When W. M. Marston created Wonder Woman he wanted her to possess universality so that women could see their potential in her and men could see the power of women in her. This is part of her appeal — her ability to morph, transform, and flex. This is also the appeal of modern day Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman. In each issue different writers, artists, colorists, and letterers create unique incarnations of The Amazing Amazon.
In Amy Chu’s “Rescue Angel,” the reader follows Lieutenant Angel Santiago on her first mission in a modern war (Chu). Her partner tells her about earning his military nickname and reassures her that she will earn hers soon enough (Chu). She is deployed to a school for girls wearing a Wonder Woman charm that she identifies as a gift from her niece (Chu). After the visit to the girls’ school, Santiago and her team are ambushed and Santiago is hit in a blast. Wonder Woman wakes her and carries her team to safety. As the final rescue helicopter leaves, Santiago asks about bringing Wonder Woman and her rescuers are uncertain of her meaning (Chu). In the hospital, the reader follows Santiago’s commanding officers into the hallway outside of her hotel room and they discuss her ability to carry her team to safety. One commanding officer notes that humans are capable of superhuman strength in dangerous circumstances. The other officer returns to her bedside to tell her that she has earned her nickname and they have given her the call sign Wonder Woman.
Chu’s work is a clear metaphor that women, regardless of their physical strength or similarities to the character, have the ability to be Wonder Woman. This is what separates Wonder Woman from other characters, as Marston intended. The title reflects this presence — Steve Trevor refers to Wonder Woman as Angel, and the protagonist in this story is Lieutenant Angel Santiago.
This is a reminder that women are capable of being Wonder Woman, not just playing at being her.