Diagram of Wonder Woman

As I’ve stated before, people know next to nothing about Wonder Woman. She may be recognizable and a positive female role-model, but ultimately, the average person knows NOTHING about her.

David E. Kelley hopes to change that.

Kelley is known mostly for legal comedy/dramas like Ally McBeal,the Practice, and Boston Legal. He is developing a Wonder Woman series for NBC and as you can see if you clicked the link, it looks bad.

Really bad.

Obviously, I haven’t read the full script, so I’m not really sure what it entails, but the story from Bleeding Cool has got me thinking about what makes a positive female role-model. Essentially, how does one strike a balance between power and femininity? It’s a difficult, but there are plenty of characters over the years that have maintained that balance. I’ll go over a few in the next couple of weeks.

Today, however, let’s look at what makes up Wonder Woman.

Mythology – Made of clay on the hidden island of Themyscira, Diana was blessed with the powers of the gods themselves.

Demeter (goddess of agriculture and fertility) blessed Diana with great strength.

Aphrodite (goddess of love) gave her great beauty and a loving heart.

Artemis (goddess of wisdom and war) granted Diana great wisdom, intelligence, and military prowess.

Hestia (goddess of hearth and home) granted Diana “sisterhood with fire, that it might open men’s hearts to her.” This is apparently where her lasso of truth comes from which forces people to tell her the truth when bound by it.

Finally, the only male deity to grant Diana with anything was Hermes (the messenger god of speed) who granted Diana superhuman speed and the ability to fly.

While Superman’s roots are based in science fiction and Batman’s are in crime noir, Wonder Woman is based on mythology and this is just one of the elements that makes her special and sets her apart from other heroes.

Also, consider the implications of the mythological aspect of her character. In Greek mythology, many of the goddesses were as powerful as gods. Hera, for instance, challenged her husband Zeus on many occasions. Diana’s mythological roots are directly connected to her identity as being equal to the male heroes of the DC Universe.

Peace Ambassador – Diana’s mission to the world of man is one of peace. She wishes to show the world that peace is the answer. Maybe this can be found in a television show about a businesswoman, but I somehow doubt this will be a recurring theme.

Then again, given the divisive nature of the political climate, how else could Wonder Woman save the world but to be a corporate agent for peace? It might be interesting to see Diana run a philanthropic corporation, but I doubt this will be the case.

Warrior Spirit – In addition to being an agent for peace, Diana is the strongest military mind in the DCU. This seems to be a bit of a contradiction given that her mission is peaceful, but it could be interpreted as the dual nature of the modern woman. While society would prefer her to be kind and gentle, she must unleash her aggressive side at times.

the OutfitWhile her costume has been updated in an effort to decrease her overt sexuality, the main elements are still there; the bracelets, the lasso, and the tiara.  I doubt that all of these elements will make it into the main show (the bracelets are confirmed, but the lasso is unlikely), and I’m left wondering how essential they are. On the one hand, they are merely cosmetic accessories, but on the other hand, what would she be without them? Would she be just another hero?

From what the Bleeding Cool article suggests, the show has stripped most of the key elements described here and has reimagined Wonder Woman for today. The result is a Wonder Woman that loves dancing to pop music and says, “You go, girl.” It just echoes of late 90’s girl power that seemed campy even then.

Despite my earlier assessment that Wonder Woman is redundant, I feel as if she could be made relevant. What makes her so special and wonderful is that she has the potential to be more than just a superhero and more along the lines of an unrelenting force of peace. Look at her role in Blackest Night where Diana loves the world so much that is made an honorary Star Sapphire. No one loves the people of Earth as much as Diana does, and this should be emphasized more.

In the balance between power and femininity, the comics tend to portray Diana with aggressive and almost male tendencies, while the new television show seems to be leaning towards the brand of femininity that has made Julia Roberts popular. Rather than celebrating her womanhood and using that as a point of power, its as if the barometer either swings wildly in one way or the other.

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4 Responses to Diagram of Wonder Woman

  1. Robot Master says:

    I think the last 10 years or so have had some great strides to making Wonder Woman into a bigger character than she really was at first. Let’s be honest. The original creation of Wonder Woman was a sort of veiled pornographic bondage fetish that the creator had. She’d tie men up and make them tell the truth.

    However, I like that she’s been depicted as being right alongside Batman and Superman in terms of leadership of the Justice League and has been written (at times) as something more than just a long pair of legs with cleavage.

  2. Michael says:

    I’ve been fascinated by the character since the Perez revamp, then lost interest, came back with Deodato was drawing the character and the intro to Artemis, but soon lost interest again. Then, Morrison included her in the new JLA, so I followed her there, only to pick it back up with the aborted JMS run.

    So, why can’t I seem to stick with the character?

    Uneven characterization. Oversexualization. Writers who cannot seem to justify the “superhero” with the “myth” who seem to pander to the teenage boy inside mainstream comic collectors.

    High Point: The graphic novel “Hiketia” guest starring Batman.

  3. joecrak says:

    I have to say Cody, i’m a bit disappointed that you just reposted the same article you did for sequart. Wheres that article about resurrection in comics you mentioned so long ago?!

  4. Cathartic Lobster says:

    Joe – In all fairness, I wrote this article for my site, but as a webmaster for Sequart as well, I needed to post something to their site and I feel bad always giving articles that I have already posted on here.

    Also, I’m really proud of this article (not as much as the Echo article on Sequart today that will be on this site next week, I’m still proud of it).

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