Astral

The Golden Age of Wonder Woman One of the most fascinating elements of Golden Age Wonder Woman are the tools available to her. “Mission to Planet Eros” introduces the reader to a number of fascinating tools that haven’t been mentioned before (Marston 1). The story opens with Diana Prince dressing for work by putting on earrings. She notes, “When I visited Venus for the Justice Society, Queen Desira magnetized these earrings with her lips. […] She said the earrings would give me magnetic hearing, and she could speak to me from Venus. I have a feeling she’s trying to contact me now—oh—my ears are tingling!”Read More →

Not Another New Year’s Resolution Post New Year’s Resolutions are a tried and trite trope.  When our planet returns to its arbitrarily determined starting point in its orbit around the sun we decide to start anew and resolve to do things that we quit, failed, or forgot to do in the past year.  New years symbolically have a tether in our brains to new beginnings, and I hate it.  I hate it because it’s trite and phony since we all try to do things that we hate doing.  Stop me if you heard these before. Pay my credit card bill on time Join a gymRead More →

celebrating

Celebrating Year One To celebrate Wonder Woman’s first year of publication, creator William Moulton Marston spins a tail that draws Diana Prince, Wonder Woman, and Steve Trevor back together. Only the love triangle between these three is transformed into a love square involving Dolly Dancer, a young woman Diana trails Steve to meet at the Bohemian Club (Moulton 59). When Diana lays eyes on the girl she notes “She isn’t as pretty as Wonder Woman. I wonder what Steve sees in her” (Moulton 59). This is the natural response when one follows the man she is interested in meet another woman, right? Well… No. TheRead More →

principle

Darwyn Cooke’s (with Dave Stewart) DC: The New Frontier introduces us to a new incarnation of Wonder Woman. In Chapter 4: Gods and Monsters, we see a newspaper story written by Clark Kent. The article, “Superman and Wonder Woman Ease Suffering for Indo-China” is accompanied by a photograph of Wonder Woman holding a girl waving a flag on her back (Cooke 80). The photograph is captioned, “Wonder Woman: WInning the hearts and minds of the disenfranchised” (Cooke 80). Importantly, the article tells us that “This administration would like to stress that their mission is humanitarian, not military, in nature.” We follow Superman through a battlefieldRead More →

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 →

bitter root

Bitter Root, a new comic series announced by Image Comics at Rose City Comic Con, promises an innovative approach to storytelling and social commentary. The story takes place in New York City during the Harlem Renaissance. It combines a monster hunting family with history and historical figures. Creators David Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene collaborated before on Iron Fist for Marvel Comics and come together to produce this dream project. To Cure or Kill? The story follows the Sangerye Family of “purifiers” who have an ancient magic able to cure monsters of their infection. The family falls into a civil war with lines drawn between thoseRead More →

motor crush

Motor Crush Rush Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing three comic book hotshots at Rose City Comic Con. Fortune favored me and I got a chance to talk to Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, And Babs Tarr about their latest offering from Image Comics: Motor Crush. When I went through the list of books available for interview, Motor Crush raced to the top because the premise seemed so unique and inherently feminist. Domino Swift is a woman of color competing in the dangerous world of moto racing. She lives her life perched between the official racing world, and dangerous street racing where she competesRead 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 →