We Need a Hero
As Erin so succinctly put it last week, I’m reeling from our latest national election. It appears that we birthed a Cronenesque embodiment of all that was vulgar and spiteful in humanity and then gave it unprecedented military power. In the aftermath, our grief has us subjected to either schoolyard taunts of “snowflake” or “libtard” from giddy supporters or patronizing admonishments not to panic. Holding out hope is one thing. Trying to hold out hope despite the fact that we fucked up royally is the bigger challenge.
With that said, I think it most appropriate to highlight the full-length Wonder Woman trailer that gives us a little more detail regarding Diana’s origins as an Amazonian princess who encounters U.S. Intelligence Officer, Steve Trevor, after his plane crashes on the paradisiacal island of Themyscira. Since Wonder Woman was introduced in the modern universe of Batman V Superman, her origin movie is structured as a flashback that appears to be pretty faithful to her original introduction in the comics. While Diana and Steve ARE fighting Germans, they appear to be fighting them within the context of WWI (“The War to End All Wars”) rather than WWII as in the original 1941 comics. The iconography of Wonder Woman comes alive in Gal Godot as she appears stoic and brave, but idealistic as well. The Amazonian costumes and fight scenes show her and her sisters as forces to be reckoned with; they are fighters who charge into the fray without reserve and without fear.
She is a perfect heroine for our time. Created by psychologist William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman was modeled after the suffragettes he so admired and has stood the test of time as a true feminist icon: strong and fearless, but also virtuous and compassionate. Marston himself lived in a polyamorous relationship with two women and was an admirer of Margaret Sanger. Most recently, DC Comics have confirmed that Wonder Woman is also a bisexual character, thus in keeping with the sexual expression that was inherent in Marston’s original comics. Now more than ever we need her spirit to stand for truth and justice to make sure that is the American way. Like Diana, we can stand before the brute force of cruelty and unbridled ambition and say: “It is our sacred duty to defend the world. And it is what I am going to do.”