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Tagged with “wonder woman” (4)

  1. Jill Lepore: The Feminist and the Superhero | Open Source with Christopher Lydon

    Jill Lepore: The Feminist and the Superhero

    The Harvard historian Jill Lepore – prolific, impish, a super-mom, politically engaged and still professorial – is giving us the kinky inside story of Wonder Woman that you never suspected reading the old comic book. Lepore stumbled on it while she was researching a New Yorker piece on Planned Parenthood and its founder Margaret Sanger. It turns out that the man who invented Wonder Woman in 1941 – as a match for Superman – was related by common-law marriage not just to Sanger but to the birth control and feminist movements in their World War I heyday.

    William Moulton Marston was a Ph.D. psychologist (and inventor of the lie detector), a bigamist by conviction and a female-supremacist in doctrine. He lived a radical bohemian life under one roof with two women and had children with both of them.  Wonder Woman was Marston’s model of the new woman he thought should rule the world.

    But when Marston died after World War II, Wonder Woman was domesticated and diminished. In other writers’ hands, Wonder Woman became a babysitter, a fashion model and a movie star in the 1950s. In Jill Lepore’s telling, Wonder Woman is a morphing mirror of the women’s movement itself.

    WWII-era “Wonder Woman” panel, done by cartoonist H. G. Peter.

    Right now, she says, that story is missing its happy ending — but where there are Wonder Women, there’s a way.

    —Huffduffed by merlinmann

  2. 75 Years of DC Comics, with Paul Levitz

    The superheroes of the comic book world have worked their way deep into the American imagination – and managed to hang on. They’ve been attacked and celebrated, and they’ve gone to Hollywood and Broadway.

    This year, DC Comics, which created Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, and many others, is celebrating 75 years of comic book publishing – from the first grainy, grinning, all-new format in 1935.

    Paul Levitz, former publisher of DC Comics and a longtime writer for many of its most enduring characters, says comic books are our society’s way of creating myths. And they help us play out universal human feelings and aspirations.

    “It’s a natural human reaction to dream of what it would be to being empowered, to be able to solve things that you can’t otherwise,” says Levitz, whose new book is 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking. “The dilemmas that we face in the world – whether it’s the economy or what’s going on in our lives, our jobs, our personal lives – all are things that we wish we had more control over, more ability to affect. And the great superhero characters all reflect some element of that.”

    DC Comics has also created such memorable characters as Lex Luther, The Joker, Robin, and The Green Lantern, and Levitz is celebrating the whole long list. He says the characters often embody a very compelling human longing.

    “The fundamental fantasy of Superman – that Lois would realize that I’m an incredible person if she could look past my glasses and just see my inner Superman – that’s so basically human,” Levitz tells On Point. “How many of us have had that feeling at some moment, when we wish the other person would just get us?”

    —Huffduffed by Clampants

  3. To The Best of Our Knowledge: Superheroes

    Batman, Superman, the Green Lantern… we all had our superheroes as kids. Maybe we still do today? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, SUPERHEROES. We’ll celebrate Wonder Woman’s 70th birthday with a look at her controversial new costume. We’ll also explore the actual physics of superpowers. And, "The 99" – an Islamic comic book in which each superhero reflects one of the 99 names of Allah.

    SEGMENT 1: James Kakalios teaches physics at the University of Minnesota and is the author of "The Physics of Superheroes." He tells Jim Fleming that Superman’s powers make sense for a creature born on a planet with stronger gravity than Earth’s, and that often fantasy writers strive to be scientific if you grant them one impossible feat.

    SEGMENT 2: Wonder Woman is 70! Jim Lee drew the updated Wonder Woman and describes her to Steve Paulson, explaining the reasoning behind the updates. Jim Lee is co-publisher of DC comics. Also, Aimee Mullins is an athlete, fashion model and activist who uses whichever of her 12 pairs of prosthetic legs is appropriate for the task at hand. She talks with Anne Strainchamps about why her running legs are modeled on a cheetah’s and why she sees herself as having superpowers, rather than being "disabled."

    SEGMENT 3: Naif Al-Mutawa lives in his native Kuwait and is the Creator of "The 99," a comic book series featuring a group of superheroes each of whom derives a power from one of the 99 attributes of Allah. Al-Mutawa tells Steve Paulson that his Islamic superheroes are a response to President Obama’s Cairo speech, and that they may soon engage with the traditional Western superheroes.

    —Huffduffed by merlinmann

  4. The Supergirls: The History of Comic Book Heroines

    Mike Madrid presents The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of the Comic Book Heroines, an exploration of what it means for the culture when superheroines do everything the superhero does, but in thongs and high heels.

    —Huffduffed by Clampants