The Internet might have been going mad over the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman for 2015’s untitled Man of Steel sequel last week, but this weekend’s Toronto Fan Expo has led to even more outcry over another upcoming pairing for the Last Son of Krypton after the artist of the upcoming Superman/Wonder Woman comic described the series as targeting the Twilight audience.
Talking during Friday’s “DC All Access” panel, Tony Daniel described the origins of the October-launching series by saying, “I was talking to [editor] Bobbie Chase and [editor-in-chief] Bob Harras about making a book, I wasn’t referring to creating this book, but I mentioned maybe, can we create a book that targets a little bit more of the female readership that’s been growing. And maybe a book that has a little bit of romance in it, a little big of sex appeal, you know, something that would, for lack of a better example, that hits on the Twilight audience. You know, millions of people went to see those in the theaters because it has those kind of, you know, subject matter. The drama, the characterization with love triangles and forbidden love and things like that. Literally, a month later they asked me, ‘Hey, what do you think of Superman/Wonder Woman?’ And I think it took all of maybe three seconds for me to say, ‘Yeah, that’s great. Let’s do that.’ Because that’s exactly what I was describing that we need.”
Suffice to say, social media was quick to react to this description. “Oh dear, this does sound patronizing,” went one tweet. “It’s okay, Tony Daniel, I think you’re already an idiot. You don’t need to say that Wonder Woman ‘pulls in the Twilight demo’ to confirm it,” went another. “I’m headdesking at how the thought process is to go to the automatic idea that women just want romance,” wrote Ami Angelwings, a respected online critic about gender in nerd culture.
As The Mary Sue noted, a fan called Liz asked about the book during the panel’s Q&A session, asking what the book was going to offer beyond romance, only to be met with a response about equal page time for Superman and Wonder Woman’s butt shots. As she later told the site, “That’s not what I want. I don’t want them to treat Superman like how they treat Catwoman or Starfire. I know I don’t speak for every woman, but I think I can with this statement: All we want are good, well-written characters and stories.”
Superman/Wonder Woman launches next month. From the reaction to the Twilight comments, it’s clear it’ll be a book a lot of people are paying attention to. The question will be whether it’ll manage to confound expectations and turn out to be the well-written book offering more than forbidden love and romantic triangles that they’re looking for. Writer Charles Soule, our comics nation turns its lonely eyes to you.