Why We Love Wonder Woman…
It is 1941, and eminent psychology professor and inventor, William Moulton Marston, radically shakes up the male dominated market of Superhero comics with his charismatic and compelling creation – Wonder Woman, unleashed in the progressive pages of All Star Comics #8, Diana was an instant hit, and less than a year later the seminal character received her very own ongoing comic-book series, which is still being published monthly to this day, almost eight decades on from her groundbreaking inception.
It is 1982, and a nine year old Batman fanatic opens his eyes to a whole new and enlightening world outside of the grimy, corrupt streets of Gotham City, transcending the grim, driven, dark angel of justice known as The Batman, and accepting into his other (comic book) reality a much more virtuous and progressive character. A simple gift from his mum would ultimately turn into a lifelong (but wholesome) obsession, with Wonder Woman helping to not only sate a young imagination with fantastic tales of heroism, mythological monsters and warrior women, but ultimately also help guide his future precepts, and tenets.
I, of course, am that nine year old Batfan, and though the above statement of receiving guidance from a fictional character on moral precepts may sound corny, it’s also true! You see, even though much of our growth mentally and morally is instigated through parentage, friendships and schooling, we are also heavily influenced by (especially now) the fictional worlds we reside in, be that video-games, novels, movies and, of course comic-books.
My comic-book upbringing, strangely, mirrors that of my actual upbringing, and, no, that does not mean my dad ran around in tights, a pointy eared mask and fought crime, but he did share similarities to the caped crusader. He was a driven, but kind man, a member of the British parachute regiment who received the military cross for his act of heroism in rescuing injured members of his squad from a minefield, like the Batman, he was a hero that I looked up to. My mum, again has always been a kind and gentle soul with a love of animals and people, whom has never a bad word to say about anyone, she is also a feminist and rights activist, she also is my hero. Batsy and Wondy have always felt like perfect fictional counterparts to my parents, and that connection between real world and fiction has what’s really led to comic-books holding a special place in my essence.
My adoration of the Themysciran Titan not only derives from my affection for comic-books and a long-standing fascination of Greek mythology, but also my love of strong women in all forms of narrative fiction, and reality, in fact I have always preferred kick-arse female fighters in my video-games and movies and most certainly comics. I have over the years here in the Precinct written about the female influences in my life, my love of martial arts films stems mostly from my youth and watching fantastic fighting female furies like Moon Lee and Cynthia Rothrock reverse the tropes and kick everyone’s arses in film, and don’t get me started on the myriad female superheroes outside of Diana that I adore.
Ultimately though, I look up to Wonder Woman because she stands for everything I personally believe in, social justice, diversity and equity. Fairness, equality and emancipation are tenets that we should all aspire to, and Wonder Woman was, is, and always shall be a golden beacon of hope held up to shine her light on the philosophical theory of a fair and equal society. Long may she reign!