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Wonder Woman: Her New Lasso and My Latest Lamentation

[writer's note: I had originally stated that the creator of Wonder Woman had been Chestor Gould. However, I had suffered a regrettable lapse in memory, in confusing Gould (The Creator of Dick Tracy) with Marston. I apologize for that error, and sincerely appreciate the correction from the anonymous blogger in the comment section at the end of this posting.]

As many reading this message are no doubt aware, there has been no inconsiderable amount of argument and irate speculation on the recent rethinking and re-imagining of the visual auspices of that most seminal DC Comics Character, Wonder Woman.

Apparently, DC Comics and the hierarchical potentates thereof have been readily seizing upon the alleged “stuffiness” of the Amazonian Siren-Heroine’s costume Couture, deciding to hire famed Comic Artist of the moment Jim Lee to revamp Wonder Woman’s image into something that could potentially be deemed to be more “contemporary”.

However, within the first few months of 2010 (immediately after the unveiling of the character’s new “threads”), the new character design has been unarguably denigrated and pitiably vilified by every thronging component of societal fashion and commentary imaginable.

At any rate, I decided to ply my somewhat meager resources to my own re-amalgamation of Wonder Woman, while keeping firmly in mind the original intent of Her Creator and initial illustrator, One Charles Marston. 

Marston, an unabashed purveyor of kink and sexual sado-masochism, had the unregulated gall and ferocity of singular vulgarity to create Wonder Woman in the late 40s as nothing more than an excuse to fiendishly slip into mainstream American Comic book Culture imagery and portent more befitting a bondage and spanking fetish catalog from Frederick’s of Hollywood.

Indeed, if one were to peruse the original run of Wonder Woman as She had appeared under the stewardship of Mr. Marston, one’s modern sensibilities would be quite amused (and/or bewildered) at the sheer audacity of Marston’s incorporation of copious images of Dominatrix Spanking, sheer legged bondage and other assorted camp sex kitsch better regulated to the back rooms of S and M parlors…as opposed to mass market books for children.

Even as I recognize the innate redundancy of the two previous paragraphs to one another, I feel as though it requires restating: Marston’s entire intent was to sublimate (rather than augment) the status of woman to his own prurient desires.

In fact, I believe that Marston would be more than just a tad bit amused by the manner in which Wonder Woman’s image has been co-opted by The Women’s Liberation Movement…as members of that movement seem completely oblivious to the character’s less than “feminine empowering” past.

At any rate, my design isn’t particularly ground-breaking in any real degree: the only real innovation is my contribution of thinking about what to do with that most noxious “magic Lasso”. I’ve opted to try to make the Lasso an almost “living” part of the character by having it all wrap tightly around her right leg. Thus, the lasso would uncoil itself at will from her leg, when she mentally “orders” it to do so.

Also, I would argue that, in my own attempt to reincorporate the innately “covertly sexualized” nature of the character (by making the lasso a sort of symbiotic “garter belt”), perhaps I’ve made something with at least that addition to the “legend” which may just appease This Character’s thronging legion of presently peeved well as the daringly “genre-bending” Marston himself.


Anonymous said...

Chester Gould created Dick Tracy, not Wonder Woman, fyi. Wonder Woman was the brainchild of William Marston.

L. Llewellyn James said...

Thank you so much, for your comeuppance and rebuttal. I sincerely appreciate the proofreading (I tend to confuse names)

However, I think that you will find that the general tenor of this article is still unimpeded: Marston, in my opinion, exercise extraordinary lapses of judgment in terms of how he allowed such blatant sexualized subtext to be openly preoffered in the pages of Wonder Woman's original stories.

I would posit that THAT is the greater debate here: whether or not Wonder Woman is a great hope...or feminine emancipation.