Wonder Woman would beat Hulk says Sydney artist who drew her

WONDER Woman could "take down anybody" in the comic book world and, if Nicola Scott was drawing it, she would also look incredibly good doing so. The Sydney-based artist has been working on DC Comics for the last 18 years after breaking into what was a male, New York-dominated world with "a combination of arrogance and ignorance".

Scott is one of the special guests at Oz Comic-Con at Sydney Olympic Park this weekend.

She has seen an extraordinary 18 years in comics and superheroes, from the domination of the movie and now TV world to the comic books themselves being opened up to writers and artists from all over the world, not just America.

"The internet changed everything," Scott says. "I happened to catch that particular wave."
Scott says she "bulldozed" her way into the industry and, after working for smaller companies and proving herself, switched to DC Comics where after working on legends such as Batman and Superman, she finally got to draw her heroine in Wonder Woman.

"She was the precise reason I decided to draw comic books," she says. "She spoke to me in a way a lot of the other fictional characters haven't. She became my religion."

She says being Australian was actually the key to breaking into the male-dominated world of comics because that amazed the New York world of comics more than being a woman.

"It changed the focus off my gender," she says. "It helped that I have an iron-clad self-esteem, am tall, loud, bossy and not an easy target. I was part of a wave of women flying in, the wave that has changed the demographic. That's a nice privilege and legacy."

Wonder Woman as she appears in the DC comics.
Wonder Woman as she appears in the DC comics.

Scott describes working as a comic book artist as being somewhat similar to a film director where you are given "a script that reads like a screenplay" and it's up to you to design and direct the feature.

"I studied theatre and was an actor so I use all of those skills … they come in incredibly handy," she says.

She describes working on superhero comics as having an "unrelenting turnover - incredibly fast and incredibly busy". So while she will do the artwork, it might be handed over to someone else to add the colour and the lettering.

Scott and longtime writing collaborator Greg Rucka have been working on a comic called Black Magick, about a witch who is also a police detective. They get the final say on this work but it's different for many superhero comics.

Lynda Carter played Wonder Woman in the 1970s TV program.
Lynda Carter played Wonder Woman in the 1970s TV program.

"The company has the final say as they are the owners of the decades-long legacy," she says, adding there was always a "certain amount of compromise" while working on those major characters.

Black Magick is joining the long line of comic books being developed for television and, while there are more stages to go, she says she has her fingers crossed.

Even though she is a DC Comics artist, she says she still loves seeing Marvel movies and the craze for superheroes. "It's been really fun to see it translated onto the big screen," she says. "Marvel has done something that movies have never done before … and they've done it with not the primary heroes like Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and X-Men but what were B-list characters."

She says the key difference between Marvel's success and the patchy efforts of the DC universe come back to Marvel having control and independence.

"Studios who own the licences (for superheroes) are embarrassed by them and change everything," she says. "But in doing so they lose the comic book audience and the general audience. Marvel's looked and felt like comic books."

Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman (2017) was an outstanding success for DC.
Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman (2017) was an outstanding success for DC.

The big exception is "her" heroine Wonder Woman, whose 2017's movie is easily the best of the latest DC bunch. But while Scott says simply "I love it so much", she admits she had been "very nervous" after various Wonder Woman films had tried and failed to get to the big screen since Lynda Carter's 1970s TV show finished.

"Every treatment I'd heard about had been a bit disappointing," she says.

But then she was on a San Diego Comic-Con panel with director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot that was "incredibly reassuring". "She really understood who the character was," she says of Jenkins.

So who was the best Wonder Woman? Carter or Gadot?

"It's an incredibly hard character to nail," she says. "Lynda Carter is my Wonder Woman. She the one I grew up on."
However, she also calls Gadot "fantastic, I can't believe how fantastic she is". "She has an innocence but not naivety, an earnestness but not lacking in compassion for the human condition."

Scott is naturally excited for the sequel, Wonder Woman 1984, which is due out next year.

So is there any superhero who could take down Wonder Woman in a fight?

"There are some people who are definitely stronger, like Superman and The Hulk," she says.

"But she's a de-escalator. She could reason with anybody - she could turn Hulk back into Bruce Banner. More than her powers and set of skills, she's one of the most highly trained heroes in the universe, with thousands of years of training. She's incredibly unbeatable … she could take down anybody."

And how would she go against Marvel's top female superhero in Captain Marvel?

"I would hate to see them fight as they are two women on the side of right," she says.

"They have very different power sets. Captain Marvel is more sci-fi, alien technology based while Wonder Woman is more magic-based."

Having said all that, Scott has no doubt Wonder Woman would win.

Would she ever switch across to Marvel comics?

"I'm not angling for Marvel work, I'm way more of a DC person," she says. "But if there was the right project and right collaborator at the right time …"

And finally, what is her advice for budding artists and writers?

'Have something to say with your art or your story," she says. "Experiment with your drawings and having something personal. There's work for everyone who's got something to say … there's definitely going to be an audience for that."

Oz Comic-Con, Sydney Olympic Park, today, ozcomiccon.com

Sydney DC comic book artist Nicola Scott.
Sydney DC comic book artist Nicola Scott.