I’ve been reading Wonder Woman Rebirth by Greg Rucka. It was a really good run tying New52 with the previous prime universe, with some rough spots.
Rucka really knows how to write complicated women and their even more complicated dynamic with each other. There’s Diana with Barbara Ann aka Cheetah, Etta Candy/Barbara, Etta and now Diana (sob– understandable why Etta is angry with Diana but still!), and the one IMO that is a complicated, jumbled mess: Veronica Cale and Diana.
I mentioned before how Veronica Cale was Diana’s Lex Luthor but I failed to take account how wonderfully tension filled and ‘don’t know if she’ll kiss Veronica or kill her’ foe yay there is between them.
Diana and Veronica Cale have an epic Smallville Clark and Lex level foe yay. No, really:
Seriously, look: Veronica stopped the FBI questioning her involvment with Godwatch and she turns just in time (senses?) to see Diana hovering just outside her window. And Veronica instantly notices Diana doesn’t have her lasso (her golden perfect).
And then they’re talking thisclose with Diana demanding Veronica’s help in restoring Barbara Ann’s humanity. Veronica doesn’t flinch, doesn’t back down and isn’t the slightest bit cowed.
Make no mistake, what Veronica did was despicable. She pursued her goal to save her daughter with a ruthless tunnel visioned intensity that damned everyone and ultimately herself. Veronica accepts and resents this truth about herself. More, she resents that Diana saved her from Cheetah (Barbara Ann).
Veronica’s dislike for Diana was instant from the first moment she read Lois Lane’s article on Wonder Woman, Veronica resented everything Diana is and stood for. IMO Veronica resented Diana because Veronica used to be all the things Diana was at that time: Naive, idealistic, and someone who believed that love can help the world.
(Note the ledge and the glass doors, it’s a thing.)
In the panels before this Bruce and Clark intrude on their stare down, Veronica takes the opportunity to step back inside, and close the glass doors without breaking eye contact with Diana.
And even as I compare them to Clark and Lex’s Smallville dynamic there is one thing Diana and Veronica that I know Clark/Lex fans would give their eye teeth for.
You know the fic trope: Black tie fundraiser event where a highly eligible bachelor/bachelorette (usually the idealistic hero) donates their time for a worthy cause in exchange for people donating their money. Then the billionaire half of that slash pairing drops a huge amount of money for charity and wins a date from the idealistic hero.
Diana joins a fundraiser to help victims of landmines, Bruce contributes by pitching in his money, Lex Luthor ups the ante with a $7 million donation and then:
Veronica one ups both.
I swear, this was like, beat for beat a Smallville Clark/Lex fanfic except its with Diana and Veronica and it’s canon.
Sure it ended up being a ruse for both since Veronica had an ulterior motive and Diana went along with it because of her suspicions (she thinks Veronica is responsible for best friend getting possessed by the Cheetah god) but it doesn’t negate the fact that Veronica and Diana went out on a date.
Diana ends the date with a kiss on Veronica’s cheek which in retrospect, after reading a few pages ahead now feels more like a Godfather, ‘I know it was you’ Fredo kiss.
Because later this happens:
Ledge, glass doors. Diana hovering. It’s a thing!
Diana makes clear to Veronica Cale she has her measure, and formally kickstarting their tension filled archnemesis dynamic, with some of the significant moments happening/bookending on ledges with glass doors.
Liam Sharp put up a beautiful cover for Wonder Woman #25, his final issue, complete with smiling Diana. When some fans expressed a desire to see Steve included in this cast of characters, our co-fan/beloved WW artist immediately rectified the situation, with a side of extra shirtlessness.
“We would often pass these 2 kids who wore trench coats. Everyone referred to them as the “Trench Coat Mafia”. My friend Cale referred to them as the “Rammstein Boyz”. Whatever you wanted to call them, you could tell they were different.
Well, one day, Cale snarled a remark about Rammstein under his breath as we passed these 2 guys. The short one who was named Eric Harris confronted my friend about it. He said: “Every day you pass me and make fun of me saying Rammstein sucks. Why do you do this, crap asshole? What did I do to you?” My friend replied: “Oh man you’re so cool, you’re my idol!” Then Eric’s friend Dylan approached us seeming to back up his friend. I really didn’t want to get involved in a fight even though I knew these guys wouldn’t stand a chance. I was afraid of things they might do afterwards. Eric was a short clean cut looking kid and Dylan was a very tall skinny guy with messed up hair. He always wore the trench coat, a hat and dark sunglasses. The bell rang and we went into class. That was the end of the confrontation.”