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The History of...

November 9, 2009

Do you know the history of Wonder Woman?

Created by psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston as “psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should rule the world” (Marston, for the record, was a fan of the notion of women's world dominance), Wonder Woman made her debut in December 1941, in All-Star Comics #8.

By the very next summer, she had her own title, and it wasn't long before she was palling around with the big guys as the only girl in the Justice Society of America. But it all started in a mysterious, Amazonian-inhabited place called ParadiseIsland, where Diana Prince was born. The adventures didn't properly begin, however, until one fateful day when Major Steve Trevor crash landed his plane on her girls-only island. Imagine everyone's shock!

Well, it didn't take long for Diana to fall in love with the dashing young Major, but, as you can imagine, she had some competition. So, Queen Hippolyte ordered a contest to be held: the winner of which would get to go to the United States and assist Steve in the fight against the Nazis. Diana's mother forbade her daughter to engage in such shenanigans, so Diana cleverly disguised herself and brazenly went ahead, competed and won the contest.

So, off the two flew in Diana's invisible jet, and before long, Wonder Woman was battling Nazis, Fascists, aliens, terrorists, and any other sort of evil that was thrown in her way. She saved Steve from peril on countless occasions, and, with a little help from her bullet-deflecting bracelets and magic lasso, she soon proved herself invincible. Her popularity remained steady through the '40s (she even had a brief stint with the newspaper strips in the mid-'40s), '50s and '60s, and in the '70s, she made her foray into television.

She was a part of the 1973 animated Super Friends show, and then she swung over to two live action features - a laughable TV-movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby in 1974, and the now-classic The New, Original Wonder Woman, starring Lynda Carter, in 1975.

It's fascinating, and fantastic, that Wonder Woman has endured for over 65 years as one of the most popular comic book characters ever. She may have started with the cards stacked against her, but through the decades she's managed to always hold her own, evolving through the tides of Women's Lib and standing today as a symbol of the ultimate modern woman. Great Hera!

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