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Wonder Woman: Superhero or Damsel in Distress?

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Jessica Lessner

on 7 May 2014

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Transcript of Wonder Woman: Superhero or Damsel in Distress?

Wonder Woman: Superheroine or Damsel in Distress?
Development of Argument
This paper is looking at five specific
Wonder Woman
comics over a 60 year period
Each comic will be used as a window into a certain era
The events within each comic will be described and an analysis will be provided for the meaning and the authors' intent
Then, relevant historical context will be included in order to put that information into perspective

"The OMAC Project: Sacrifice"
Maxwell Lord, formerly thought to be an ally, is controlling Superman and using his powers to defeat the Justice League of America
Wonder Woman knows she has no choice but to kill Lord
She has no problem using deadly force where necessary, whereas both Superman and Batman refuse
Wonder Woman is castigated for her actions from all sides
Wonder Woman killing Maxwell Lord
Within the Field
Most of the sources regarding Wonder Woman simply look at the events in the comics and often forgo linking their findings to a larger historical perspective
Some of the scholarly works available do provide a view on the way that the
Wonder Woman
comics interact with feminism but they rarely go deeper into the motives of most authors
"Wish Upon A Star" (September/
October, 1974)
"Top Secret" (July, 1958)
Throughout Wonder Woman's entire history, the character is often utilized as a tool to convey a desire for the retention of traditional gender norms
The writers sometimes used current events and contorted them within the comic to paint progress as ludicrous or overreacting
While this trend lessened somewhat after the revamping of the entire DC Universe, negative gender stereotypes could still be seen throughout Wonder Woman's representation
By looking at the changes over time within the comics, a distinct relationship can be found between societal norms and popular culture
Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston with the intention of being the epitome of the perfect, independent woman
Despite this guiding ideal behind her creation, most of the male writers after Marston mistreated the character's representation
Instead, she was often utilized as a tool to provide a social commentary for gender norms over time
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