On Wednesday, DC Comics shocked comic book fans by announcing that Superman and Wonder Woman would start dating. While this new twist has generated a lot of controversy for a number of reasons, one particular side effect of this announcement stands out more than most.
By having Superman and Wonder Woman hook-up is DC Comics trivializing Wonder Woman? Superman is probably the best known superhero in the world, and Wonder Woman is probably the best known superheroine in the world.
Yet, the initial headline announcement that was made by Entertainment Weekly read, “Justice League #12: DC reveals Superman's new leading lady... and it's a doozy – EXCLUSIVE”. It’s interesting that it read Superman’s new leading lady. What about calling it DC reveals Wonder Woman’s new leading man?
Entertainment Weekly then followed up this initial story with another story called, “Case of the Ex: Lois Lane on Superman and Wonder Woman's hookup.” The story is a diary page from Lois Lane expressing her feelings about seeing Superman and Wonder Woman together. What about a diary page from Wonder Woman's ex-boyfriend Steve Trevor?
Of course, these headlines are coming from an entertainment magazine and not DC Comics directly (even though Time Warner owns both), but DC Comics had to know this was going to happen. Superman is perhaps the greatest icon in comic books, so no matter who he is paired up with news agencies are often going to make him the central focus of the headline.
Has DC Comics effectively reduced Wonder Woman to now always wearing the label Superman’s Girlfriend Wonder Woman? If they add that subtitle to her masthead, then you will know they’ve gone to far.