Mindy Newell: Superman, Wonder Woman, and Mythic Complications

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.

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. George Haberberger says:

    “I think that when Warner Bros. uses the word “complicated” in describing Wonder Woman’s story they are really saying that they believe the American audience is ignorant and dumb.”

    I saw a interview with John Legend last week in which he was asked about performing at the Grammys. He said that because Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr would be performing also, his was going to be a “sisyphean task”. And then he told the interviewer to put up the definition of sisyphean on the screen for all the Americans who wouldn’t know what that was. And they did! It seemed a little self-serving for Legend to say that. I think Legend, like Warner Brothers, is under estimating the American public.

    And Mindy, that was John Edwards, not Al Gore, with Rielle Hunter.

  2. Warner’s definition of “complicated” is clearly pointing to something other than the story itself. It’s been told in one TV show, one animated feature, and countless times in the comic.

    “An Amazon princess embarks on a quest to Man’s World to learn about the modern age, what it has created, and protect it with her strength, grace and wisdom. Mostly by hitting things”


    That story has remain largely unchanged for seven decades.

    What’s “Complicated” in Warners’ eyes if making a movie about a dumb ol’ girl palatable to a male audience. They have bonded themselves to the percieved truism that female leads don’t sell movies, and so they must find a way to “improve” (read: “change to the point that nigh anything is left”) the character and the story so men will be willing to spend money on it.

  3. Mindy Newell says:

    @ Vinnie: Absolutely positively! :-)