auggie18: (Default)
[personal profile] auggie18 posting in [community profile] scans_daily

Since we've seen Cassie's DCnU origin, I thought we might look at the way she originally became Wonder Girl.

I'm going to block quote philippos42 to explain how we got here, because philippos42 knows way more about Wonder Woman than I do (or ever will):

"Diana used to work at a museum of archaeology. This was when she was not the official ambassador of Themyscira, and after Artemis died. Julia Kapatelis, Diana's friend/foster mom/whatever, got her a job at a museum in Gateway City, where Diana could use her distinctive cultural knowledge base and linguistic ability. And since this is the DCU, her physical powers came in handy when ancient magic artifacts started rampaging.

Cassie's mom was Diana's boss at the museum."

And then this happened:





And then she promptly gets punched into a wall.

Man, I forgot how awkward and gawky old school Cassie was. They have her so glammed up nowadays...

I always liked how plucky and determined Cassie was, even when it was sort of annoying. She set her mind to things and then stuck to them. No matter what was in her way, she'd do her best to succeed.

Date: 2012-10-27 04:18 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
Wait, so her first appearance was when everyone was fighting Doomsday? I don't think I ever heard that before.

Date: 2012-10-27 07:40 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
Yes. One that got continually stronger even, but Diana used the gauntlet that granted Cassie her strength and shattered it.

So Cassie was the decided factor, if simply by providing the weapon needed ^^

Date: 2012-10-27 06:55 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] philippos42
Yep, I believe someone on the old DC boards dubbed her, "Cassie the horse-faced Wonder Girl." That long, boyish face, the short hair, the sneakers--Cassie was a tomboy, and not every fan was sure about the "tom."

Also, notice how lean she is for a 14-year-old girl. Her mom's not really curvy, but Cassie's so thin and so boyish here, she seems prepubescent.

I miss this Cassie. She got chickified and cutified a lot over the years, but at first she really was a subversion of the "hot Amazon" trope that Diana and Donna established.
From: [personal profile] philippos42
And this, for all its faults, is my Wonder Woman. I started buying Wondy with the Byrne run. Gateway City, the museum, a vaguely prepubescent Wonder Girl; a "civilian" Diana with regal bearing. I get that it seems "off" to some older fans, but it left an impression.

ETA: I don't have this issue, though.

If I'm being honest, this issue fell into the long stretch in the middle of Byrne's run when I wasn't buying the book. A couple issues before this, I stopped buying the book regularly because the writing was so thin. I love what Byrne was trying to do with Cassie, but it does fall down in execution. And it's one that I have never bought. I think the print run was pretty low, and it wasn't easy to find later.

This run had very poor scripts full of padding; silly villain ideas like a much-decayed Doomsday; lots of Kirby characters including an arbitrary retcon of Etrigan; and of course this art, hastily inked by Byrne himself. I think it did get better after this, once Byrne expanded the cast, but it was hated by a lot of Wondy fans at the time for some good reasons.

And yes, I know Cassie looks like a middle-aged ten-year-old in some panels.
Edited Date: 2012-10-27 05:24 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-10-28 06:57 pm (UTC)
junipepper: (Default)
From: [personal profile] junipepper
That long, boyish face, the short hair, the sneakers--Cassie was a tomboy, and not every fan was sure about the "tom."
Also, notice how lean she is for a 14-year-old girl. Her mom's not really curvy, but Cassie's so thin and so boyish here, she seems prepubescent.

I'm very uncomfortable with this comment. As a mother of teenage girls, I'm acutely aware that many of them are pretty fragile about their body-images. It's not helpful to call out the character or the artist for not fitting into whatever you personally decide is 'normal.' When you say she looks like a boy or a prepubescent because she has short hair and wears sneakers, or because she has a slender build, you suggest that there's one right size, shape, and haircut that teenage girls should all have.

In fact, I'm a little surprised by the comment; there's nothing odd about Cassie's shape here. She just looks like a lean, kind of athletic young teen. With her loose top, it's hard to see if she has any breasts to speak of, but it wouldn't be out of the ordinary if she didn't. As I recall, she never got really bust-y anyway. She has slim hips -- probably more usual than not, for that age -- she's a good height, and her legs are shapely. In any case, it's not unusual for girls, even well-nourished, middle class American girls, to begin menses at fourteen or later, so she could easily still be at an early stage of puberty.

I'm not contesting your right to have or express this opinion. My intent is just to offer my reaction to it and to express -- I hope, with due courtesy -- my disagreement.

ugh, my stupid brain

Date: 2012-10-29 04:47 am (UTC)
philippos42: placards (protest)
From: [personal profile] philippos42

I'm sorry if I offended you. I was partly thinking back to my impression of other fans' dislike of her a long time ago. And I was looking again at how Byrne drew and wrote her.

Each aspect of maturation is on a gradient. Cassie is believable as a high school freshman, and I myself was probably about that immature through most of high school, but in some ways I thought of her as resembling multiple junior high kids I had known.

Cassie was supposedly 14, but she was written and drawn as childlike--on the immature side--in those days. Especially in the writing. I thought she seemed more like a typical 12-year-old at first. She would develop over time.

As I recall, some people didn't like her, because of one thing or another: she wasn't an Amazon, she wasn't glamorous and sexy like Donna, she didn't get her powers the "right" way, Byrne's art left them cold, they were mad at Byrne for other reasons, she wasn't Nessie Kapatelis, whatever.

I was a fan of Cassie myself. I'm a big Cassie fan. I wanted to break into comics so I could write Cassie's stories. I like that she's not conventionally supergirly. (And she was always a girl, with girly elements, from the beginning. She was just young and tomboyish.)

And no, she's not really odd-looking. Sometimes, in the inking, I thought the creases in her face looked heavy for a teenager. I don't know. I acknowledged the "middle-aged ten-year old" because I thought someone else would say it the post right below mine did say it as a criticism of the art.

As a fan of Byrne's Wonder Woman, I mention the criticisms (some more legitimate than others) because I'm really sensitive to this sort of thing.

Anyway, she's still far more realistic than Todd Nauck's band of short cartoony teenagers in early Young Justice. (And I love that series too. Can't show it here.)

I don't know, maybe I'm too glib sometimes. I tend to be more prolix than polite, in general. And I really am inclined to talk about Byrne's Cassie a lot because I was a really big fan of the concept. (As opposed to certain other DC characters, about whom I will rant because I am irked by them.)
Edited Date: 2012-10-29 05:07 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-10-30 08:33 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
Also, notice how lean she is for a 14-year-old girl. Her mom's not really curvy, but Cassie's so thin and so boyish here, she seems prepubescent.

I have to agree that this is kind of a weird thing to say. For one thing, she's not particularly lean here; this looks like about average weight for an athletic 14 year old. She doesn't look wasted or under-muscled in the least.

Date: 2012-10-27 11:33 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
God, in those first pages, Cassie looks like a cross between a - an older version of Dash from the Incredibles and b - a forty year old. And John Byrne's sense of fashion.. Echh. Did we really dress like that in the 90's?

Date: 2012-10-27 03:53 pm (UTC)
citygod: (Default)
From: [personal profile] citygod
nope: Byrnes sense of fashion was frozen in 1974.

Date: 2012-10-27 08:41 pm (UTC)
halloweenjack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halloweenjack
I remember 1974 pretty well, and I don't think that any of this stuff was a thing even then. Quite often, Byrne's sense of style seemed to be that of some alien whose race didn't use clothes or had absolutely no tradition of fashion, and so he drew random bits of clothes on different people because he knew that not everyone wore the same thing. (Kind of like wizards in the Potterverse wearing Muggle clothes, at least the ones who weren't raised by Muggles.)

Date: 2012-10-30 08:35 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
What are you talking about? Her outfit is totally radical.

Date: 2012-10-27 04:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The mention of Gateway City made me think, she had been previously located in New York. Before that she was in Washington. At the time, was she the only major DC hero to come from a real place?

Date: 2012-10-27 05:10 pm (UTC)
philippos42: heather (superhero)
From: [personal profile] philippos42
At the time? Maybe. Before this, I think Firestorm was based in NYC in the 1980's. And of course Diana was in Boston for several years right before this.

Date: 2012-10-27 06:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Now that you mention it, I think he was. I was really wondering if Diana was the only one in the 40s-early 70s. The Freedom Fighters were located in NYC in the late 70s and she guested in a couple of issues.

Date: 2012-10-27 07:01 pm (UTC)
deepspaceartist: Iron Man mark 43 (Default)
From: [personal profile] deepspaceartist
Well, since this is after Superman's ressurection, then Kyle Rayner is Green Lantern and he's from LA, later moving to New York for most of his run.

Date: 2012-10-28 04:37 am (UTC)
lieut_kettch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lieut_kettch
The Teen Titans were based in NYC, IIRC.

Date: 2012-10-28 06:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I forgot about them. According to Wikipedia, they started out in Gotham City, were located on Long Island in 76, then were in NYC.

Date: 2012-10-28 09:53 pm (UTC)
kenn_el: Northstar_Hmm (Default)
From: [personal profile] kenn_el
IIRC Diana was originally based in Washington D.C. when she arrived in 'Man's World', so, amongst the DC characters of the Golden Age (and often beyond) she was the only one without a fictional city to call her own.

Date: 2012-10-27 06:17 pm (UTC)
liara_shadowsong: (Default)
From: [personal profile] liara_shadowsong
I like this origin much better than the new one.

Date: 2012-10-27 09:54 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
That seems to practically be the byline of the DCnU!

Date: 2012-10-29 07:21 am (UTC)
superfangirl1: (Default)
From: [personal profile] superfangirl1
I agree. :)

Date: 2012-10-27 06:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm utterly baffled by the scans.

It's not that they're confusing. It's that I am baffled how Nu52 thought there was a logical narrative between Cassie swiping some old weapons that had been left laying around in her house, to becoming some art thief in Teen Titans.

Date: 2012-10-27 09:12 pm (UTC)
thatnickguy: Oreo-lovin' Martian (Default)
From: [personal profile] thatnickguy
I remember, too, that when they started drawing Cass much sexier, Byrne flipped out about it on a message board. I believe he ranted again when her and Conner did the horizontal polka.

Date: 2012-10-28 04:25 am (UTC)
lieut_kettch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lieut_kettch
I think I know why both nuCassie's and nuBilly's origins disturb me. They were originally well adjusted, essentially happy kids (Billy's being an orphan and homeless notwithstanding) who became heroes not because of some tragedy in their lives, but because THEY WERE GENUINELY GOOD PEOPLE who wanted to help out, and suddenly had acquired the power to do so.

The nu52-verse's premise is that characters like these are trite and old-fashioned, and that people, especially kids, aren't inherently altruistic. They need to experience first-hand what evil is before they can decide to stand up for good. So they put Cassie in an abusive relationship with an older man that may or may not constitute statutory rape, and hey, why not make her criminal too? Billy gets a life on the streets shuffling between foster homes, and a douchebag personality to boot.
Edited Date: 2012-10-28 04:33 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-10-28 06:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Have they ever met any kids? Many, maybe even most, kids would LOVE to be superheros.


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