Author Topic: Amanda Waller  (Read 1150 times)

Offline KIP LEWIS

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Amanda Waller
« on: August 11, 2013, 08:29:55 am »
One of the biggest changes to 52 was the change to Amanda Waller.  I know some liked the change to her visuals, but overall, she has been a disappointment to me.

Visually she is so non-descript, I keep forgetting the character is supposed to be her. 

Personality-wise  she used to have a presence (not just physically) that would make me think she could hold her own against Batman or Nick Fury.  This new one, she doesn't have it.  This new one is just a cookie-cutter copy of a dozen other agents.


Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Amanda Waller
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2013, 09:15:35 am »
I don't 100% agree with you. I've read just about every New 52 Suicide Squad book where she has been most prominently featured. I skipped Team 7 and have read a handful of Justice League of America, where she has also played an important role.

Personality-wise I think she is still the highly intelligent, manipulative, tough character I was first exposed to courtesy of the Justice League cartoons. And now her makeover has made her sexier.

I'm mixed on the makeover. On one hand I feel it was great seeing a heavier person being so prominent, and a heavier woman at that, one that (perhaps unfortunately) wasn't considered a sex symbol because of her girth. But at the same time I don't have a problem with sexier, slimmer black women characters, who aren't being oversexualized or sex toys for white characters, and so far I haven't seen that being done to Amanda Waller-New 52 or otherwise. Some of the lament about the weight change I wonder if it has to do with perceptions about black women. Are some readers more comfortable with the idea of fat black women-mammy looking kind of characters? I don't see a similar call for heftier white female characters.

Granted, comic readers in general seem averse to change and since Waller was first conceived as a heavy woman, that idea is stuck in their minds. But at the same time, I don't see anything that's changed personality wise, it's just her size.  And people do lose weight and makeovers are a constant of comics. It just seems like some or certain characters are not allowed or supposed to change in the minds of readers.

Now that she's slim and more attractive does that mean she should be taken less seriously? I think some of this hand wringing about Waller's new makeover dredges up assumptions and perceptions about race, gender, and body image that are issues the comics community would be the better for addressing.

There is the fantasy aspect of comics, the idea of them as projecting ourselves or identifying ourselves with comics. Why are there so many physically fit or perfect white specimens but Waller can't be a physically fit black woman? Why are white characters allowed to be more fantastic while black characters have to be more 'real', whether that be drug dealers, pimps, or obese? Yes there are black people who fit in all those categories but there are many who don't, and in a comic book fantasy world where there are so many ideal white characters I would like to see more ideal black ones.

As for the New 52, I had an issue with them taking Barbara Gordon out of the wheelchair. For one, I thought Stephanie Brown was doing great as Batgirl and I liked Oracle as hero with a disability, she was a role model for a very under served readership. I get why DC did it, to appeal more to newer readers, not to mention long-time Barbara as Batgirl fans, but still I wish they hadn't. At least they acknowledge that she was disabled at one point in her history.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 09:17:53 am by Emperorjones »