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WONDER WOMAN: A Woman for the Ages.
December 9, 2014 By Steve Eyre
WONDER WOMAN: A woman for the ages.
They say practice makes perfect but once in a deep blue moon, lightening strikes and something is perfect first time out. So it was with the first casting of Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman was created by psychologist, inventor and comic book writer Charles Moulton (1893-1947) in 1941. He wanted, he said, “to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman”( Its said he based the character of the two women in his life, his wife Elizabeth and Olive Byre who lived with the couple in a type of liberal triumvirate)
I’d say he got it just about right.
She made her first appearance in All Star Comics in 1941 and went on to star in Sensation Comics, her own Wonder Woman comic and became a member of of the Justice Society and Justice League super teams.
When in the early 1970s TV producers were looking for an actress to play Wonder Woman on the small screen, their task seemed daunting. Where would they find a beautiful, tall, curvaceous brunette who could act.
Fortunately they didn’t have to look too far.
Actress Lynda Carter was making her name in TV shows like Starsky and Hutch and had won the Miss World USA beauty pageant in 1972.
She was, for all the world, the epitome of Wonder Woman as depicted in the comics over the previous 30 years. The show, with its marvellous theme tune, ran for 5 years and was a smash.
It introduced the Amazonian Princess to a new generation and broader spectrum of fans and cemented her place as a feminist icon.
The show had quite an affect on me. Not just because I was a comic book and superhero fan and not only because it coincided with the time when I was a hormonally charged teenager who liked to look at beautiful women.
It had a more profound effect. Being raised in the 60s and 70s in the working class streets of northern England, I inhabited a world of mysogonistic male chauvinism and sexism, where men went out to work and women stayed at home and looked after the kids.
There were no strong female role models in my real world or even on TV.
Then came Wonder Woman. Principled, compassionate, intelligent and as powerful as any other superhero but for all that she was unmistakably all woman.
Be still my beating heart!
A few years ago I was fortunate enough to meet legendary artist Walt Howarth, who painted the covers of the annuals based on TV series from the 60s to the 80s. He was at a convention selling signed prints of some of the covers, including this one of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman.
I managed to persuade him to sell me the original painting and got his blessing to reproduce it as
a limited edition print. It became one of my prize possessions and I never got round to reproducing it.
Now I have beautiful prints limited to 1000 numbered pieces, each with a WOS certificate of authenticity. I don’t know what I’m doing with them yet but I’m sure our creative team will think of something.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Lyda Carter after one of her dinner shows in NewYork a couple of years ago.( as well as everything else she sings like an angel.)
She was charming, engaging and still impossibly gorgeous; and this gives me a thought.
We all know that Gil Gadot is to play Wonder Woman in the achingly anticipated Batman vs Superman film next year but it will only be a cameo and won’t go deeply into her origin.
That will be explored in the Wonder Woman movie a couple of years later. A crucial character in her origin story will be Hippolyta, Wonder Woman’s mom and Queen of the Amazons.
Who could possibly be a better choice to play her than the first screen Wonder Woman.
WONDER WOMAN FOR HYPPOLYTA !!!
I feel a viral campaign coming on.
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