|The Original Wonder Woman I prefer|
Wonder Woman has always been my favorite comic book hero, or more appropriate to this message, heroine. It wasn't until the age of seven in 1969 that this blogger started reading comic books, but the first one was Wonder Woman, circa 1950 (or around that time).
What attracted this small boy at that time was seeing an image that the World did not present: of this obviously strong and yet (and in retrospect it's easier to see this) attractive woman doing things like lifting cars and throwing men. And she did it while putting on a costume that said "I represent America!" So it should come as no surprise that I'm not in favor of the newest look for Wonder Woman.
Not surprisingly, reading Wonder Woman circa 1950, my image of the ideal woman was formed a very long time ago. Whatever woman I was with, and regardless of color, had to look something
like that and have at least near-Wonder Woman level of confidence. Lifting cars wasn't a real consideration.
When the Wonder Woman
TV show was introduced in 1975, I was excited, but eventually deeply disappointed. I expected Diana Prince on TV to look like the Diana Prince of the 1950s comics: with curves and muscle. Instead, I got the lovely but not at all muscular Linda Carter.
And while I liked Linda Carter as Wonder Woman, it was more because I had no choice. No where else could you see Wonder Woman on TV. It was at that point, I became aware that Wonder Woman was a slave to male fears of women as expressed in how she was drawn.
William Moulton Marston, who created Wonder Woman and drew her, was not afraid of an obviously strong woman, or he would not have created one. But that's not true for the men who've drawn and written Diana Prince since then.
From the failed 1974 Cathy Lee Crosby Wonder Woman who was not strong at all, to the newest creation released this week, men have dared to give us the real, undoubtedly strong, Wonder Woman of the 1950s.
What does that say about American Men, of which I'm one? Not much that's good. It says we're afraid of strong women so we take that away from them every chance we get. Take the new Wonder Woman. She looks like a lean female athlete who might run for exercise but can't lift a car, let alone throw it. She looks vulnerable, and like she's neurotic. And she's not really into America because the flag-themed costume is gone. That bothers me too.
|The New Wonder Woman of 2010|
There's nothing wrong with flying the American flag for good purposes, like showing a strong woman helping people, which is what Wonder Woman does. Why does Superman get to keep his same look, and the red, white, and blue colors, and tights that he's got no business wearing in public? Why not give Superman a makeover? Do the men who draw Superman like that look? I have to ask, because I don't like it. I was never into Superman; Wonder Woman for always for me.
I can see where DC Comics J. Michael Straczynski as writer and Jim Lee as artist are prepping Wonder Woman for the movies, and for Comic-Con in San Diego later this month. It will make for an interesting Comic-Con, for sure, as Wonder Woman purists like myself butt heads with the, well, lovers of the new, weak Wonder Woman. (Just have her throw a car, or an airplane. Something to make me happy.)
But man, I want the Wonder Woman of the 1950s, much as we're going to get the Captain America of World War II in that upcoming movie.
Maybe I should write my own Wonder Woman Movie and make her the strong woman she was in the 50s, because it's clear to me that since then, too many of her artists and writers fear a really strong female image.