to be adding gratuitous panty-shot fan service to Wonder Woman’s comics either.
It’s also worth noting that I don’t dislike Cho, or his artwork. He’s got a lot of talent, and a very unique, iconic style. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I love some of his work, even his first two WW variant covers.
But a panty shot for Wonder Woman? Really, Frank?
Feel free to leave comments below with your thoughts, but let’s keep it civil, shall we?