Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston, who was also a doctor. A psychologist, I think. Anyway, he also invented what became the polygraph, the lie detector test. And what's Wonder Woman's weapon? The Golden Lasso, which is unbreakable. And if you're tied up in it, you are compelled to speak the truth. You can't lie. Interesting.

I've read that there's quite a lot of bondage subtext in those old Wonder Woman strips. She constantly ties up villains, or gets tied up herself. One article I read said that her creation was tinctured by Marston's being a psychologist. He's said to have mixed the bondage/Amazon woman/pin-up girl sexual appeal of a woman with the girl-next-door sensibility, and that this is why Wonder Woman is the only major female comic character to have endured the decades (she was created in the late '30s, I think), and remain a pop culture icon of sorts.

Just wondering about Wonder Woman because I've been enjoying the new creative team on her book, led by writer Greg Rucka. One of the interesting things he mentioned in an interview in preparation for the gig was that he had to research a lot because Wonder Woman by default is a kind of feminist icon, and the character has gone through several permutations over the decades because feminism itself has changed through the decades, and she has to "change" in kind to represent her context.

I was also wondering if this applied to Mars Ravelo's Darna, supposedly a carbon-copy Wonder Woman, but with different origins that tie her in to a socio-political context inherent in the third world. Who even remembers Darna now? The recent mini-series Mango Comics published didn't really show off her uniqueness, in my eyes. What is her significance to the common Filipina? Especially in this day and age?

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