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 Artemis
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 […]”
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 different
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.
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 I
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,
Guest Contributor, Nicole Tanner, host of the Gaming with the Moms podcast and lifelong fan of Wonder Woman, explores her emotional reaction to the recent Wonder Woman movie. It’s easy to overlook the significance of representation that we see in this film. Nicole’s piece reminds us that having a well rounded, fully developed female character moved so many people (myself included). Enjoy! ~Regina What Wonder Woman Means to Me I just saw Wonder Woman for the fifth time. I know that probably sounds ridiculous. It even sounds ridiculous to me, but the Wonder Woman character and the current movie featuring her serve a larger purpose
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 to
TGE Watches Wonder Woman Summer continues and the biggest summer movie of the year is the feature on the latest episode of TGE Watches!* <do doo dut do> Wonder Woman! <do doo dut do> But seriously folks, this summer’s Wonder Woman movie has been the topic of much debate and discussion all over the internets. As a long time fan with a very serious personal connection to Wonder Woman, I’ll be the first to admit that I was worried how well my favorite Amazon princess might be treated on the big screen. I’m thankful for the outcome. As usual, we discuss the movie in great detail.
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, would