MFT: Aside from the obvious appeal, how do writers of the Netflix Daredevil series land on an arc of Wonder Woman '77?
Ruth Fletcher Gage: The editor of the Wonder Woman ’77 series, Kristy Quinn, had worked with Chris going back to her days at Wildstorm. She asked about the two of us writing something for her. We both grew up loving the Wonder Woman TV show, me especially, so we mentioned we’d love to do Wonder Woman ’77…and here we are!
MFT: I always find the different perception writers have of Wonder Woman fascinating. Can you tell our readers what Wonder Woman means to you?
Christos Gage: For me, Wonder Woman – especially the Lynda Carter version we’re writing here – is one of the most uplifting heroes there is, along with the Christopher Reeve Superman. She is an ambassador of peace, an inspirational figure who embodies the best of what we can be and makes us want to strive to be better, whatever the odds.
RFG: For me, Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman was empowering, as a strong, independent woman, but also as a force for good. Her ability to be compassionate only added to her power. And, even though she was a superhero, she had all these qualities that reminded me of the women I grew up around. I fell in love with the television show, and she’s been my favorite superhero ever since.
MFT: As different as they would appear on the surface, it seems like Diana and Matt Murdock would have much in common, him being a lawyer fighting for justice, her a warrior for truth and peace. How do you approach each character individually?
RFG/CG: Both of us think Daredevil is a lot darker and more conflicted than Wonder Woman. Not to say that Diana never feels conflicted over specific things or situations, but in terms of what’s right and what’s wrong, she’s rock-solid. Daredevil, especially the version we wrote in Season 1, is pretty tortured over just how far he should go and whether what he’s doing as Daredevil is the right thing to do at all or whether he’s just feeding some darkness in himself. But they do both have a strong sense of justice.
MFT: Your story is about poaching elephants for their tusks. Is this one of your personal crusades, or how did you come up with the concept?
RFG/CG: Animal rights is indeed a big issue for us. The fact that keystone animals such as elephants, tigers, and bears – to say nothing of bees and butterflies – could become extinct in our lifetime, as a result of human behavior, is devastating to us. They can’t speak up for themselves, so human beings have to. That said, part of the reason we chose to tackle this subject in a Wonder Woman ’77 story is that we were looking at what was going on at the time (the 1970s) and learned that this was when poaching really went from being perpetrated by independent groups of bandits to an organized crime activity. The firepower and organization poachers employed reached previously unknown levels, and the resources and numbers of the defenders couldn’t keep up. Also, the ivory ban Wonder Woman discusses in the story had not passed (It passed in the 1980s, though it hasn’t solved the problem.) and was a subject of some controversy. So, yes, this is something we feel strongly about, but it fit the story and the character – especially given Wonder Woman’s ability to talk to animals, a very cool power that isn’t used as often as her other talents. Shoehorning an issue into a story it doesn’t fit is bad writing, however noble the intention.
MFT: Will we be seeing any more Wonder Woman stories from the two of you after your two-part Wonder Woman '77 arc?
CG: There’s nothing firm planned, but we’d certainly be open to discussing it!
MFT: Finally, forgive the "Fanboy" question: who would win in a fight, Wonder Woman or Daredevil?
RFG/CG: No disrespect to Matt, but we both feel Wonder Woman would crush him. I (Chris) think it would play out like the Daredevil/Sub-Mariner fight in the classic Daredevil #7 by Stan Lee and Wally Wood, where Daredevil acquits himself bravely, but is ultimately just out-powered. He loses the fight but wins the respect of his opponent. Although we would like to think they wouldn’t come to blows in the first place. They’re too smart not to realize they’re on the same side.
(Okay, but I still want to see Diana kick his butt!)
Well, thank you to Christos and Ruth for their generous, thoughtful interview. I urge you to read their compelling arc on Wonder Woman '77, and Daredevil: Season 2 is just around the corner! Hallelujah!
Be back next week for more Wonder musings! And, as always, Like, share, and post on I Am Wonder Fan on Facebook.