Did anyone feel like punching something after reading the last Countdown special?
No? Just me?
I mean, I love the concept of a gender-reversed world. I picked up the Countdown Presents: Search for Ray Palmer: Superwoman/Batwoman special overjoyed at the thought of Earth-11. It’s just such a wonderful tool when analyzing gender in stories, to run through a familiar story with a woman instead of a man and consider how and why things could be different. Would they think differently about their actions? Each other? Why? And how does the reader react differently?
Granted, there was an option to screw up, but I figured we were beyond writing alternate universe female characters as less capable than their male counterparts. I wasn’t worried when I read it.
I was partially right. We are beyond writing alternate universe female characters as less capable than their male counterparts. All of the female characters were very well done. The dialogue and the way the story was set up suggested that the gender stereotypes were still the same, and that the people meant to be heroes just happened to more often be female than male this time around (probably due in no small part to the most inspiring hero on that planet being the Last Daughter of Krypton as opposed to the standard Last Son). I’d love to see a Kylie Rayner story (or find out what’s going on with Jordan’s counterpart) or a few World’s Finest adventures with Superwoman and Batwoman. The art was lovely, the designs were feminized but not sexualized (I especially liked the effect with the Flash’s long hair). The characterization in general was that the characters were themselves as men or as women.
There was one exception.
One big hairy exception.
Read the rest of Lisa Fortuner's proof that feminists don't hate men, then go buy the book and decide for yourself if Wonderman is an accurate representation of a gender-reversed Wonder Woman.