Posted: May 24th, 2022

Examination of Wonder Woman’s Seven-Decade Biography

  • An examination of Wonder Woman’s seven-decade biography through interviews and archival research shows the influence of feminism.
  • The present Wonder Woman is part of a broader story that brings Diana to the afterworld and beyond. This is not for everyone.
  • Since Mike Hawthorne and Stephanie Phillipsare two of the best writers in the business,

the new WW miniseries from DC was eagerly awaited.

  • In the 1940s, the USA was on the precipice of fascism. Sapphists, coeds, and Amazons are all viable.
  • At the same time, Marston wanted to capitalize on the burgeoning popularity of comic books by introducing Wonder Woman in the 1930s.
  • According to Marston, the comic book and graphic novel industry have attracted at least 40 million addicted consumers.
  • Diana’s cosmic test must wait. Diana and Silver Swan face-off (aka her erstwhile admirer Vanessa Kapetalis).
  • Diana is fighting an unknown alien race when a mysterious voice reflects humanity’s destiny and ability to progress.
  • Wonder Woman is the “most popular female comedy superhero of all time,” with a fan base of 10 million, second only to Superman and Batman (1).
  • “Avenge… injustice” and “protect” America were her promises to her supporters, many of whom were still grieving over Pearl Harbor (1).
  • All of this was in addition to her magical power girdle and her bullet-deflecting bracelets.
  • While this book focuses on Wonder Woman, it’s also crucial to recall Marston’s contributions to American feminism.
  • According to Lepore, act 2 Woman “floundered” due to internal tension and a lack of awareness of her complicated heritage.
  • His most notable achievement was the development of the first lie detector, which he invented while working as a psychologist and novelist.
  • Marston predicted the death of “successful lying” as an art form as early as 1921 and included his innovation in Wonder Woman’s lasso.
  • In this work, Lepore combines all of her archival and analytical talents to establish the case for Marston’s significance to feminism, which she accomplishes.
  • She was able to gain access to previously hidden Marston family archives, revealing that the inventor of the lie detector had a life of duplicity and sexual restraint.
  • Amid his marriage to Sadie Holloway, a “whip-smart” New Woman, Marston had several affairs, including one with a former student named Olive Byrne.
  • Marston and Byrne shared a residence in Westchester County, New York, from 1926 until Marston died in 1947. Few were aware of the “Love Unit” of the Marstons.
  • Although Aunt Byrne was well aware of the scenario, Margaret Sanger was a leader in fighting for women’s suffrage and equal rights in the United States.
  • According to Lepore, Marston’s underlying belief in the superiority of female morality was shaped by his exposure to radical women like Emmeline Pankhurst.
  • ‘Hatreds and wars’ threatened the entire human race when Wonder Woman first appeared in the pages of a comic book, and she was born into our world.
  • Her covert purpose, on the other hand, according to Marston, was “to challenge the notion that women are inferior to males and to inspire young women” (2).
  • This issue’s “Wonder Ladies of History” section featured four-page portraits of women, including Julia Ward Howe and Amelia Earhart (2).
  • Wonder Woman used “psychological propaganda” to persuade his predominantly male readers that “Man’s Superiority” was detrimental to the nation’s health.
  • When it came to the standing of women in his culture, on the other hand, Marston was a firm believer in the values of tradition.
  • Wonder Lady needed “all of Superman’s strength” with “the charm and beauty of a woman” who was “sensitive, sympathetic, and affectionate” (2).
  • Because she wanted to be Steve Trevor’s vengeful “Angel,” she abandoned the other Amazons and “her rights to endless life” on the all-female Paradise Island.
  • This was the false character Diana Prince invented, portraying herself as an unattractive nurse and secretary with bespectacled eyes.
  • Diana’s demure manner and Wonder Woman’s chaste celibacy were opposed, and Marston was the polar opposite of both characters.
  • Additionally, in addition to his feminist ideas, his obsession with what he called the “pleasantness of capture” sparked even more debate.
  • On nearly every page of this comic book, Wonder Woman is chained, shackled, bound, manacled, imprisoned, or encased in protective clothing.
  • Pressed by reviewers and editors to deploy less enslavement, Marston forced back, even as a current dialogue raged over comics hurting children.
  • Domination should be part of every woman’s “moral education” and “the only hope for peace,” he wrote in the letter to his publisher (2).
  • But even as Marston’s spokeswoman, Wonder Woman was able to elude him from time to time.
  • When Wonder Woman and Diana Prince competed for the affections of Steve Trevor, it was an accurate portrayal of Marston’s home situation.
  • A separate set of sexual ethics was preached by “Colonel” Wonder Woman, who said, “Be true to your spouses and sweethearts” (3).
  • There are times when it’s not clear how Lepore feels about Marston, yet, she appears to agree with his statement that “history is intriguing.”
  • Her favourite Wonder Woman is the one from the 1940s, which she considers one of the best.
  • Following the death of Marston, Wonder Woman rushes quickly to release monies from her bank account.
  • Since Marston’s work was completed in 1941, Wonder Woman has not been as radical or insane as she used to be.
  • Not the many feminists who adore Wonder Woman, but rather Gloria Steinem, who put Lepore on the first regular cover of Ms. magazine in 1972.
  • Vastly oversimplified Wonder Woman and hiding the strange aspects of her background is too common in Lepore’s view, he says in his book.
  • Seeing Lepore restore everything to its chaotic state of inception is a beautiful sight.
  • As time went on, her dialogues about race and sexuality got more challenging to navigate.
  • A rare breed of historian, Lepore can deal with strangeness as sweetly and thoughtfully as his contemporaries.
  • As for the Sanger link, while others have unearthed the Marston family triangle narrative, Lepore’s skill is knowing what to do with the material she’s been given.
  • A new history or culture of feminism and a history theory are unpacked in Wonder Woman’s hands.
  • For example, Lepore observed that too-tidy narratives (such as “wave” conceptions of feminism) could not follow history’s conflicts.
  • A new feminist myth is used as a Trojan horse by Lepore’s fascinating recent history of midcentury American liberalism.
  • Among the numerous themes on which Marston spoke was the subject of women’s empowerment.
  • When it comes to emotional maturity and the ability to love, women outpace men two to one.
  • Strangely, he also argued that obedience and bondage were essential to the well-being of women.
  • Every episode of the show features Wonder Woman chained up and bound in various ways.
  • Marston described these scenes in great detail so that the artist illustrating the show could capture them precisely.
  • “Wonder Woman is chained up and bound in various ways,” writes Lepore. “She is gagged, lassoed, tied, fettered and manacled” (3).
  • Many other aspects of Lepore’s book aren’t related to Marston’s cartoon character, such as his unorthodox family.
  • Olive Byrne, Margaret Sanger’s niece, was brought into Marston’s home by his wife, Elizabeth “Betty” Holloway.
  • When Byrne’s mistress gave birth to two children, they were raised believing their father was dead.
  • Marston and Holloway had two children together, and Byrne took care of them so that Holloway could work.
  • Their relationship lasted for the remainder of their lives after Marston’s death in 1947.


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Work cited

Kaplan Carla. Jill Lepore’s ‘Secret History of Wonder Woman. The New York times 2014.

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