The Trial Of Diana Prince
Coming up later this year is Morrison’s 120-page Wonder Woman one-shot, The Trial Of Diana Prince, with art by Yanick Paquette. “If readers were seeing it in pieces, they’d get really mad at me,” Morrison has said of the project. “It’s quite provocative. But if you read all 120 pages, it’s totally self-contained, it makes sense. So I’m hoping people will respond to it as a complete piece.”
CH: What can we expect? And why do you think, despite being one of the most famous comic book characters in history, Wonder Woman has never managed to achieve the same success as Batman or Superman?
GM: “I think some of the recent Wonder Woman stuff has been really good. A lot of people have tried to bring her back to the forefront, men and women, and they often have a good position on the character but it has just never really come together. I just don’t think the character survived the death of her creator, William Marston.”
CH: Why do you think that is?
GM: “William bought all of these psychological ideas into the script of the character. I think she was a very personal character for him. When he passed away I feel like there was a bit of a question about what to do next. There was an attempt in the ’60s to do Wonder Woman a bit like I Love Lucy – and she was constantly chasing Steve Trevor and hoping she would get married! Then in the ’70s she was a much more feminist Wonder Woman. So she’s kind of changed with the times but never been allowed to regain that bizarre sexuality that was in all of these early stories when Marston was in charge. So what I’m trying to do is bring that element back without being exploitative.”
CH: I presume you mean the sort of bondage-sexual-dominatrix element of her character?
GM: “Yeah, I think there needs to be that element, for sure. That is not really a kink of mine but it really needs to be there. But, like I said, there are other ways too. The Linda Carter version of Wonder Woman worked. I suppose you could say that presented Wonder Woman as a girl scout, but the public loved it. That old television series was very popular. So there are several different ways to do Wonder Woman and we’re just trying to find the right one at the moment – but it will definitely be faithful to the source.”
CH: If you ask a lot of people to describe the genesis story of Wonder Woman they might draw a blank…
GM: “Oh absolutely – I agree. I find that most people don’t know the story behind Wonder Woman and that’s another problem.”
CH: Why do you think that her background has never become as widely known as, for instance, Batman or Superman?
GM: “Batman’s parents were shot. Superman’s planet was blown up. These are easy to remember and easy to work with. Wonder Woman is a lot more complex. Her character is a complex web of female relationships. In a way Wonder Woman is more suited to a Jane Austen novel than a comic book which is aimed at boys.”