Wait, When Did Straczynski Turn Wonder Woman Into Sailor Moon?

Or is it just me?

Didn't Sabrina the Teen Witch have a talking cat who wanted her to do homework?

Now in all fairness, I don’t follow either J. Michael Straczynski or Wonder Woman.   While I still hold the belief that Straczynski can be one of the best Speculative Fiction writers out there, I still bear a grudge over his tenure at Amazing Spider-man, with his Sins Past storyline ranking as one of the worst pieces of crap I’ve ever read.  (In a contest between Cathy’s Curse, say, and Sins Past, I’d watch Cathy’s Curse with a smile on my face and a song in my heart, if that tells you anything.)

With Wonder Woman, while I like the character (yeah, since Linda Carter, I know) I haven’t been what you’d call a fan.  I know there’s been a reboot, that she’s all teenified and modernised and all the crap that drives comic fans nuts sometimes.  It might be the best thing since sliced bread.  I dunno.  I don’t know where Power Girl is these days, or Spider-man for that matter, and I really like both characters.

However, a teenage girl, with a magical cat for pet.

Isn’t that a bit, I dunno, stereotypical?

Sailor Moon had her cat.  Sabrina has her cat (right?).  Supergirl had her Streaky.  It seems like a part of a pattern to me.

Wouldn’t it have been better to mix it up a little bit?

Back to the fairness thing, there are only so many animals that would work in the role of “Familiar”, or “Spirit Guide”, or whatever for the milieu of a modern city.  Skipping dog, you have the rodents (rats, rabbits, the works), ferrets, snakes, turtles, fish and birds.  While I wouldn’t be surprised to find each has its place in one belief system or another, they really aren’t creatures that scream “magic” or, if you want to go in that direction, Olympian God (at least to me with my limited knowledge to Greek Myth).  With the lack of range (and, perhaps, not wanting to overburden with exposition of just how what animal fits where in the grand scheme of things), a cat works as a nice short hand, with their history of being familiars/magical assistants.   Add to this the common significance black cats have to the occult, going even to being a figure of luck (either good or bad, depending on where you stand) and I’d might make the choice myself.

However, a teenage girl, with a magical cat for pet.

Will she get a horse next?  A pretty pretty unicorn?

Maybe the thinking behind this is an appeal to young girls.  I wouldn’t know.  I was never a young girl.  The female cousins I’m most familiar with never struck me as wanting cats as kids, though two of them now have a feline companion.  It could be a good marketing strategy for all I know.

Me?  I’d have done an owl (Harry Potter be damned).  Owls link to Athena, Goddess of Wisdom and War (Defense), and that strikes me as a Wonder Woman patron deity.  Not only that, but Athena went out of her way to help heroes.  Not a bad linkage, really.

Of course, I like Athena, so there’s that.

Failing that, I’d do a hamster just because it’s strange.  Or a spider, so I could call it Peter and be silly.

But a cat?  For a teenage girl?  I dunno.  Seems too well trod.  Not that it can’t work, not that it doesn’t work now.  It just wouldn’t be me.

Small end note: I mentioned (and linked) Cathy’s Curse for a specific reason:  Because it was something I professed a dislike for that I later changed my mind on.  The same could happen to Sins Past, and I wanted to cover my butt in that regard.  I don’t think it’s going to happen, but, then again, before Sins Past I didn’t think Straczynski could write a bad story.  Minds change.  Even mine.

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4 Replies to “Wait, When Did Straczynski Turn Wonder Woman Into Sailor Moon?”

  1. Yeah… Magical Fighting Girl Pretty Wonder Woman, huh? Or is it Diana, the Teenage Amazon? Throw in Emo Superman, and I’m starting to think Batman may be all DC has left that hasn’t been completely humiliated.

    I don’t hold out the same worship for Straczynski that you do; Babylon 5 was okay, but it hardly holds a candle to Firefly, and that didn’t even get a full season. Add in Sins Past and his (admittedly unwilling) complicity in the Marvel atrocity that was the Civil War, and I just don’t have a lot of faith in the guy.

    And now, we get Wonder Woman and Crookshanks? How does this guy keep getting work?

    1. =sigh= That’s what I get for trying to put hyperlinks into my comment. I apparently don’t know how to work HTML at all. Could you fix that for me? I think when you look at the code, you’ll see what I was trying to do. I’m going to go crawl in a hole and die of embarrassment now. Why, oh why, won’t WordPress let me edit my own comments?

      1. For the record, you had “liik” instead of “look” in this one, something I corrected. Normally if I’m going to do this sort of thing (and I rarely do), I just do it without comment. However I just spent ten minutes staring at “liik” trying to figure out what it mean and am feeling a wee bit petty.

    2. On the HTML – Fixed. I hope. The way you goofed on the code et whatever words you were using to hotlink. I made a best guess on both based upon the information held in the HTML; if I botched it let me know.

      I’d get snotty about bad HTML but my track record has been sadly lacking.

      On Firefly being better than Babylon 5 – That’s just the thing, though. Let’s compare the two series not as a whole but as if both were incomplete. Say only Seasons 3 or 4 of Babylon 5 were made for some reason.

      With Firefly you have an excellent season brought to fruition by a clear overall vision of the milieu and a team of creative writers.

      With Babylon 5 (Season 3 or 4 only) you’d an excellent season brought to fruition by a clear overall vision of the milieu and a single writer.

      No matter the apples/oranges type comparison of which is better, Babylon 5 remains the more impressive of the two simply because Straczynski wrote two seasons by himself filled with excellent episodes.

      On Straczynski finding work – I don’t know how he continues in comics, as his stuff tends to be met with groans of disbelief. Were I a betting man, I’d say that, in general, his stuff is well received by people who aren’t die hard fans. I’ll say it again; Straczynski can be an excellent writer and, outside of bleating about a certain Sci Fi show, he has done worthy work elsewhere. It’s not like he’s Rob Liefeld or anything…

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