MINDY NEWELL: What Would Wonder Woman Do?

Mindy Newell

These days Mindy Newell knows that if she could do it all over again she’d have gone to college for screenwriting and film editing. Instead she became a nurse to please her parents and pleasing your parents was what it was all about for nice Jewish girls who graduated from high school in 1971. But the creative larva was in her soul, and when the cocoon broke and the butterfly emerged, it flew to DC’s New Talent Showcase program. Under the auspices of legendary editors Karen Berger, Len Wein, Julius Schwartz, Paul Levitz, and ComicMix’s own Robert Greenberger, Mindy learned the craft and art of writing comics, including Tales Of The Legion, V, Legionnaires 3, Amethyst, Lois Lane: When It Rains God Is Crying, and numerous other comics, including a Superman story based on a dream Mindy had as a child. She also worked on Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg! and other independent comics. All this time Mindy continued to work as a nurse while being a single mom to her daughter Alixandra, until the late and dear Mark Gruenwald hired her as an assistant editor at Marvel, while writing stories of the Black Widow and Daredevil. She edited NFL Pro Action, a licensed kid’s magazine about football with the NFL until Marvel imploded in 1996. Returning to full-time nursing, she she also co-wrote a story for 2000 A.D. with her then-husband, British artist John Higgins. A few years ago Mike Gold called and asked her to join the team of columnists here at ComicMix, where her topics freely range from comics to pop culture to politics; she even wrote a piece about the great American thoroughbred Secretariat, which caused editor Mike to tell her that she had won the prize for the most off-topic column ever written ComicMix.

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4 Responses

  1. JosephW says:

    Not having read your reasoning for Diana’s being “pro-life,” I would suggest that Diana–once she’s exposed to women facing UNWANTED or LIFE-THREATENING pregnancies–might be fully in favor of a woman’s right to choose, bearing in mind that the Amazons come from an era where rape was essentially a man’s RIGHT by law; she’d be more than familiar with the stories of situations where Zeus and Hades and Poseidon and even Heracles simply took women with pregnancy being the usual end result–just how many of those women WANTED to be “brood cows to the Gods?”

    Now….if you mean “pro-life” in the sense of caring about the children once they’ve exited the vaginal canal, then yes, by all means, Diana would be “pro-life.” Unfortunately, too many of these “pro-life” advocates don’t seem to give the least regard for the “post-birth” end of life. Cuts to all sorts of beneficial social programs (one might note the GOPers even wanted cuts to programs designed to help PREGNANT WOMEN deliver HEALTHY BABIES) have been the norm for the “pro-life” advocates at ALL political strata (federal AND state).

    If anything, Diana would be more critical of the “pro-life” movement for its sheer hypocrisy. Diana would call for programs to end bullying in school. She would demand that programs like WIC be immune from political grandstanding. She would expect that women’s health issues be given as much importance as men’s health (I can only imagine she’d be absolutely perplexed at the idea that insurance programs should cover the “Pill” for erectile dysfunction but not the “Pill” for pregnancy prevention, regardless of who the employer is or what faith s/he follows).

  2. George Haberberger says:


    It was on January 2, a column named “The Enemy Within” where you postulated Diana’s Pro-Life stance. You wrote, “yes, pregnancy, the unborn child, would be ultimate, holy, sacrosanct, untouchable, inviolable object of worship of a woman raised in this environment.”

    I thought this was a very enlightened take on Wonder Woman and posted that I would have loved to read that story arc.

    I have to point out that this take on Wonder Woman makes it seem as though her opinion of pregnancy is one borne out of its rarity in her experience and if she had been a character of our world she may not feel the same way. But pregnancy’s relative routine status in our world makes it no less sacrosanct. Would Diana’s opinion change when she becomes, as you said, “acclimated.”

    All that said, the point of this column, contraception, is, in my view, an entirely different subject and one that I have no issue with. In fact, using artificial or medical means to prevent conception is a decision similar to being celibate. Both practices prevent a life from being formed.

    Joseph W:
    Unfortunately, too many of these “pro-life” advocates don’t seem to give the least regard for the “post-birth” end of life.

    This is a common unfounded canard that is consistently brought up to imply that the Pro-Life movement is hypocritical. In fact, The Pro-life movement does care for both the woman and her child before and after birth. Crisis pregnancy centers established around the country help women find jobs, apartments or housing with a volunteer if she is homeless, give her help with medical expenses, transportation to medical facilities, provide layettes for newborns, baby furniture, clothing for siblings and a host of other necessities. And these organizations exist without funding from governmental sources.

  3. Mike Gold says:

    George, some folks see being pro-death penalty as being antithetical to the title of pro-life. Some see lack of support of universal health care as antithetical to the title of pro-life. Some see the lack of support for education programs… you get the idea. Pro-life is a misnomer; what its supporters mean is anti-abortion.

    We did a GREAT story about this in our Wasteland #1 — Ostrander/Close script, Loebs art — called R.Ab. It was awesome. It pissed EVERYBODY off, including the publisher, who never read the book again. That, of course, gave us carte blache.

  4. Nicely done, Ms.Newell!