Representation is a newly emerging element to comics. With the modern female Thor, Young Justice‘s Latino Blue Beetle, and the depiction of an African-American Deadshot in Suicide Squad, we’re staring across comic panels, television, and even movies the depiction of heroes whose faces are starting to more closely resemble the diversity of comic fans. With that said, Greg Rucka, current Wonder Woman writer, recently confirmed in an interview with Comicosity that indeed, Wonder Woman is queer, and more importantly, always has been. This isn’t a retcon of the character, this isn’t a reboot of the character. The story of Diana of Themyscira has always been a queer narrative.
Rucka reveals in the interview:
And when you start to think about giving the concept of Themyscira its due, the answer is, “How can they not all be in same sex relationships?” Right? It makes no logical sense otherwise.
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, Penciller and Inker of Wonder Woman] and I approach it, the answer is obviously yes.
The interview is fascinating, talking about how a characteristic intrinsic to the culture of Paradise Island–active acceptance and inclusion of others–is something that is intrinsic to Diana herself. Rucka also speaks on how he avoids what the “Northstar Problem,” and how characters must be very obviously depicted as gay in order for that aspect of the character to be evident. There’s also very interesting discussion about the balancing the depiction without objectifying Amazons as sexual objects while still demonstrating that romantic love (and sex) between women exists on Themyscira. As Rucka describes, “This is inherently the problem with Diana: we’ve had a long history of people — for a variety of reasons, including sometimes pure titillation, which I think is the worst reason — say, ‘Ooo. Look. It’s the Amazons. They’re gay!’”
Of course, Wonder Woman isn’t the first hero depicted as queer, but she’s definitely the most prominent, given that she’s part of DC’s heroic triumvirate. And the fact that Rucka openly discusses this element of Diana’s character as a part of the character from the beginning is quite remarkable.
It’s another layer of complexity for Diana’s character as she walks between worlds in so many ways: an Amazonian who left paradise to enter the man’s world, a strong female hero making her mark in a male-dominated society and now as confirmed, a queer woman in both worlds.
I think being a part of a world, but not fitting into that world as expected, is something we all feel at times, and those who fall under the LGBTQ+ banner can feel all the more sharply. Maybe knowing that the most prominent female heroine of comics is both queer and deeply accepting might be one more comfort for all of us comic fans now, and for future generations to come.
Which character do you think has the most interesting background story and why?
Featured Image & Blog Image Credits: DC Comics
Teri Litorco learned to read as a child by reading Wonder Woman comic books. She’s also the author of The Civilized Guide to Tabletop Gaming (available for pre-order now). If you order her book, she will literally squee and she’ll send you a little gift as thanks. Shoot her a message on social media if you do: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.