Of Course It’s Wonder Woman’s Villain Who’s Bisexual

Hollywood’s nasty problem of making heroes straight and villains into gay and bi characters is rearing its head again in NBC’s Wonder Woman. Friday Night Lights‘ Adrianne Palicki will be playing the shero, and now we learn Liz Hurley will play Veronica Cale, “the evil villain” who, according to the NBC casting description, is “female, open ethnicity, late 30s to early 40s. Beautiful, highly-educated, highly accomplished, she runs one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the country…but she’s afflicted with the serious deep-seated Wonder Woman envy. Whatever she is, or will be in life…she’ll never be her. And it causes her innards to rot. She loves men, but likes women. There might be an unstated chemistry between her and Wonder Woman, at least on her side.” Translation: They’re going to let viewers see Wonder Woman and Veronica Cale insinuate lesbian flirtations, but I’ll be damned if those two ever share a kiss on screen. (The the NBC remake, Wonder Woman has three identities, and is straight in each.) Meanwhile, expect Hurley’s character to be seen “preying” on poor Wonder Woman with her disgusting lesbian sexual advances.

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  • scribe

    I love the hell out of wonder woman. Other little boy’s wanted to be batman or superman I wanted to be wonder-boy her made up side kick. I wanted all of her powers and her fighting skills. I learned from her that being femm did not mean being weak. When my dad forced me into martial arts, I imagined that I was in training on her island learning how to be a hero. NBC get this right, millions of girls and a few gay boys are watching you.

  • ~PR~

    At this moment, I see nothing wrong with this. Actually, it sounds rather intriguing… a villain that actually may have some depth.

  • Pip

    This sounds terrible. It sounds like Snow White. Why are they making wonder woman fight another girl? Can’t she just be a normal super hero?

  • michael

    @Pip: her villains reflect the times you can’t show a dude hit a woman.The world’s very sexist but nowadays it seems men get it the hardest.

  • the crustybastard

    A story about villainous bisexual females and our resident misogynist, Jason is a no-show?

    Are you trying to flush him out with red meat, Queerty?

    I bet the hospital revoked his internet privileges.

  • Shannon1981

    Of course its the villain that is bi, rather than the shero. It re enforces straight people’s ideas about gays being ‘wild.’ Kind of like when they go to a gay bar in order to be ‘outrageous.’ It makes more sense in their heads for the straight one to be the shero and the villain to be bi.

  • Pip

    @michael: clearly these people have never seen kill bill or buffy the vampire slayer? it seems like such an antiquated notion of violence. some of the most gratifying fight scenes from a feminist perspective, are when a woman squares off against a man.

  • Ian

    I hope that it will be balanced by showing positive lesbian relationships amongst the Amazons on Themyscira/Paradise Island.

    That said so far my biggest concern for this show is if Wonder Woman will actually have her classic costume or the new horrid one in the comics with black leather leggings from her belly button to the bottom of her toes.

  • Mangina

    Just from watching the auditions on Youtube for this pilot and reading the synposis and concept for Wonder Woman, this show is going to suck big time regardless of the sexuality factor. David Kelley’s interpretation is totally off on the idea of the character. Remember the Bionic Woman remake? I’m betting this show gets cancelled after a few episodes.

  • Jim


    What? Why should she not have both female and male villains? Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man have both female and male enemies!

    Also, Wonder Woman has had female villains for decades.

    Really, it’s incredibly sexist to present men as the only villains. That’s not how it works in comic books or in real life. Both sexes are capable of and have demonstrated the capacity for evil.

  • Francis

    I’ll take a wait and see approach before judging completely. But, it’s sadly not a surprise that a LGBT character would be the villain and the straight character the hero. The gay character being the villain adds to the spooky unwholesome “Oooohhhh” factor”, or at least that’s the way producers and many heterosexuals look at it. Just another indication of how we are considered deviants by many.

  • Pip

    @Jim: I didn’t say there shouldn’t be male and female villains—just that a female hero’s villain shouldn’t be this neutered, ghettoized version of a super villain. A female CEO gone wrong? Seriously? It sounds like they’re going to be fighting over who gets to fuck Superman, not ‘how is Wonder Woman going to prevent the world from impending doom.’ Most of the best super villains in comics ARE male. That’s just reality.
    And there aren’t a lot of female HEROES in comics to begin with, so when you make one, its important to give her the parity of her male counter parts.

  • greenmanTN

    Shouldn’t you wait at least until a single episode has aired before you decide a show is homophobic? Yeah, I get the “it’s the villain who’s bi or gay” complaint but the show’s writer/producer David E Kelley is known for complex portrayals of women, not for homophobia. Admittedly, it makes more sense for Wonder Woman to at least be bisexual since, HELLO?!, if they stick to the Paradise Island backstory she grew up in a society where there were no men.

    @scribe: I always liked Wonder Woman and The Bionic Woman a lot more than I did the male TV heroes. Looking back I think part of it was that the male heroes reminded me of grown-up versions of the macho shit-heads I had to deal with in school every day so I couldn’t enjoy them without reservation. (Adam West Batman was so campy it didn’t count.)

    The story behind the creation of Wonder Woman and the man who created her is interesting. William Marston was a psychologist whose work contributed to the invention of the polygraph, so his giving WW a lasso that forces people to tell the truth makes sense. He set out to create a super-hero who would empower women. It’s speculated he had an interest in some form of S&M or B&D since in the early WW comics he scripted she gets tied up a LOT and the bondage is somewhat eroticized and fetishistic. Marston was married but his household included another woman, Olive Byrne, who supposedly wore metal “slave bracelets” not unlike WW’s. Marston had children by both women and they all lived together, with Marston and his wife formally adopting Olive’s children. After his death Marston’s widow and Olive Byrne continued living together, with Marston working outside the home and Byrne raising their children.

  • Ian

    Ok let’s let Wonder Woman’s gay fans have a chance to throw in their 2-cents. Here’s the new & ‘improved’ WW costume:

    VS the 6 decades long classic costume:

    The reason the new costume was made was specifically because DC stated that an actress couldn’t fit into the classic (funny, but I remember Lynda Carter doing just fine!) for either a new tv series or a potential movie.

  • greenmanTN

    Just my 2 cents:

    I don’t know about that exact costume update (especially with what are apparently 38 DD breasts) but even though the original costume is iconic it’s also outdated. The red, white, and blue costume made sense in the context of Wonder Woman’s WWII origins but seem kind of jingoistic and nationalistic today. That’s why the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman was at her best in the episodes set during WWII. Especially in a live action film or TV show the original costume puts it firmly in the category of “camp.”

    Plus there’s the whole question of who sits around designing and making these apparently indestructible yet silly-looking costumes.

    FWIW, the same thing goes for Captain America and many other wartime superheroes who have their origins in militaristic nationalism. One of the things about the Watchmen graphic novel and movie I liked was the idea that, instead of these being characters who were reinvented by each new generation of writers and artists, these were real *people* who stayed true to their original ideals and a hero can become a villain as the society around them changes. If you think about it, a hero from WWII was quite likely to also be a racist (certainly against the Japanese) and a homophobe. Sure some people evolve, but some don’t, and it sort of depends on WHICH version of “truth, Justice, and the American way” they’re defending. Are they defending Ronald Reagan’s America or Harvey Milk’s?

  • thedarkchariot

    wtf does “open ethnicity” mean?

  • jason

    It’s time to boycott NBC’s homophobic crap. Note, also, how there are no bisexual men. Typical double standard. It seems that NBC and Wonder Woman’s producers are engaging in the sleazy double standard that I’ve been talking about.

    Boycott it, guys. Don’t let this show get traction.

  • Devon


    The problem is that most of Wonder Woman’s male villains are terrible. Her female villains on the other hand aren’t bad. Circe, Veronica Cale, Cheetah…The only male villain she has that’s even worth mentioning is Ares. But it seems like they’re gonna be ignoring the Greek myth origins of the character for this show, so having the Greek god of war involved probably wouldn’t make a lot of sense.


    It just means the character isn’t written for a specific ethnicity so anyone can try out.

  • divkid

    @jason: oh jason!… and just in time

    all the (gay) world is waiting for you …..
    and the power you possess…
    in your satin tights…
    fightin’ for our rights*…

    *as long as you’re not cursed with ovaries, or fallopian tubes… eww!

  • Jeffree

    @jason: Are you OK? You forgot to mention porn, liberalism,”long, flowing hair” and Hollywood. You worry us when you leave those out.

    Question: your favorite word is “sleazy”. Please define what YOU mean by that, because my dictionary is not helping.

    Hugs to Max, Olga, Irina, Adora & yr other “friends”! Cynep!

  • Ian

    @greenmanTN: I’ve never been a big fan of WW’s star-spangled panties but I also am not a big fan of this changing all superheroes costumes into generic biker-leather outfits like the Matrix & X-Men movies. Superhero outfits are supposed to be a little bigger than life for a reason, and I’m not liking this effort to make superheroes now look generically like everyone else. It reminds me more than a little bit of the gentrification of queer culture, “Time to shove those drag queens & leather daddies into the basement so we can look respectable to the straights!”

  • Jeffree

    @greenmanTN: You’re right that WW’s costume should be updated, as long as they don’t go all Matrix unisex on us!

    I hope they still keep her powerful, fierce larger than life, and that she’s pursuing the kinds of justice we need in the 21st century. Like the mega junk-food corporations or evil global bàñkers!

    Thanks for the interesting scoop on Marston’s “family” situation. I’m not surprised he had some bondage interests, based on the character’s frequent encounters with rope!

  • scribe

    @greenmanTN: I read wonder woman up until last year. She is from a island of only women, but that story line is being re-booted. Anyway there are female couples on the island who enjoy each other, but wonder woman is not one of them. She has always had a very healthly attraction to males, including batman in recent years. She chased batman hard the way a man chases a woman. She has dated a number of men including a black man, and a government agent trying to fight super beings. She acts like a male when she dates, making small greek gifts for her lover to where.
    Wonder woman leaves her island home to fight the Nazis and because the she is attracted to the pilot (steve) who lands on her island. She disguises herself and fights other women on the island for the right to leave the island and get some man stuff.
    Wonder woman powers and uniform and weapons are all made from the greek gods. The greeks didn’t mind showing skin, so neither does she. Her creator was also rumored to be into bondage hince the golden rope and all the times she was tied up in the earily days. She has always fought men and women, but her most known foe is cheeta a woman.

  • Adonis-of-Fire

    I am a HUGE fan of Wonder Woman, I think one of my gay seeds when little was watching Lynda Carter do the spin! That’s a classic moment in my life and I’ve prayed they do a live action movie for the longest time! so at least a tv series will be nice…but after reading the basic concept for the show…it seems like it will be a stupid romantic comedy about this woman from another culture dealing with girl issues, burning up dinner she was trying to cook for her man, chatting up with the girls at brunch…and then 2 minutes or less of actual action and super hero stuff.

  • greenmanTN

    @scribe: I have a hardback book of the early WW comics, with a forward by Gloria Steinem. The 2-hour TV movie that started the Lynda Carter series follows the original comics very closely but also had some hilarious casting. I mean, c’mon! Cloris Leachman as WW’s mother and Fannie Flagg as the island’s doctor? For some reason I always thought it was hilarious that in the early comics the Nazis were always saying “Zzut!” when they were thwarted. If you ever hear anyone say “Zzut!” in frustration, run!

    But updating Wonder Woman has always been a problem for DC comics. In the late 60s/70s (some time in there) they more or less stripped her of her powers and turned her into a martial arts super-spy (shades of Emma Peel), IIRC complete with an old Asian man to act as her trainer. There was an entirely different WW TV movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby that was based more on this version. I think it’s on Youtube but it’s nowhere near as fun as Lynda Carter’s WW.

    FWIW, gay comedic writer Robert Rodi had a novel, “What They Did To Princess Paragon,” about what happens when a new writer takes over the Princess Paragon series (which is just WW by a different name) and makes her a lesbian. The original creator is horrified and sues, and the writer is kidnapped by PP’s “greatest fan.” The quality of Rodi’s books varies widely (IMO) but I remember this one as being pretty good.

    Then there was the whole Frederic Wertham “Seduction Of The Innocent” episode of the 1950s. Wertham was a psychiatrist and he managed to convince American parents that nearly ALL the problems with American youth (the “baby-boomers”) could be traced back to comic books. His special target was horror comics like EC’s “Tales From The Crypt” (ignoring the fact that the stories were very moralistic, with the bad guy getting an often supernatural comeuppance) and he managed to kill off the entire horror comic genre. He also singled out Batman and Wonder Woman as being particularly toxic because, according to Wertham, they were “homosexual wish-fantasies” that led to “perversion” in young minds. The hysteria Wertham created is why the “Comics Code” came about and it took until the 1990s for mass-distributed comics to again be uncensored.

    Other than the occasional graphic novel I haven’t really read comics since my teens (I was an X-men fan) but I’m still interested in them as an artistic medium and agents of social change. I stopped reading them right around the time gay characters were first starting to be introduced (Northstar, etc.) but I think it’s a mistake to dismiss them as meaningless in the struggle for gay rights because, unlike children’s books, comics tend to be something young people choose for themselves and the attitudes in them (maybe Wertham wasn’t entirely wrong) can have an influence.

    Sorry to go on and on about this. It’s just a topic I’m interested in.

  • ROB

    No one has mentioned the most troubling aspect of this new show – the casting of Liz Hurley…

    She is a TERRIBLE actress…!

  • divkid

    @greenmanTN:”Sorry to go on and on about this. It’s just a topic I’m interested in.”

    you don’t say!

    seriously though, you write very lucidly and its always a pleasure when someone communicates their enthusiasm in an entertaining way. and educational too. you opened up a dimension to a genre i’d hitherto overlooked or dismissed.

    big tick to you my lovely geek friend.

    i’m not a stalker : /

  • Jeffree

    @Rob: Liz Hurley? Ugggggh. Betty White would make a better WW than Liz!

    @greenmanTN: Posts like yours, filled with info & insights are what keep many of us coming back to this site. Carry on!

    @DivKid: You know I have a crush on you & how you write/think, right? Don’t worry, I’m hàrmlèss, and such infatuations don’t result in intercontinental stalking, voodòo spells, or scrawling your name over & over in my notebook!

  • divkid

    @Jeffree: i have 3 questions :

    1. do you own a set of night vision goggles? you tuck…?
    3. …and dance around in the skin flaps of your “guests”?

    if you answer no to any of the above then i aint interested!

  • greenmanTN

    There’s a website of actual panels from comics at which are either unintentionally hilarious or suggest that the writers & cartoonists were deliberately planting subversive messages right under the the Comic Authority’s nose.

    The “Seduction Of the Innocent” gallery is mostly sexual double entendres, many of them suggesting the relationship between Batman and Robin isn’t platonic.

    “Suffering Sappho” is about the bondage Wonder Woman found herself in at every turn.

    Some of them are jaw-dropping because it’s hard to see how anyone could miss the sexual innuendo. It’s worth a look. Really. I swear! :-)

  • Avenger

    Get over it. Don’t like their character design? Don’t watch their show.

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