Monday, March 17, 2008

What the heck is wrong with Nemesis?

Apparently, many people are generally upset that Diana wishes to being a relationship with Nemesis in Wonder Woman #18. I've got two short points and a long point about that.

1. It has been obvious since WW #1, when the Steve Trevor was kidnapped by Wonder Woman rogues turned out to not be Steve Trevor, but in fact Nemesis in disguise, that Nemesis was being set up to be the "new Steve." I am just incapable of working up outrage for something that has been clearly building for two years.

2. Better like this than years and years of "will they or won't they" that leads to an inevitable "will" that destroys all the tension that's been building up.

3. The Long Point. What the hell is wrong with Nemesis? No one really spells it out, other than he's "Not Worthy." What the heck does that mean?

A. He's not worthy because he doesn't have the same power level? Can individuals identified as "Alpha" by the OMACs only date other Alphas? Is the problem that Nemesis is only a Gamma or a Delta on the OMAC-rating scale, and therefore does not pose much of a threat? In choosing a mate, ability to compete worthily in open combat should rank pretty low.

B. He's a smart-ass. Yes, he is. But much more in a Ted Kord kind of a way than in a Guy Gardner kind of way. He's not offensive or degrading. He's friendly. He's a "good guy." He's well intentioned. He just doesn't take things as seriously as Diana does. For a relationship, that's a good thing. I always wondered what Wonder Woman and Trevor Barnes talked about over breakfast, and would imagine the "Sensitive Pony-Tail Guy" scene from the movie "Singles."

C. He's not a well-established character. He's not Batman or John Stewart or Hawkman or Steve Trevor. I understand that if your looking at (i) Superman/Lois Lane; (iii) Mr. Fantastic/ Invisible Woman; (iii) Wonder Woman/ Nemesis, the last option looks a little out of place, but honestly, "fame" is about as bad a proxy for a good relationship as "power level."

I'm certainly not saying that Nemesis is obvious dream-date material, but he certainly has potential, and no obvious disqualifying factors. In the end, Wonder Woman is not required to marry Nemesis at the end of their courtship, and is free to decide that they are or are not compatible (that, historically, has been what "dating" is for.)

I'm happy to wait and see.

UPDATE: It looks like I am not alone. Not that I mind disagreeing with a vast majority, but it's enough to give me pause.

6 Comments:

Blogger Stephen said...

Doesn't OMAC stand for Optimal Mate Appraisal Community?

1:35 PM  
Blogger Shelly said...

I like Nemesis. He's cute, funny, and has a brain. I didn't like how Jodi Picoult wrote him.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Skullduggery said...

Perhaps it is just the way he was written in the book prior to Gail coming aboard, but he seemed (for lack of a better term) like a horn dog.

1:18 AM  
Blogger Ragtime said...

Stephen,

OMAC stands for Only Male Amazon Companions.

Shelly,

I agree.

Skullduggery,

I don't think its fair for Diana to have to judge Nemesis based on his prior behavior, if he hasn't lived up to his rep while they've been together. "If you don't hold my cold-blooded murder of Max Lord against me. . ."

8:09 AM  
Blogger Evie said...

I agree with you. I thought the "courtship" scene was a little awkward (awkward like it kind of took me by weird surprise, as opposed to awkward like it actually intentionally was), but I have dug Nemesis enough lately and am definitely not in the "not worthy" camp. Who the hell would be "worthy" of someone with the virtues of all the gods? I have faith in Gail to do something interesting with it, and I'm not worried that Diana will get married retire and be constantly pregnant with ass-kicking babies.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Ragtime said...

Evie,

I agree. And in my "not worthy" category, I would certainly include Bruce Wayne. Talk about baggage!

6:19 AM  

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