Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
I have to admit this place is impressive. I am standing in the large marble building which is the Hall of Justice, headquarters for the Justice League of America. Now like an genre savvy fan I know that this is just the earth bound facade for the League, that the real work is done high above the Earth in a satellite called The Watch Tower, but hey I am thankful they let me in this far. Scanners check and recheck the one item in my red back pack.
My escort is a crimson colored Robot called the Red Tornado. He shows me the reflecting pools and the many monuments to the League’s accomplishments. It is all done in a neo-classical style that is both overwhelming awe inspiring, yet simplistic enough to make it seem like it’s not one giant shrine to self-aggrandizement.
The Tornado leads me to a pair of large oak doors, “Wonder Woman will see you now.” As he ushers me in, I see the heroine is actually taking a moment to fill out forms. She beckons me to set down, “Just filling out an after action report on the latest battle with Lex Luther. They always leave out the paper work part in the comics.” She quips.
Originally I had wanted this interview to take place in her home of Paradise Island, but I got a very polite yet stern response that no one with an XY chromosome pattern was allowed there so I settled for a meeting her in the Hall.
I really don’t have words to describe how beautiful Wonder Woman is up-close. Sure we have all seen the pictures, but in person she is amazing. Statuesque is probably the best description, maybe goddess like. With raven black hair, and perfect skin you can see she was blessed by Aphrodite. Batman just plain out intimidated me, but Wonder Woman makes me revert back to a helpless child with her beauty. How can anyone commit a crime when she is in the room? I stammer at first.
Then something happens, she is still gorgeous, but it is like she dials down the charisma or something, I can at least think now and try to apologies for my behavior. She slides the laptop away and replies. “Don’t worry about it I have that effect on people, even some heroes, Wally still hits on me even after all these years. Where do you want to start with this interview?”
A little bit more composed I reply, “How…how about the beginning, what is your origin story?”
She nods and thinks before she responds. “Well of course you know I came from Paradise Island. My mother is the queen, Hippolyta, originally the story went she made me out of clay and a group of deities placed in it the soul of the unborn baby of the first pregnant woman killed by a man. Later on it was ret-coned that I was the child of Hippolyta and Zeus. I left the island as the ambassador the world of men.”
“Now I am fascinated by your other father, William Moulton Marston, Tell me about him?” I ask.
She looks me in the eyes and continues “Well he was a world famous psychologist who invented the systolic blood pressure test, a fore runner of the lie detector. Many people believe my magic lasso of truth was a sly self-tribute. In 1940 he was quoted in an article about the unused potential of comic books as learning tools, he became what would turn in to DC’s education consultant. He submitted a proposal for a hero that would fight with love instead of violence.”
“But besides the lie detector he got a lot of other crap under the radar didn’t he?” I ask.
Wonder Woman blushed. “Well…yes…He was also a polygamist, whose wives seemed to have a mutual relationship, so there may have been a lesbian sub-context with Paradise Island from the start. He may have been involved in bondage, and that may have been the origins of me losing my powers if I was tied up with my own lasso. But he was also a progressive in ways and believed that a matriarchy would be bet before society than the male dominated warrior world of the 40’s. He also believed that submitting yourself to something or someone in love, was the truest way to happiness. So with that knowledge and looking back some of my adventures can be seen in a rather risqué light.”
“But he also did something that guaranteed that you would survive when other female heroes of the World War Two era didn’t.”
She nods at that statement. “Yes he had a deal that up until the mid-eighties, the rights would revert back to him, if DC didn’t publish at least four Wonder Woman titles a year. That kept me in the market place when there female titles dried up.”
“I get confused because you are supposed to have Greek origins, yet your costume is obviously American.” I admit to her.
She just shrugs. “Well obviously Marston in his own ways was a patriot, and it is reflected in my original costume. There had been some attempts to explain it. One story is that Steve Trevor’s mother’s body washed ashore on Paradise Island and she had a US Military uniform and the design for my costume was based on her patches, or later it is explained that it is all a coincidence, that the color red was based for the on the Amazonian legend of the hunter’s red moon, that the white stars are in a dark blue field for night and the golden eagle is actually a symbol for Athena. But I think the symbolism is important. I am now an American Icon, just as much as the originally alien Superman. Now I am the representation of American ideals. It shows that I took on the values that America and the good things that the country stands for.”
I change the subject “I have always thought the coolest superhero vehicle has been your invisible jet, but it is hardly used anymore, why?”
“Well.” She explains “Originally it was a transparent plane. To Marston it was symbolic that a woman could travel the militant and warring male society unnoticed and untouched. Then it became a jet as jets became the pediment type of aircraft. But then I was given the power to drift on the winds, and it became less necessary, then when I was give the ability for complete flight it was shelved except for space flight and time travel.”
I take the one item in my back pack a copy of Wonder Woman 215, where she is riding a black Pegasus. “Is the reason we don’t have more pictures of you riding a Pegasus? Is it that it is so amazingly cool the world would explode because it couldn’t handle the pure awesomeness of it?”
She rolls her eyes, “Yeah whatever?” I then get her to sign my copy of the comic book.
As I put the comic away I tell her. “My first impressions of Wonder Woman were as a kid, and watching the old Lynda Carter TV series. But I could never understand how it went from World War Two to modern times…I mean modern times like in the late seventies.”
She nods then explains. “Well see the show started on ABC, it was a moderate success but the network fronted a big expense being a period piece. When ABC waffled on picking up the series, CBS agreed to pick it up if it was moved to a more modern time to cut the production costs. There was even an in show explanation that after the war I went back to Paradise Island and came back thirty years latter. I being immortal didn’t get older, and Lyle Wagner who played the Original Steve Rogers, now played his identical son Steve Jr.’
“Oh.” I say. “But during the seventies in the comic books, you were no longer the star spangled hot pant wearing heroine, you were depowered and made more into a super-spy.” I point out.
“Oh yes.” She explained. “A lot of feminist where upset about DC taking my powers. But at the time super heroes weren’t really selling, even with a TV tie in. So DC striped me of my powers, temporally, and I became more of an Emma Peel type character.. A female James Bond if it were. I get why a lot feminist and comic book lovers would hate those stories, but at the time, traveling the world fighting evil, it was still a good time for me personally.”
“Speaking of fan hatting. Let’s talk about the aborted David Kelly TV show.”
“Well when all is said and done, it is probably better that didn’t get on the air.” She admits. “I mean it wasn’t the “should I wear pants thing”. It was that it didn’t pay any respect to the accepted cannon. I get they wanted to take me down different paths but…Me torturing people, having three identities, one known as wonder woman none costumed ID and another one to just hang out in, and crying while I gorge myself on ice cream, it would have taken away from all I did before.”
“You are going to be in Batman V Superman, before you get your own movie, what do you think about that?” I ask.
She takes a moment to think about her answer. “DC is behind Marvel in the movie biz, so they’re going to follow the proven Avenger’s route, I get that. But the question is no longer if I am going to get my own movie but when?”
“Speaking of Super Man?” I hint.
She frowns she has been asked this question to many times. “OK, OK yes Clark and I are dating. Now that they have re-coned him no longer married to Louis, it makes sense. We have a lot in commons, we are both foreigners who are making our way in the US. We both love our adopted country. We have a lot in common besides our jobs. It is like we are the most popular kids in a high school, even if we didn’t start dating people would say we were.’
“Now you have a rouges gallery that nearly rivals Bat Man, care to tell us about some of them?”
“Well sure there is Cheeta. Who was also created by Marston, she was originally a debutante who suffered a mental break down and created a more powerful alternative personality that tries to kill me to prove she is strong, but now is an archeologist after my magic artifacts like my golden lasso. Then there is Dr. Psycho, a crazed psychic dwarf, who tortures women because of his deep misogyny. Aries the literal god of war, and…” Wonder Woman thinks a little more. “Giganta another Marston creation, who originally had brutish strength, and she was attempting to prolong her life by placing her soul in my body. Then in the TV show Super Friends, she get the power to grow in size and has kept it ever since.”
“But there is one villainess who always make me go Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Tell me about Blue Snowman.” I ask.
“OK.” Wonder Woman Sighs, “She is kind of Power Girls enemy more than mine. She dresses up like a male snowman. She has this power of blue snow or something freezes people…Anyway she falls in love with the alien Vartox and gets eaten by a space bug that Vartox brought to Earth to impress PG, end of story.”
“OK.” I say changing the subject. “One last question. Are you a god role model?”
“I am a great role model.” She explains.” I stand for love, and for standing up for yourself, I prove a female can be just as strong and powerful as a male. I stand for what is good in America.”
And in her star spangled glory I can’t argue with that.