Wonder Woman's creator, Dr William Moulton Marston, a Harvard-educated psychologist, might have appreciated this new self-awareness of an ambivalent superhero. Marston invented the first functional polygraph machine (forerunner of the Lasso of Truth) and maintained a polyamorous household with his wife Elizabeth and lover Olive, who each bore him two children.I am sorry to confess I was never a comic-book reader, but at the age of five I was very much in thrall to the television series. At Montessori school, where we were invited to choose a new name for ourselves if we did not like our actual ones, I wrote "Wonder Girl" optimistically on the name line on my exercise book (I cannot say it stuck!); and though I cannot remember for sure, I have a strong suspicion that the actress in question was responsible for my first guinea pig (a very handsome brown-and-white one) being called Linda...
An eccentric intellectual who believed in the moral superiority of women, Marston wagered that comics could serve as “psychological propaganda”. In 1943, he wrote in The American Scholar that “the picture-story fantasy cuts loose the hampering debris of art and artifice and touches the tender spots of universal human desires and aspirations, hidden customarily beneath long accumulated protective coverings of indirection and disguise. Comics speak, without qualm or sophistication, to the innermost ears of the wishful self”.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Special Agent, Department of Metahuman Affairs
Min Jin Lee considers Jodi Picoult's new Wonder Woman installment (this sounds great, I must get it):