Well, it’s taken long enough. DC Entertainment’s Wonder Woman, who is currently in the midst of her 75th birthday celebrations, has been confirmed as being queer by current writer Greg Rucka — a confirmation that might not come as the biggest surprise to anyone reading the Wonder Woman comic book series.
In an interview with Comicosity, Rucka confirmed speculation regarding the hero’s sexuality, and also talked about the difficulty in writing on the subject — in large part because of the character’s origins on the female-only island of Themyscira.
“It’s supposed to be paradise,” Rucka explained. “You’re supposed to be able to live happily. You’re supposed to be able — in a context where one can live happily, and part of what an individual needs for that happiness is to have a partner — to have a fulfilling, romantic and sexual relationship. And the only options are women. But an Amazon doesn’t look at another Amazon and say, ‘You’re gay.’ They don’t. The concept doesn’t exist. Now, are we saying Diana has been in love and had relationships with other women? As Nicola [Scott, Rucka’s artist and collaborator on the “Wonder Woman: Year One” storyline currently running in the series] and I approach it, the answer is obviously yes.”
Rucka pointed out that the current title — which sees other Amazons gossip about Diana’s relationships at one point — isn’t even the first to confirm this on-panel.
“If Grant Morrison writes an Earth One book where Diana is calling Mala her lover, I don’t think one can get more definitive than that,” he said, referencing the Wonder Woman: Earth One graphic novel released in April. “Now, for those of us who are comics-savvy, we go, ‘Well, Earth One is not the New 52 or Rebirth.’ But all the Earth One books thrive on a distillation of the fundamental truths of these characters.”
The writer also spoke about DC’s position on the topic. “Nobody at DC has ever said, ‘She’s gotta be straight.’ Nobody. Ever. They’ve never blinked at this,” he said. “I think every publisher can be lit up for moments of negligence and mistakes they made, but it matters a great deal to me that DC be given their due here. They would, I think, like any business, prefer this not be an issue to anybody. But most of us human beings would also really rather this not be an issue for anybody anymore. It is what it is.”
Confirmation of Wonder Woman’s sexuality continues a trend for DC’s female characters — last year, both Harley Quinn and Catwoman were similarly outed as bisexual. Of its male queer characters, DC’s track record is more mixed; although a new Midnighter and Apollo series launches in October, Bunker — the gay member of the Teen Titans team — is one of two characters not to move with the team into its new series launched this week. (John Constantine, who anchors the Hellblazer series, is also canonically bisexual.)
This doesn’t mean that audiences can expect a scene where Wonder Woman dramatically announces her sexuality to the reader, however. “For my purposes, that’s bad writing,” Rucka argued. “That’s a character stating something that’s not impacting the story. I get nothing for my narrative out of that in almost any case. When a character is being asked point-blank, if it’s germane to the story, then you get the answer. But for me, and I think for Nicola as well, for any story we tell — be it [Rucka and Scott’s creator-owned series] Black Magick, be it Wonder Woman, be it a Batman story — we want to show you these characters and their lives, and what they are doing. We want to show, not tell.”
Wonder Woman No. 8, an interlude in the “Wonder Woman: Year One” storyline, will be released Oct. 12.