parenting babble

The Evolution of Wonder Woman Through Generations

When it comes to comic characters, there is only one all three of us love: Wonder Woman. Every generation, Wonder Woman (AKA Diana Prince) seems to reinvent herself, morphing and shifting into what the world needs her to be. entered WWII. When the world first met Wonder Woman, she had the power of the Lasso of Truth. Wonder Woman was such a successful character she garnered her own stand-alone comic book by the summer of 1942. In 1975, my generation’s Wonder Woman arrived. In the ’70s- era TV show, Wonder Woman was sophisticated, smart, romantic, and brave. She was also incredibly marketable, and I know many friends who felt empowered as kids in their Wonder Woman under-roos or bathing suits. Wonder Woman loved her job, and she was good at it. Seeing a glamazon have so much enjoyment in doing a job well done, even if that job was taking to task bad guys, was eye-opening. Could there actually be a job for me in my adult life as satisfying as Wonder Woman’s job? While my son has seen Wonder Woman in a few Justice League cartoons, if you asked him who Wonder Woman is, he would tell you she’s a LEGO character. Her message of equality exists simply by being on equal footing with other male characters. Over the years Wonder Woman has seen many makeovers. The original comic featured the character in a red breast plate and blue shorts with white stars. Later she seemed to have on an American flag, star-spangled skirt. Ann Matsuuchi, who wrote extensively about the 1972 “Women’s Lib” Issue of the magazine, revealed, “In her meetings with the comic book publisher, Steinem complained that the removal of costume and trappings was a shameful disempowering of a beloved female superhero.” Wonder Woman’s powers were restored thanks to Gloria’s lobbying. The double W logo on Wonder Woman’s chest first appeared in 1982, the ’90s brought about HUGE boobs, and in 2010 she put on some pants. Jodi wrote five issues of the comic in 2007. But, of course she’s a sex object! If she wasn’t, she wouldn’t dress like that! And she’s sexy! Power is sexy! Strength is sexy! However, the flip side to that is that it’s also scary to a lot of people who are threatened by women who can think and act for themselves. Wonder Woman not only got a new costume (a throwback to one of her original costumes), but she also got an entirely new backstory where she was the daughter of Zeus and the God of War. This storyline never jived with me, as I don’t love the aggressive elements played into the plot. The New 52 reign is now, thankfully, coming to an end and a brand new creative team, David Finch and Meredith Finch, is taking over Wonder Woman. In one of the first interviews with Meredith and David Finch, David made the awful mistake of saying Wonder Woman was not a feminist. “We want her to be a strong — I don’t want to say feminist, but a strong character. While my son currently only has a LEGO character for reference, in 2016 his Wonder Woman will be Gal Gadot. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Last June, Warner Bros. Today, over 70 years since her birth, Wonder Woman is considered the perfect icon of feminism. However, with so many of us looking to her to be our cover girl, I have to wonder if she’s doing us a disservice by constantly changing and reinventing herself. I appreciate many of the evolutions of her character, but there are times when I wish the writers and artists would let Wonder Woman be. For my mother’s generation she was created to show strength is more than brute force, it is also humanity. Lynda Carter has said she “never viewed her empowerment as an attack on men but rather as representing women as equals. To this day I view the character as a voice for equal rights for all.”
I hope my son’s generation is able to continue to feel the influence of Wonder Woman’s message of equality, honesty and justice. It would be amazing if both boys and girls could see her as a character to aspire to, the same way she inspired me. The Untold Story of American Superheroines:

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