I sat down to write and this essay ended up being about my all time favorite superhero: Wonder Woman. Five pages later, this is what I came up with:
My adoration of this character started when I was just a kid watching the Justice League cartoons. Wonder Woman was voiced by the fabulous Susan Eisenberg, and I remember being spellbound by her; awed by her strength, compassion, and loyalty. That adoration for the character never faltered—she was always at the back of my mind. The only girl on an all boy team, a woman who didn’t need any male assistance nor did she feel the need for a lover. Sure there was her crush on Steve Trevor, and later Batman, and most recently her love affair with Superman—but never once did she need them. There’s not a drop of dependency in her Amazon body.
Recently it was announced that she would be in Zach Snyder’s Superman sequel. At first I was happy—but that happiness only lasted a mere second or two. You may by wondering: “Why Lauren? As big a Wonder Woman fan as you are—you should be delighted!” I should be, but I’m very worried about how the character is going to be portrayed by actress Gal Gadot. Let’s start with a little bit of history first.
Wonder Woman came on the comic book scene in 1941. She enjoyed a wonderful run until the 50’s—because of a book called Seduction of the Innocent (which basically blamed comic books for juvenile delinquency), a comics code of ethics was adopted; Wonder Woman’s pro female message and mostly female cast led the author of the book to believe that she was a lesbian and promoting lesbianism. So she went from kicking some serious ass and going on these grand adventures to being a romance editor and being carried across streams by Steve Trevor. She fell on some hard times after the code of ethics was adopted, in the 60’s she was stripped of her powers and was going on these ridiculous spy-fy adventures. That is until the first Feminist Movement led by Gloria Steinem; the feminist of the Movement demanded that she get her powers back—with much reluctance their wish was granted and Wonder Woman became a symbol of female empowerment. Her character continued to be invigorated into the 70’s when Lynda Carter put on the golden tiara and lasso of truth in the television show. The show was a huge success, running for nearly four years, but after it ended the Amazon’s popularity started to slip a bit—despite continuing in the comics. Throughout the 90’s and today though, her popularity has increased significantly in the last 30 or so years. Thanks to the Justice League cartoons, DC Comics New 52 movement, and her ongoing romance with Superman Diana has experienced a little increase in popularity.
I wanted to give you that little bit of history because in order to really understand the character and how important she is to me—you need a little background.
The reason I am concerned about our new Wonder Woman appearing in the Man of Steel sequel is because I want so much for the cast and creative team to get her right. She’s not just some superhero with tits okay she’s so much more and she represents so much more than just a pretty face with superhuman strength. Wonder Woman was created to be an ideal woman: strength, compassion, humility, equality, and beauty.
Wonder Woman is strong—physically, mentally, and spiritually. She can bear the weight of anything, be it a two ton truck, a heavy decision, or a devastating loss. When she’s down she gets right back up and keeps on going no matter what, she keeps fighting and will fight to the death.
Wonder Woman is compassionate, she can empathize with people. She isn’t just for female power but for the community of people and their needs. She never goes in fists blazing like other superheroes, she tries to find alternate ways to solve problems before fighting despite her warrior’s training—fighting is always her last resort. She’s the embodiment of love and compassion, never judging or bullying.
Wonder Woman is humble—always reverent and respectful. She’s not arrogant about her powers or abilities but grateful for them; she knows that they are a gift that she could possibly loose. She is reverent towards the gods and is always respectful to those who are older and wiser—something we could all learn from.
Wonder Woman stands for equality. She doesn't just stand for women’s equality but the equality of all divine beings on this earth. She comes from an island where all are equal, and does not stand for a patriarchal society. Equality belongs to all beings.
Wonder Woman is beautiful. Thick, dark hair, big blue eyes, and a womanly figure that’s not unrealistic or subjected like most comic book heroines. Her beauty isn’t just physical—as cliché as it is to say, her true beauty is a combination of all of the things I’ve mentioned; that’s what makes her beautiful.
That is the Wonder Woman, the Diana Prince, which I have come to know and love. I want so much for this character to thrive on the big screen in a full length movie—she can handle her own, you just have to trust the character! The DC Universe animated film is still one of the most popular one they’ve made! It tells a brilliant story and it doesn’t try too hard to get you to like her because there’s no need for that: you adore her from the first moment you see her! If you’re going to do Wonder Woman you’ve got to do her right, and that’s not entirely difficult to do—it takes trust in the character and what she stands for.