Who is Wonder Woman? By Brett Jett.

March 26, 2012 3:26 pm 2 comments

She’s multi-faceted!

If you had to sum up WW in one accurate word, that’d be it. Why? Becuz she’s made up of many angles & parts, making it hard to pin her down to just one 1-word theme that would encompass her entire mythology. Even my WW script contains a line where Steve Trevor comments, “Whoa, Angel! You are just multi-faceted, aren’t ya?!”

Writer Gail Simone said that “She’s tough!”, both to write & in-story-wise. My reply to both would be “She’s multifaceted”. And becuz of this, she by far has been the most variously [mis]interpreted superhero ever. WW was created with an array of many different parts, in more ways than one…the outfit, powers, concepts, etc. Unlike Superman, who is mono simplistic & straightforward…from his outfit, to his basic mythos concept. So why so many complicated parts? WMM was piecing together a whole mythology, not simply as entertainment, but to capture people’s minds with a sense of relevancy by making for exciting drama that readers could learn from. Almost by fate, every element in WW had some significance or meaning behind it, due to each of his theories being perfectly matched to a myth element; and if there were none, he’d invent one. Hardly anything was arbitrary. And somehow every other aspect of WW ends up being multi-faceted too. Her multi-faceted personality makes her 3-dimensional. Her multi-faceted abilities & accessories make her tough in battle. All this imparts the lesson to readers that a truly balanced person is one who makes their many facets work in harmony for them. And unbeknownst to most women, multi-facetedness is one quality that makes females very attractive to men.

Also: Story-wise, she’s adaptable to many different kinds of genres, taking her to many realms, from the gritty urban streets to the planet Venus…as well, she not only tackles criminals, but helps the downtrodden, protests corrupt politicians, even advises hopeless romantics. So whoever will be making the first official WW movie will have their work cut out for them!

RWP, her multi-facetedness explains why she’s the most unique & thought-provoking comics character ever, and thusly the greatest female SH. Like the metaphor of molding Diana from clay, WW was far more thoroughly & specifically created than any other SH, with esoteric concepts that span many disciplines from psychology to sociology. And that “clay” has dried, so she isn’t malleable like Batman, since there’s only so many ways to interpret her without violating the basic idea of the character (which has happened) & turning her into a entirely different one with so much as a tweak in a key element of hers. For that basic idea carries specific concepts that tightly & non-negotiably ties her mythos elements all together. Compare this to other SHs: Are more straightforward & were created (by young comics writers) from simple concepts that are open to many valid interpretations (yet all still correctly identifiable as the same character) & can be undertaken by any subsequent writer as if they were his own. Despite her specific conception, WW can have several valid interpretations. The problem was that most writers had a hard time keeping track of all her facets & did not understand WMM’s esoteric concepts–that they don’t usually deal with in other SHs…Even some of WW’s most devoted aficionados miss some meanings…WMM was the only person who understood them all, hence WW was pretty much exclusively his character. All of this was the unfortunate result of WMM leaving us so soon and never getting around to publishing clearly defined guidelines that explain the agenda behind his entire WW mythos in detail. As a result, subsequent writers have created multiple (mostly invalid) interpretations, each having little in common with each other. They either misconstrue WW’s concepts or leave them out entirely in favor of the easier understood Classical Greek Mythology. Adding to the chaos are the many varied resultant [mis-]perceptions of WW by fans & casuals, which collectively affect her ever changing image. So due to WW being pimped around so many times, she’s ended up with many different (valid & invalid) faces, outfits, voices, personalities, genres, etc, all giving her even more “parts” than she already started out with! But what about WW herself? Its come to a point where she doesn’t have her own individual identity anymore! But she actually does. Throughout all the chaos, have you ever stopped to wonder who WW really is? Oh sure, we could rightly say that she’s really the original Marston incarnation, period. And thereby eliminating all other incarnations, from Kanigher’s to Perez’s. But bear in mind that, despite the many faces she’s had, WW is not a shape shifter or a mirror, hence neither is she a reflection of us nor simply a vessel. She was so specifically created that, since her arrival into this world, there had to have been a singular definite entity that entered into people’s minds and out from which came the many interpretations, be they faulty or true. So far what we know is that in creating WW, Dr. Marston simply opened the portal from the invisible world to our world which allowed this entity to slip through & first take shape as his original Alluring Amazon of the 1940′s. Its the same entity that would’ve inhabited a second WW manifestation had Dr. Marston lived to create such an update. And its the same entity that inhabits the modern WW in my screenplay. But who is she, this floating entity?…What does she want?…Where did she come from? This unifying inquiry will be like an ethereal spectre shadowing us as we explore her many facets and peel back all her layers one by one, until we arrive at the conclusion of that unifying question, “Who is Wonder Woman?”

But instead of traditionally first taking the outer layers & working toward the center, we shall start with her Core & work our way outward. For the answer to the question lies not so much in the Core, but in the unifying implications of all her many different facets.

PREVIEW OF FACETS:

*Core *Sexual Psychology *Greek Mythology *Yin/Yang *Feminism *Mysticism

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

*Aphrodite vs Ares *Mission: Truth, Justice, & Aphrodite’s Way *Bracelets *Wonder Woman name

*Symbols – Emblems – Outfit *Magic Lasso *Super Powers *Moonshadows of Diana

*Personality profile *Love life profile *Warrior & Poet *TRUTH….or, “What does ‘crap’ mean?”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

*Themes *Narrative Genre *Divine Comparisons *Allegories *Marston’s Mistakes…… & WARNING!

*Why people like her *Learning from her *Music *The Mistaken Sister

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

*Similes *Inspired contemporaries *Stolen Ideas: With All Due Recognition

*Other writers’ mistakes *Modernizing *Future

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

*Conclusion…her true identity.

**************************************************************************************************************************

 

THE CORE

Creator WMM loved pleasantness. An interesting fact about his maternal family, the Moultons, is that their family coat-of-arms is purple & gold, and features scalloped seashells and what appears to be a dove on the crest. Both of which are icons of Aphrodite. So who knows? Maybe his entire maternal family came from a culture of Aphrodite. They had an opera house named after them. And they also had a family trade working with molten metals as silversmiths & goldsmiths, which has obvious allusions to Hephaestus as well as the silver & gold metallic decor of Paradise Island. While his paternal family coincidentally has an allusion to Mars (Marston). But whether either of them were adamant Venusians or not, WMM certainly was; even before discovering the physio-psychology of love. He had disdain for discomfort, even when he contemplated suicide early in college. It was only after he discovered that pleasantness points the path to success that he really got into a life seeking pleasure & happiness, and annulled suicide with a new lease on life. He was a guy who appreciated the loving nature of all things Aphrodite…love, beauty, tenderness, peace-loving, submission, etc. And he found pleasure in women, whose femininity obviously embodied those Aphrodisial qualities. But its uncertain if his support of women was the result of his discovered gender theories, or if his theories simply helped back his preceded partiality to women. So when he was hired by All-American Publications in 1940 to help take comics out of the wartime venue & make them good for kids again, he of course recognized the need to incorporate such Aphrodisial feminine qualities in comics–which he recognized at the time were overly masculine in many ways from being overly violent to simply lacking love. Its the violent vigilantes & lawmen of the pulps whose cold hearted ideologies were very “WASP” & appetitively driven, not much unlike the villains they fought…this was joined by the superhero genre which was a bit more altruistic, but still very masculine & lacking tenderness. For in a world torn by the hatreds & wars of men, few people attempt altruism in the face of chaos. Then one day he was challenged by his boss to create a comicbook SH of his own. After which, he talked it over with his wife who suggested it’d be a female SH, and who even served as an early model of that SH as that era’s unconventional liberated woman. It was an opportunity for him to implement his theories, beliefs, & ideas into his own character. Thus began the conception of a revolutionary new kind of SH that was meant to make a difference by advancing the addition of those feminine qualities to the mix of largely love-devoid comics of the time, but in a way that was modeled after his psychological theories. The founding concept of his proposed neo SH was that she would have all the strength of a Superman and all the allure & feminine tenderness of a good, peaceloving & beautiful woman; one who would conquer not with fists or firepower, but with love. The rationale behind his revolutionary SH concept: Why love? Because love is the most important force in the universe. The Bible even says so.

WMM believed this too. Its as essential to a normal child as the breath of life. Its also something seriously lacking not only in comics but the world, as society seems to have forgotten its importance, while the ways of Ares seem to be dominating at the moment. And love is usually connected as a feminine concept, as shown by Aphrodite’s gender, therefore it was very appropriate to have presented this through an alluring woman character; as well as very appropriate for WMM to have used his maternal family name in his pseudonym for writing this comic. Why add masculine strength to feminine allure, rather than just any ol’ fairy powers to back her up? Becuz it solves the problem that hindered the promotion of such feminine qualities, which was society (including females themselves) despising women’s best qualities due to their deficiencies…namely lack of superior physical might. Also to remedy this societal sentiment, he made it so WW was super strong because of her feminine love nature, implying that there is strength in loving femininity, not weakness.

The result would be a superwoman who is superior to men in strength, who allures us with the natural feminine love appeal of a true woman, and who has the love-inspired altruistic qualities to use her strength to help others…the total package…WMM’s formula for promoting happiness through his own brainchild, of which this was the core concept. One that was designed to reach males by satisfying their inherent desire to be mastered by a stronger, beautiful, exciting girl/woman who loves them, and to reach females by getting them to embrace their better feminine qualities as having worth & not “sissified”; showing everyone that women can be effective SHs too while retaining their femininity.

Working within the comics industry at the dawn of the SH genre, WMM was instrumental in helping shape the new definition of heroics–along with Superman–by contributing this core concept which established a new kind of SH archetype based on altruism that binds great power to love & servitude to humanity rather than self-assertion–a definition that was less often replicated, but later frequently borrowed by, & slightly inspired in, other already-established SH stories. However, its false to say that WW is a female Superman. She is a distinctly separate entity, archetype, & myth. While its true that some people in the 40′s have stated that she is a female ‘Superman’, what you must realize is that SHs were a new phenomena back in those days, and Superman was the prototype used as a general reference. So when someone of that period says “WW is a female Superman”, what they’re really saying is, “WW is a female superhero”, of mighty power & all. And back then, that was a rare imagining, as nearly all female protagonists were not superwomen. By today’s understanding of the name ‘Superman’, the true “female Superman” role is filled by a character named ‘Supergirl’, who is not at all like WMM’s superwoman. Becuz while both of these archetypes are champions of the oppressed, WMM’s neo SH archetype is autonomous & unique in that it fulfills what’s missing in Superman’s archetype, which was mainly the vital loving, tender, & finesseful qualities of the feminine. Basically, hers is symbolically the Diana to Superman’s Apollo, but in a principled, rather than genetic, sense.

But WMM made his contributions to the SH genre as a consulting psychologist, who was always prescribing sage advice based on the needs of the body & mind, and ultimately the spirit. And one of his all time hopes was the coming of what he predicted would be an Amazonian Matriarchy. Now given the opportunity of having a more personal hand in improving comics for kids and affecting the minds of readers, his new SH brainchild was the canvas from which he could express his psychological theories & philosophies on life and promote a better world based on them and to do what he loves…which also involved helping advance his Matriarchy prophecy–something that he believed is the solution to society’s ills & its love-devoid state. So his superwoman would consequently embody all those theories & philosophies. For it was his sexual/social psychology theories of peace & emancipation from society’s destructive ways, and his beliefs in feminine qualities such as Love Allure, that even conceived the core concept of his neo SH in the first place. And so naturally those are the very things from which he would fashion the entire universe of his superwoman, making Sexual Psychology the very fiber of the WW mythos fabric…without which she would’ve never existed.

…..

To read more click on the LINK (I will warn you it is pritty long this is justthe first few pages)

LINK

2 Comments

  • An excellent article , capturing the essence of who Wonder Woman was created to be and what then is sorely lacking in her present incarnation. Why the tweaking of her and the Amazon’s origin so fundlemantally changes who Wonder Woman is!!!

  • Interesting how the “Sexual psychology” section of the article alludes to Dr. Marston as being allegorized as Hephaestus. Because the current run on Wonder Woman shows Azzarello’s version of Hephaestus to be a hefty, lame figure. Which is precisely what William Marston was!

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