Posts Tagged ‘Diana Prince’

69 Days of Wonder Woman: Day 39, Are you attracted to needy, damaged, or helpless people?

December 8, 2010

I hate myself for disliking Steve Trevor and thinking him weak when all he does is honestly need Wonder Woman’s help in this panel, and I hate myself for being left cold by the role-reversal, male-damsel-in-distress trope established by female-centric comic books, for which they are rightly lauded. The whole point of this project was to prod at my dislike of this exact scenario. So, as with anything we hate, we have to examine whether we are despising an aspect of ourselves in the object of our objection.

On my and Diana Prince’s Christmas wish list, yes?

69 Days of Wonder Woman, Day 7: Why then, o brawling love, o loving hate, o anything of nothing first create?

November 23, 2010

(This was all news to me. So the theories advanced here are kind of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants.)

Wonder Woman’s archnemesis Cheetah was apparently introduced in No. 6.1 of the original, Marston-penned Wonder Woman line (1943). The original Cheetah was Priscilla Rich.


via the wiki, Cheetah’s first appearance, 1943. Cover art by Harry Peter.

Priscilla Rich was depicted as a young, insecure debutante who suffered from a split personality developed because of her inferiority complex. Following a benefit dinner, Ms. Rich’s alternate personality became dominant, triggered by an encounter with Wonder Woman, whose superiority to earth women activated Ms. Rich’s coping mechanism for her low self-esteem. This other self, Cheetah, continues to come out from time to time to try and kill Diana, foil her plans for good, etc.

I noted with interest in researching her that, in a lot of the panels I read, it seems that Ms. Rich’s alter ego, Cheetah, actually hates the Priscilla personality almost as much as she dislikes Wonder Woman.


Priscilla retreats to her room and collapses before her makeup mirror. There she sees an image of a woman dressed like a cheetah. “Horrors!” she cries, as she gazes at her evil inner-self for the first time.

(the wiki.)


“Don’t you know me?” replies the reflection. “I am the REAL you — the Cheetah — a treacherous, relentless huntress!” The image commands her to fashion a Cheetah costume. “From now on,” intones the reflection, “when I command you, you shall go forth dressed like your TRUE self and do as I command you…”

(Ibid.)

It is not terribly difficult to see metaphors here for female cattiness. I think it goes back to what I wrote about earlier, the empty need for women to best each other. Ms. Rich and Wonder Woman had no actual beef: why did Ms. Rich create one? Because she felt insecure.

And why does Cheetah hate herself almost as much as she hates Wonder Woman?

I think because she despises her own weakness, and, as Cheetah, she sees her Priscilla personality as hampering her goal to become the greatest woman alive.

So a) she makes something out of nothing because b) she feels badly about herself, doubly over. That’s crazy and yet so true and typical.

She does not want to, but she must. Why? It is so unnecessary, just as it is unnecessary for women to gang up on one another in real life, too. But they always do.

Final note: the IGN ranked Cheetah in 2009 as the 69th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time, which is great synchronicity for our 69-day project.

69 Days of Wonder Woman, Day 3: Clothes make the (wo)man

October 27, 2010

The original Wonder Woman costume must surely rank high in the list of all-time great, iconic comic hero get-ups. Is this part of what puts me off?


Costumed (or semicostumed) heroes such as Wonder Woman and Superman, rather than the villains they fought or the outlaws rampant in crime comics, were the main objects of the Catholic Church’s early [1938] criticism of comic books, censure that began to take the form of a serious campaign against comics.

Bishop Noll explained that the NODL [National Organization for Decent Literature]* objected only to Wonder Woman’s costume. “There is no reason why Wonder Woman should not be better covered, and there is less reason why women who fall under her influence should be running around in bathingsuits,” Noll wrote.

(Hajdu, David. The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008. Print. 75-78.)


I did not save a lick of info related to this pic, but from the moment I saw it, I thought she was about to turn in a circle and transform in to Wonder Woman. If you can help with credit, please do!

I guess it’s true that I never liked her costume much, but I’ve never found it any more all-that-scandalous than those of usual dat-ass suspects such as Power Girl, Emma Frost, or Huntress. (God, I hate Huntress, and there is nothing mysterious about it. She sucks. You will not be seeing a “__ Days of Huntress” around here, ever.) I don’t think I ever gave Wonder Woman’s outfit much thought in print … but I did contemplate it onscreen, watching the Lynda Carter television series. The TV Diana had so many great wardrobe changes, not only with that wonderful spinning-into-Wonder Woman sequence, but with gear tailored to her various missions: remember that slick diving suit?

Separate from my later feelings about Wonder Woman as a comic hero, as an early television role model I had nothing but full esteem for the character, in particular her outfit. I can remember sitting on the tacky rose-patterned velour daveneau on which I’d been conceived and on which I took my afternoon naps — and, depending on where we were living, sometimes slept at night on the hide-a-bed as well (very strange experience, since my parents were extremely up front with me about the couch-conception thing and seemed to find it heartwarming; I had more mixed feelings) — in the early afternoons before I even started school, watching syndicated re-runs of the program and being wowed. If I picture Lynda Carter in a blouse and blazer speaking confidently to a male coworker, I can still vividly feel kid-sweat from playing after lunch melting the sofa’s scratchy, worn fabric in to faint little clumps under my legs. She was so glamorous that she wore earrings everywhere. Everywhere. I loved that shit.

This is definitely a non-issue. The outfit has nothing to do with me shying away from Wonder Woman for the last mumble-muffleth years. Asked and answered!

In any case, Wonder Woman’s costume recently underwent a redesign. That’s her new look up there. I don’t really care one way or the other. I guess I’m a little wary and disappointed, as always, by tampering with classics, even ones of which I’m not a fan — and, in the same way that I was slightly rankled by the initial reinvention of Kate Kane as a Jewish lesbian in the Batwoman comic (Why not make her deaf and HIV-positive, to boot? How unforgivably uninclusive of you, Non-PC D.C.!), I feel not-just-vaguely pandered to. Then again, I like the new Batwoman line now and I am hunky-dory with the matchup of Renee Montoya with Kate. So maybe the costume redesign of Wonder Woman will be another in-my-face situation. Tough to gauge since I don’t know if I’ll come out of this project wanting to read her or not.

Longtime fans, what do you think of the change?







*more on those guys soon.