Wonder Woman is alone?

Why is there only one Wonder Woman title? Superman’s been in Action Comics (1938) and Superman (1941) since the 40s. Batman has been in Detective Comics (1937) and Batman (1940) for about as long.

Wonder Woman started off in All Star Comics #8 (1941) and well… there you go.

Look at this, though! Superman has had (at different times):

Action Comics, Superman, Superboy, Supergirl, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olson, Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane, Steel…

Batman isn’t a slouch either, spreading his titles out over:

Detective Comics, Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Azrael, Batgirl

This is ignoring things like Batman/Superman, World’s Finest (which starred them), The “Family” titles (Superman Family and Batman Family which kinda merged a bunch of the side books) and other books which are considered part of the lines (Birds of Prey is a Batman Family title but really it is its own book and stands on its own, for example much like how you can consider Legion of Super-heroes a Superman book except when it isn’t.)

Woman Woman has… Wonder Woman.

But it isn’t like the sidekicks and spin-off characters get the same treatment, right? Looking at the current Teen Titans (and by current I mean pre-Sept here) you have this core group of Robin, Superboy, Kid Flash and Wonder Girl. Of those four big name characters guess which one has never had a solo ongoing book. Go on, guess.

And I gotta ask why. It isn’t because comics with female leads don’t sell (and I’ll deal with that bit of conventional wisdom later this week). I just don’t get it. It isn’t like Wonder Woman doesn’t ever sell. She does and she has. And frankly, even when Batman and Superman titles are in the dumps they always have at least two core titles out there. Wonder Woman gets one.

Now, yes, those of you who knows the character are going to say “Well, we blame Donna Troy for this” and I get that. The character is a mistake of continuity (no, really, the original Wonder Girl was a mistake by Bob Haney. Long story. Brian Cronin explains it better.) that has since warped everything near her. But it isn’t good enough. There’s the current Wonder Girl. There are a host of other amazons. There’s a lot to be done.

Personally I want to see a group of people both powered and non-powered, made up of at least 95% women (though men should not be excluded) who have banded together to do the right thing, inspired by Wonder Woman. All Wonder Comics, something like that.

But a team. The Newsboy Legion for the 21st Century (without, you know, that name). A group dedicated to freedom and justice, inspired by Wonder Woman and promoting her message around the globe. Fighting crime, solving mysteries, kicking ass and taking names and so on. I actually really like this idea. But it is just one idea.

Wonder Girl should have a series. Wonder Woman should have a second. Maybe one can be a political type book, like Rucka’s great run and the other can be more wall-to-wall action. Maybe one is her solo book and the other is her with a team of Amazons. Or a Wonder Woman team-up book, her with different characters every month. Like Brave and the Bold, but Brave the Bracelets, ya know? There are options, is what I’m saying.

Don’t tell me Wonder Woman can’t support more than one book, if Superman can. The characters are as complex and have as many sides as writers can give them and find. And if it’s done well, and supported by the company, then it can sell. Wonder Woman is a huge icon. Everyone knows her.

And yet she sits there, supposedly a member of DC’s “trinity” with one book.

How has that always been the status quo and never been fixed?

7 Comments

  1. Frank Cvetkovic June 27, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    I vote Brian Wood write the WW Amazon action book, a la Northlanders.

  2. Foley June 27, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    Can we cut Batman and Superman down to one title apiece with the newly vacated spots being taken up by a diverse line new characters and concepts instead? Please…?

  3. APK June 27, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    @Frank – That could be awesome.

    @Andrew – That’d be my preference, but that won’t happen.

  4. Maureen June 27, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    When I started brainstorming this idea for a fiction story (about mermaid type peoples), someone (my *ahem* ex) advised me that I couldn’t have a successful solo female lead – I’d need a male lead character also. He said that this was because boys will read books about boys and girls will read books about boys (ie Harry Potter) but boys won’t read books that feature girls as the lead. Maybe that mindset has held Wonderwoman back? Maybe she needs to settle down, get married and her and WonderHusband could have a series?

    I wish more people shared your thoughts, Adam.

  5. Keith Saunders June 27, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    It felt as if the writers never uite knew hat to do with that character. They gave Green Arrow a beard and an attitude, Flash and Green Lantern’s powers were exotic enough for the stories to write themselves. I don’t think Hawkman and Atom fared all that well, though.

    I remember at one point in the 70s they actually took Wonder Woman’s powers away and she was running around the entire comic book as Diana Prince in civilian clothes. That was, perhaps, and idea whose time had not come.

    Another Batman title was Brave and the Bold, in which they ould team him with a different hero each month.

  6. APK June 27, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    @Maureen – See that’s just not true. I’ve done quite a few stories with female leads. It works just as well, and I really will be discussing that soon.

    @Keith – Yeah, exactly a lot of ppl don’t know what to do with her, and yeah I was thinking of a WW style Brave and the Bold book. I think it could be awesome.

  7. DCRWrites June 29, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    While Wondy first appeared in All-Star, she did have two titles in the 40′s – her own and Sensation Comics. I figure bringing back Sensation would be a good start for raising her profile.

    WW
    Sensation
    Wonder Girl

    Start with three titles and see what the market will bear.

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