Wonder Woman has made a huge big screen debut. Patty Jenkin`s epic film has been doing fantastic box office and it has brought a new look and new interest to this almost seventy year old superhero.
But how did she originally come to be. Why was it that DC comics decided to include a female superhero to accompany their male heroes, Superman and Batman?
“That story is fascinating and a little disturbing,” says M. D. Jackson. “Most people don`t know the history of the character and how she came to be the way they know about Superman and Batman. Her behind the scenes origin story is actually kind of messed up.”
M. D. Jackson’s article in the debut issue of Dark Worlds Quarterly outlines some of the weird history of Wonder Woman’s origins.
“The Suffragette movement was still a vital force back in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s and some intellectuals were strongly behind the early women’s movement, particularly one psychologist named William Moulton Marston.
“Marston has been credited with inventing the polygraph – the lie detector. He was a psychologist with very strong ideas and a very unconventional personal life. He lived in a polygamous/poly-amorous relationship with his wife, Elizabeth and one of his students, Rose Byrne, the niece of Margaret Sanger, one of the most important feminists of the 20th century.”
Marston was also a bit… kinky. And some of that kink tended to find its way into the early Wonder Woman comics. “The secret of woman’s allure,” Marston once said, is that “Women enjoy submission—being bound.”
Bondage was a subject of great interest for Marston. He was into bondage for personal and ideological reasons which he discussed at some length in his theoretical writings. You could almost characterize Marston as being an early proponant of the BDSM lifestyle.
Controversy dogged the Wonder Woman comic right from the beginning and throughout the history of the comic some of that controversy has never gone away. Wonder Woman is a polarizing figure caught between being a representative of the feminist ideal to being merely a comic book pin-up.
“Some fans want the character to embody the best aspects of the modern woman, while others spend inordinate amounts of time discussing exactly how big her boobs should be.” Jackson says
“The whole history of the Wonder Woman comic is really an ironic commentary on the place of women in the world today. Wonder Woman embodies the dilemma of a woman today. She is an icon of female power in a male world and yet at the same time she finds herself having to behave and dress in certain ways to make others (mostly men) happy.”
You can read the entire article Wonder Woman: Relevent or Ridiculous by M. D. Jackson in the debut issue of DARK WORLDS QUARTERLY.