The Winner Is…Wonder Woman!
Weekly poll article for May 2nd 2010. When you think of female comic book characters, chances are Wonder Woman is within your top three thoughts (if not your very first thought).
Wonder Woman has certainly stood the test of time having been continuously published since 1941. She was created by William Moulton Marston and became an instant classic. Her powers include super speed, super stamina, and super agility while also possessing animal-like cunning and a natural rapport with animals (sometimes shown as the ability to communicate with animals). As her timeline has progressed she has actually gained and lost a multitude of powers I’m not listing here. Her arsenal of super goodies includes the Lasso of Truth (it has the power to make all ensnared by it to tell the truth), indestructible bracelets, and an invisible airplane. It really is no wonder why she was picked as everyone’s favorite in this week’s poll.
Having been created during WWII, she was initially depicted fighting Axis military forces along with a variety of supervillians and supervillainesses. After the wartime passed, she was still often depicted fighting military forces, but also got an update from certain writers and was set into more modern surroundings. Wonder Woman (real name Diana Prince) has been shown in superhero teams such as Justice Society (1941) and Justice League (1960), and paired with Batman and Superman as a superhero “trinity” regarded as particularly significant in the DC universe. Marston once wrote: “Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world”. As a woman who is beautiful, strong, and intelligent I can see why she is considered a feminist icon and role model to young women and I think that Marston did an excellent job in portraying her according to his beliefs.
Wonder Woman is an Amazon (based upon Greek mythology) who triumphs over evil not with fists and firepower, but with love, peace, and sexual equality. According to early origin stories, she is destined to become “beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules, and swifter than Mercury.” Originally, her powers were bestowed to her by the Goddess Aphrodite, and she was the best of the Amazonian women and according to “Aphrodite’s Law” her powers would be stripped should she allow herself to be chained to a man. Later they changed her back story to state that Diana was formed from clay by the Queen of the Amazons. Her story changes here and there throughout her history, but the basic principles remain, that she is a superior athlete, acrobat, and fighter. Also, as an Amazon she has the ability to become whole once more after an injury or poisoning by becoming one with the Earth’s soil (but this is a ritual only to be used in the very direst of situations).
I mentioned her arsenal of goodies not long ago and just had to go into more detail about all of those. Those indestructible bracelets of hers are called Bracelets of the Aegis and were formed from the remnants of Zeus’s shield at the request of Athena. Aside from being indestructible, they also absorb energy from incoming attacks (like energy blasts etc.). Diana can slam the bracelets together to make a huge wave of force as well; it even made Superman’s ears bleed it was so powerful! Next up comes her Lasso of Truth (or Lariat of Hestia if you prefer) and it was forged by Hephaestus out of the Golden Girdle of Gaea. This weapon burns with the fires of Hestia causing all within its grasp to tell the truth. Only when truth itself is challenged can this weapon be broken, not even Hercules was capable of breaking it. It might just look fashionable, but Wonder Woman’s golden tiara doubles as a dagger, throwing weapon, and even a boomerang. Mystical in nature, it is so sharp it was even able to cut Superman. Her invisible airplane seems to have mixed origins; one origin states that it was a creation of Amazon technology while the other origin states that it is the winged horse Pegasus transformed. I personally like the latter of the two descriptions. Diana can control her invisible airplane with her mind, how awesome is that?
Fun Fact: William Moulton Marston also invented the polygraph… I think the Lasso of Truth was inspired by this.
One of my favorite appearances of her was in the 1975-1979 Wonder Woman TV series featuring Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. Lynda started out by winning Miss World USA in 1972 representing Arizona, and took acting classes afterward. Appearing in several other TV series as a small role, she hit fame only after her leading role as the superheroine. No other actress has been able to capture the essence that is Wonder Woman quite like Lynda Carter did. She was cunning, brave, intelligent, and gorgeous while at the same time holding onto a ladylike quality that gave her a total package that is untouchable.
In the series, the plot followed the original Wonder Woman plot fairly closely with Wonder Woman joining the military under the assumed name of Diana Prince. When I say fairly close, I mean that many aspects got dropped while some aspects remained. The back story including Greek myth was dropped in favor of conventional stories involving Nazis. One change from the comic in particular would actually become rather famous. In the TV series Diana Prince would twirl to transform into Wonder Woman, which was not a part of the comic books. Although it was not a part of the comics, it would later be added due to the popularity of the transformation on the TV series. According to Lynda, she actually suggested the twirling move herself!
Another thing I loved about the show was the comic book panel opener and starburst animations between commercials. These were unique for the time and really brought in that comic book feel to the show. I know I am pretty young to have seen the show (and I admit I don’t remember all the episodes that well) but when I was growing up we had a huge satellite dish in the back yard that picked up some stations that played older shows like Fantasy Island, A Family Affair, Batman and Wonder Woman. I watched these shows rather than “Saturday morning cartoons” whenever I was in Oregon with my dad. All in all, I adore Wonder Woman mostly because of this show and Lynda Carter, but I also have a respect for what the comic character represents.
Since I like a good amount of geeky things, I see a lot of people who try to portray Wonder Woman, and wish they could be cast if a new live action movie were to be released. Her long running history, powerful presence, and charm make her a popular cosplay icon, and she has millions of fans worldwide. There is also the fact that her costume is sexy in nature from the high cut bottom, to the low cut top, and of course the whip helps too. At any given convention for comics, cosplay, or video games you are likely to see a number of Wonder Women running about.
In my spare time I love watching G4TV, and one show in particular called “Attack of the Show”. One of the co-hosts of the show is always running around dressed as Wonder Woman every chance she gets, Olivia Munn. The point to her costumed antics is, of course, for humor but I think deep down she loves Wonder Woman and thought that the idea would be fun. She does admit that while wearing the costume, she actually feels more powerful! Olivia does state that she doesn’t like having to harness her boobs into all the costumes the network puts her in though… maybe that’s why she did Playboy? Lol. (She did not go completely nude though).While Munn looks pretty in the costume, I have to admit that she wouldn’t be my top pick for the role if the movie comes to fruition. Yep, I just said that as if there WILL be a movie… at the moment its mostly rumors, but many of Hollywood’s actresses have been talking about wanting the role for some time now, and in 2005 Joss Whedon was in charge of writing a script for it (although, sadly it wasn’t accepted). This information tells me there is going to be a new movie… it is just a matter of WHEN. I look forward to the day we get that long awaited teaser trailer!
Just for fun! I found this adorable custom My Little Pony on DeviantArt and had to share. It seems there is no limit to how far her influence reaches… even My Little Ponies have now donned her iconic costume. It is quite possibly the best adaptation of Wonder Woman ever!
For all my fashionista readers, check out this video of Tim Gunn (the mentor from Project Runway amongst other things) talking about superheroine costume design… I found it so entertaining and thought you should see it. This is part one, but the second part has now released on CrazySexyGeeks’ YouTube Channel now.
Like the Banner Image? Find it here.
So tell me… who would you pick as the next Wonder Woman… and why?