Diana

Wonder Woman isn’t a character. Wonder Woman is a role that different characters take. This complicates discussions and understanding of Wonder Woman because that title doesn’t always refer to daughter of Hippolyte, Diana, Princess of the Amazons. Others have been Wonder Woman, and other Wonder Women exist in the multiverse. Diana Who? At some level, this must have been Charles Moulton Marston’s intent when he created the character. In “Introducing Wonder Woman” Hippolyte tells her daughter, “We are indeed a race of Wonder Women!” (Marston 6). This assertion is asserted by a number of Wonder Woman stories in which other Amazons including Hippolyte and ArtemisRead More →

weld

When it comes to Golden Age Wonder Woman, people have devoted a great deal of attention to creator William Moulton Marston’s unconventional lifestyle and his beliefs. A lot of that attention is paid to the number of scenes in which Wonder Woman is tied up and must escape. Bondage is certainly a primary source of punishment in the early comics. It is also the source of one of Wonder Woman’s costume elements—her bracelets. One of Marston’s partners, Olive Byrne (famously the niece of birth control advocate Margaret Sanger) inspired Wonder Woman’s bracelets: “The heavy bracelets she wore, so like Wonder Woman’s “bracelets of submission […]”Read More →

marston

After my last post, people may have the impression that I don’t appreciate Marston-era Wonder Woman, and I want to be sure that is cleared up. I appreciate Marston’s creation. I appreciate the complexity that he gave the character from the moment he created her. A simpler character most likely would not have endured 75 years and multiple writers and incarnations. I also appreciate that the fundamental principles (including compassion, seeking justice, and pursuing peace) present in her founding exist today. Certainly Marston’s stories rely on some elements that, through repetition, are the core of Wonder Woman, and without these she would be a differentRead More →

halting

From Academic to Fan The current political climate makes reading classic (i.e. Marston-era) Wonder Woman feel more relevant. To be honest, reading Marston-era Wonder Woman is tough for me. The stories share a formulaic structure and repeat the same themes: Wonder Woman saves America from the Axis of Evil and along the way encounters Steve Trevor so he can remind us that Wonder Woman is beautiful and an object of desire. I feel a much more immediately attached to the Wonder Woman of Azzarello and Chiang’s work and the Wonder Woman of Finch and Finch. Modern Wonder Woman is slicker, more direct, and more complex.Read More →

why

Recently I attended an event with Ph.D.s from around the country. As we shared our research interests I said, “Wonder Woman.” Some snickered. Some nodded. Some turned away. Wonder Woman? How is that a research interest? Some of them share my enthusiasm and ask me questions including, “Why doesn’t she ever get her own movie!?” To which I must awkwardly reply, “She did. It came out two months ago…” Fast forward five days where I stood in a comic shop behind a stack of Wonder Woman issues that I could barely see over. I rent a subscription from the man behind the counter, and IRead More →

america

Wonder Woman in America & Abroad Wonder Woman has been a hit of the early summer and while she has met with challenges in other countries, she has been America’s darling (again) for the last month. Wonder Woman has always had great popularity in the United States. She was created here, and her comics and stories are widely read here. Her creator, William Moulton Marston, created her to save America. In “The Origin of Wonder Woman” Athena tells Queen of the Amazons, Queen Hippolyte that, “American liberty and freedom must be preserved. … America, the last citadel of democracy, and of equal rights for women,Read More →

Bullets and Bracelets? In my last post, I praised Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman for its close alignment to the Wonder Woman comics. I felt this way until I realized how Diana hadn’t disguised herself to play in the Amazon games in the movie. These games would determine which Amazon would be sent back into the world of men to bring justice. In Jenkins’ film, a lengthy training sequence that shows Diana’s desire to be trained. Her training leads to a dramatic moment when she decides to leave Themyscira because she must, because the Amazon principles require her to go. Interestingly, no other Amazon volunteers toRead More →

fight

The Fight for Superheroines Remember that time Jennifer Garner was Elektra? Or the time Halle Berry was Catwoman? Everyone understands if the answer is no. Superheroine movies are often ruined by poor casting and poor writing. More often they are ruined by a poor understanding of the character and her universe. This was a particular concern when the 2017 Wonder Woman was announced and slated to play the Amazon warrior was a woman known for her role in the Fast and the Furious franchise. Wonder Woman has a complex history; at least two origin stories in her main title series (now 76 years old) andRead More →

The Cover of Wonder Woman 184

In “Introducing Wonder Woman” William Moulton Marston builds the foundation of Wonder Woman mythology—of which one of the cornerstones is the Amazon origin story. According to the queen of the Amazons and Wonder woman’s mother, Hippolyte, Hercules was insulted by barbs that even he could not vanquish the Amazons, so he traveled (with his army) to Ancient Greece to battle them and secure his reputation as unbeatable (Marston 13). Although Hippolyte bests Hercules, he steals the Magic Girdle (gifted to her by Aphrodite) and enslaves the Amazons (Marston 13). According to Hippolyte, “Aphrodite, angry at me for having succumbed to the wiles of men, wouldRead More →

transformations

Please welcome to the site our newest ambassador, Katherine Olson. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Union Institute & University. She is currently interested in Wonder Woman, feminism, and culture. For The Geek Embassy, she will be writing about comics, looking especially at the Amazon princess and other powerful female characters. Please welcome her to the site and enjoy this glimpse into her transformations through comic book narrative. ~Regina Transformations: From Betty and Veronica to Wonder Woman I grew up in a Betty and Veronica world. The convenience store near the housing projects where I lived stocked only Archie comics, so I read them. EvenRead More →