Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Death of Amanda Waller

So DC recently started a full continuity reboot of essentially their entire franchise.  For the most part, this has been a good thing.  We get to see some old characters come back, so long term characters like Batman or Superman in new situations.  Basically a change up of the status quo.  But that's not what I want to talk about. 

Since the start of the reboot there have been some accusations of sexism, I've mentioned this back on the livejournal I no longer use, (here and here if you're interested).  Those links lead to posts where I talk mostly about the changes made the Starfire and to a lesser degree Catwoman.  But again, not what I want to talk about today.

You'll notice the title of this post mentions a character named Amanda Waller.  Waller is not a heroine, she has no superpowers, she doesn't pull people out of burning buildings or shut down death rays.  Waller runs a shadow branch of the U.S. Government set up to deal with the issues created by super-powered individuals.  And yes, that includes preparing not for the possibility but for the eventuality of heroes going rouge.

Amanda Waller doesn't shut down death rays, on many occasions she has built them in case Superman decides to take over the world.

Waller has worked both with and against superheros and supervillains.  She has frequently stared down Batman (and knows who he is).  She once ran the Suicide Squad, a group of villains tasked to hunt down other villains and only kept in line because she had the trigger for the bombs implanted in their skulls.  Oh, and she once shot Luthor with a laser cannon.

This is what she looks like.

Not someone I want to piss off.

That's Amanda Waller.  In every one of her appearances; comic, cartoon or otherwise that's what she looked like.  And quite honestly, I cannot think of a better design for the character.  A business woman, a forceful personality, a no-bullshit (forget no-nonsense) attitude.  This is a woman who has more important things to do than conform to the mold that all female comic characters are required to uphold.

Or rather, that was the case.  Because thanks to the reboot, this is what she looks like now.

This is as she's sending the Suicide Squad off on a mission.  Yeah, bombs or not I wouldn't want to show that much cleavage to psychotic supervillains.

I cannot begin to say how disappointed I am by this.  All the strength and individuality she had as a character is now gone.  And it's gone forever.  Other changes made by the reboot can be undone.  Characters can go back to their old ways, costumes can change.  But Waller will forevermore be the same heightened sexual fantasy that's she's been turned into.  Because every time an artist or a writer tries to change her back some executive will say, "No, she's more marketable this way."


Being eye candy does not equate to being sexy.  It's sexism.  Of all the claims of sexism occurring in the DC reboot, this is the one I most agree with.  This is a travesty.  This is the death of a character, nothing more and nothing less.  Whoever this new character is, she is NOT Amanda Waller.

So with that said, goodbye Amanda.  It was nice knowing you.