Wonder Woman Offers the Empowering Girl Power Plot That We Crave

Full confession: Wonder Woman is my hero. OK, I’m not 8, I know she’s fiction, but when I was 8, she was the woman I wanted to be. Hell, she’s still the woman I want to be. Smart, strong, savvy, WW is Boss of Her Own Self and righteously ready to smack down the bad boys. But she’s also peacemaker, ambassador and a powerful advocate for a world of mutual respect, tolerance and understanding.

Oh. Wait. And outrageously bodacious, am I right? Girl Power personified.

Wonder Woman graced the cover of Ms. Magazine in 1971. Last year the United Nations named her a UN Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls, although she was dropped two months later thanks to a brouhaha over the “large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions” being overtly sexualized and not culturally sensitive.

So I’m pretty chuffed that the new Wonder Woman film, starring Gal Gadot and directed by Patty Jenkins – double whammy! – is kicking some serious Super Hero butt. 

Wonder Woman is the most buzzed-about movie of the month – 93% on the Tomatometer – and the most critically acclaimed DC Extended Universe to date. As if that weren’t validation enough, it scored the largest opening weekend ever for a female-directed film.

I think Wendy Ide of The Guardian sums it up when she said, “As a woman, it’s impossible not to feel a sense of ownership over the first female-led superhero flick since the lamentable Catwoman in 2004. And it’s impossible not to feel a warm swell of relief that she is such a glorious badass, one who wears her femininity with the same pride and poise that she wears her armour-plated bra.”

So I was pretty excited when Wonder Woman: The Ultimate Guide to the Amazon Warrior (DK Publishing 2017) arrived on my desk. Celebrating 75 years of awesomeness, Wonder Woman: The Ultimate Guide to the Amazon Warrior (DK Publishing, 2017) is the must-read companion to Wonder Woman the movie, whether you’ve just discovered the Warrior Princess or want a deeper dive into her back story.

Which starts here.

In the early 40s, comic book publisher Maxwell Charles Gaines was concerned about comics’ knock ‘em, sock ‘em heroes and plotlines and turned to psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston (inventor of the polygraph, and an early feminist BTW) to create a compassionate Super Hero – Marston’s wife Elizabeth declared, “Better make that character a woman” (I’m paraphrasing here) and Wonder Woman was born.

You know Wonder Woman: The Ultimate Guide isn’t just another fanzine the minute you open the book and read the thoughtful foreword by Greg Rucka, who points out that WW’s impact on pop culture, social justice and equal rights is unprecedented, and she is as relevant today as it was in 1941.

Showcasing stunning comic artwork culled from the archives of DC Comics, Wonder Woman: The Ultimate Guide to the Amazon Warrior features an easy-to-follow timeline, sorts through key issues and plotlines, serves up character studies of friends and foes, and delivers the entire package with DK’s blockbuster wit, charm and style.

If you’re a Wonder Woman fan, get this book. If you’re not, get it anyway – you will become a convert if not an acolyte. Trust me.

T-Shirt Worthy

  1. “You should know better than to stand in a lady’s way.” (July 1942)
  2. “Aphrodite forbids us Amazons to let any man dominate us. We are our own masters.” (September 1944)
  3. “It’s about time men learned how capable women are.” (July 1948)
  4. “Women and their children must no longer fear abuse, anywhere in this world.” (July 2001)
  5. “You’ll find I can hold my own.” (November 2004)

Betcha Didn’t Know

  1. The golden eagle emblem on WW’s uniform rests with its head bowed, representing one who will meet battle but does not seek it.
  2. All Amazons wear some sort of bracelet, a decree by the gods to never let themselves be enslaved. WW’s just happen to be bulletproof.
  3. The W shape of WW’s belt buckle is a fluke. Native Amazons don’t speak or write English. But when Wonder Woman showed up in the English-speaking world, everyone just assumed it stood for her initials.

Written by Charlotte Empey

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