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A New History of Wonder Woman

13 Dec 2014 13:55 #39368 by brantley
A New History of Wonder Woman was created by brantley
www.nytimes.com/2014/12/14/books/review/...nder-woman.html?_r=0

Her creator was one strange dude. But he left a legacy...
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13 Dec 2014 14:57 - 13 Dec 2014 15:00 #39369 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic A New History of Wonder Woman
Strange dude, as in unusual, but the creative arts are full of people with non-conventional lifestyles. I've read various bios of Marsten before, but this book seems to speculate further into how the early women's movement was assisted (or co-opted) by Marsten. Did he really believe that femininity was a solution to hatred and war, which was exclusively perpetuated by men at the time? Or was this just a fetish of his?

The time was the late 30's, the Great Depression is still hanging on and Hitler and hIs National Socialism are sweeping Europe. Americans want no part of any of that, but its getting very hard for the average American to believe we can stay out of the war. Roosevelt is doing everything he can to get us into it. And then, after long preparation, a new comic book about a powerful but feminine superheroine (which wasn't even a word then) springs into the pages of the comics, wrapped in the American flag, to save men from hatred and war.

The first issue hits the streets in December 1941. A month that lives in infamy for most Americans.

Marsten was nothing if not a master of timing.

The question for today, and any re-imagining of WW, is how much of that origin will resonate with modern readers and viewers. The idea of women saving the world from the hatred and war of men. Today, men and women are far more alike than in 1941. And the idea that women can magically save the world from the ravages of men isn't remotely a topic of discussion, either from practicality or political correctness. Especially by flying around in (what was for the day) an incredibly revealing, sexy outfit while displaying physical strength that far exceeded any man save Superman.

I mean, how far would Hilary get as a Presidential candidate by offering to "save the world from the hatred and wars of men." She might very well be the hawk in the room.

I suspect a massive reimagining of WW in the movies is what we will get instead, where WW is just as capable of violence against the "bad guys" as are the rest of our modern superheroes. And, of course, for political correctness, the bad guys will be aliens from beyond -- the one demographic unit that has no political toes to step on.

If any element of Marsten's vision remains, it will come in some scene where WW tries to keep Batman (or even Supes) from kicking the wrong person's butt, and instead focus on kicking alien butt.

Shadar

brantley wrote: www.nytimes.com/2014/12/14/books/review/...nder-woman.html?_r=0

Her creator was one strange dude. But he left a legacy...

Last edit: 13 Dec 2014 15:00 by shadar.

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14 Dec 2014 21:12 #39391 by brantley
Replied by brantley on topic A New History of Wonder Woman
Or will the WW come to stand only for wishy-washy?

--Brantley

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14 Dec 2014 22:20 #39392 by castor
Replied by castor on topic A New History of Wonder Woman

shadar wrote: Strange dude, as in unusual, but the creative arts are full of people with non-conventional lifestyles. I've read various bios of Marsten before, but this book seems to speculate further into how the early women's movement was assisted (or co-opted) by Marsten. Did he really believe that femininity was a solution to hatred and war, which was exclusively perpetuated by men at the time? Or was this just a fetish of his?

The time was the late 30's, the Great Depression is still hanging on and Hitler and hIs National Socialism are sweeping Europe. Americans want no part of any of that, but its getting very hard for the average American to believe we can stay out of the war. Roosevelt is doing everything he can to get us into it. And then, after long preparation, a new comic book about a powerful but feminine superheroine (which wasn't even a word then) springs into the pages of the comics, wrapped in the American flag, to save men from hatred and war.

The first issue hits the streets in December 1941. A month that lives in infamy for most Americans.

Marsten was nothing if not a master of timing.

The question for today, and any re-imagining of WW, is how much of that origin will resonate with modern readers and viewers. The idea of women saving the world from the hatred and war of men. Today, men and women are far more alike than in 1941. And the idea that women can magically save the world from the ravages of men isn't remotely a topic of discussion, either from practicality or political correctness. Especially by flying around in (what was for the day) an incredibly revealing, sexy outfit while displaying physical strength that far exceeded any man save Superman.

I mean, how far would Hilary get as a Presidential candidate by offering to "save the world from the hatred and wars of men." She might very well be the hawk in the room.

I suspect a massive reimagining of WW in the movies is what we will get instead, where WW is just as capable of violence against the "bad guys" as are the rest of our modern superheroes. And, of course, for political correctness, the bad guys will be aliens from beyond -- the one demographic unit that has no political toes to step on.

If any element of Marsten's vision remains, it will come in some scene where WW tries to keep Batman (or even Supes) from kicking the wrong person's butt, and instead focus on kicking alien butt.

Shadar



I suspect Mourseton was a teacher in metaphor kind of guy. I am not sure he really believed his wonder woman stuff, as pure idea but useful ones-

Kids read comic books, kids learn- Women can be strong, woman can be equal. These are pretty basic ideas-but well in the 40s not necessarily.By going after the 8 year olds you really can get them if you get the basic story going.

. By pushing it into science fiction you can emphasis the story and deflect element of criticism. And if these elements are in the basic kind of weird-the bondage, the power dynamics etc- there something that is the chance to confuse Fantasy With Reality. He didn't belive in Paradise island more then Shuster belived in Krypton, or Lovecraft in Cuthulu-its just you know stuff they wrote.

But unlike i think most of them he did want to change the world which is admirable. Golden Age Comics where a media no one really cared all that much-done a lot of research sometimes on how little anyone cared about them or there posterity-but it is admirable that someone did see them as teaching tools, as ways to make the world a better place.

Ahh most people lives in the bedroom are pretty strange if you look at that. ( and look at us)

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17 Dec 2014 13:19 #39423 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic A New History of Wonder Woman
A new creative team for the WW comic book has punched out their first issue, and some people don't think they are treating such an iconic character properly at all. I haven't read the issue myself, but here's the article. Doesn't sound good.

www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/1...a-big-step-back.html

Shadar

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17 Dec 2014 20:23 #39426 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic A New History of Wonder Woman

shadar wrote: A new creative team for the WW comic book has punched out their first issue, and some people don't think they are treating such an iconic character properly at all. I haven't read the issue myself, but here's the article. Doesn't sound good.

www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/1...a-big-step-back.html

Shadar


I haven'r read it either, but I feared something like this might happen. As controversial as it was I think that the Chiang-Azzarello at least had the balls to try something new with WW. Considering that the DC is trying to push themselves back on many of the new ideas introduced with the New52, I feared that it meant amore traditionalist creative team on WW.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)

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18 Dec 2014 05:14 #39434 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic A New History of Wonder Woman
I've bought the first two issues, and so far I'm not terribly happy with everything that is going on.

The art can be good, be half the time diana's face seems like she's 14 (and sometimes she even seems like a slightly older teenager). I'd have to go back and look at the first issue again, but I think the 2nd issue is better at making her seem like a woman.

But, I don't think the team (husband and wife) really have a beed on Diana yet, and it's just annoying. They've spent two issues where sure Diana can fight -- but she's shown to be hot headed, impulsive, mopey, and almost cracking under pressure. They have to mitigate this by other characters (men, Superman) saying things like "you're the strongest person I know, but you're under a lot of stress..." So they try with words to say she's strong -- but then spend the entire story to say she's not capable -- she's not keeping up with her obligations (in any sphere).

They can show her being fierce in combat one second -- but in the first issue she rashly attacks swamp thing and almost immediately gets her ass handed to her. This issue she's shown tearing into some mechanical birds, and in one scene sparing with Superman. but that's downplayed by showing her drenched in sweat and saying she has to stop because she's tired, while Superman is all calm and cool (like it was no big deal).

I want to read a comic about a Wonder Woman who is powerful and capable. She might be a warrior, but she's not rash, and she doesn't just blindly attack someone who she knows. And she sure as shit should be able to knock superman around the practice yard.

A few tweaks in the art and the story telling, and the arc could be good. But I'm not sure that they see anything wrong with the story.....
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