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How WONDER WOMAN Defied a GENERATION of Superheroes! | Auram’s Corner


This video was made possible by the Auram’s
Comics Patrons, head on over to Patreon.com/Auram to become one today!. Wonder Woman is an incredible character. Created by William Moulton Marston and Harry
G. Peter, Princess Diana of Themyscira first appeared in 1941’s All-Star Comics #8. This was during the Golden Age of comics,
a time where superheroes were abundant; Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Atom, The Flash,
and so many others popped up during this era, but Wonder Woman filled a void that these
heroes created. Diana brought something new to the table:
a strong, female superhero born of her own devices. Regardless of how Wonder Woman was canonically
created, she left Paradise Island with one mission: to unify the world and birth an era
of peace. Other female characters of Wonder Woman’s
time had much weaker motivations. Sandra Knight’s Phantom Lady, for instance,
was a character that essentially fought crime because she was a bored, rich socialite. She appeared in a whopping twenty-three issues
of 1941’s Police Comics from publisher Quality until she disappeared for awhile upon its
cancellation. Y’know, as phantoms are known to do. Eventually, Sandra was brought back into the
limelight, mainly because Matt Baker’s promiscuous drawings of the character proved to be quite
popular. This type of art was known as “good girl
art,” which, frankly, is a really gross term. Regardless, it was a real problem during the
40’s. With comics like Torchy, Canteen Kate, and
Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, Matt Baker and his colleagues thrived drawing “attractive
young women, usually in skimpy or form-fitting clothing, designed for erotic stimulation.” That’s the, uh, definition of the term,
not me being gross. Anyway, Wonder Woman was drawn in a somewhat
different way. Yes, her costume fell privy to some of the
same design trends that were popular back then; the exposed legs, high heels, and busty
cleavage, but she was put in positions of power rather than shown as a sex object. Look at these covers from her first solo series. Riding a horse? Hell yeah! Throwing some construction equipment? Rad! And, what’s that, Wonder Woman for president?! Enough said. Getting back on track here, the Phantom Lady
was just one example of this trend of one-dimensional female characters in comics. Marla Drake’s Miss Fury stumbled into crimefighting
because–oh, no! It can’t be! Another woman was wearing the same dress as
her to a costume ball! Because of this, her housemaid suggested a
different outfit so Marla slipped into a very uncomfortable looking catsuit and oh, hey,
superpowers! Miss Fury didn’t really have a mission,
she just fought crime because “why not,” I guess? And then, of course, there’s Betty and Veronica
of Archie Comics! Arguably as popular as Wonder Woman at the
time, these two were created solely as love interests for Archie Andrews, local redhead
of Riverdale. Their first duo book was originally called
Archie’s Girls: Betty and Veronica, because that’s all they were, Archie’s girls. Now, this was, to be fair, a popular naming
scheme for new side-characters’ stories; Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen for instance,
but this sort of “pre-title” kinda defeats the point of these books. A comic created to tell stories about side
characters elsewhere becomes a minor title about that guy who you once saw in a Superman
comic. Makes the book, and by proxy, the character,
less independent. That was a weird side-tangent, moving on! While most female characters of the 40’s
had poor motivations, Wonder Woman stood apart as a soldier of justice and peace. A huge part of her character nowadays is that
she’s a founding member of the Justice League, DC’s flagship super team. But, she didn’t initially join the superteam,
or at least the original version of the superteam, as a fighter. You see, In the Golden Age, Diana joined the
Justice Society of America in All-Star Comics #13 after proving herself as an equal and
fighting alongside the rest of the JSA. She was offered the illustrious position of
secretary by Hawkman. Fortunately, Diana got her chance to fight
the good fight two issues later in All-Star Comics #15, while her allies were nowhere
to be found! After learning that they were all busy tracking
down a supervillain, Diana decided to gather the girlfriends of the remaining JSA members,
put them in genderbent versions of their boyfriend’s costumes, and crack the case before the men
could. The story ends with Wonder Woman and co. finding the culprit, Brain Wave, who promptly
meets his demise after getting spooked and falling out a window. Just a stand up supervillain. With the exception of Hawkgirl, Wonder Woman’s
team was then never seen as superheroes again. Just like that, they went back to being arm
candy for their superhero boyfriends and nothing else. Even Hawkgirl, an immortal Egyptian princess,
was initially nothing more than Hawkman’s girlfriend. Somehow, though, Diana Prince stood out. She wasn’t the girlfriend of an already
established superhero or a bored socialite who stumbled into crimefighting; she’s a
bonafide demigod born out of clay on an island removed from the rest of the world filled
of warrior women who want to save the world from evil and usher in an era of lifelong
peace. Despite a billion sexist ideals trying to
put her down, she defied them and turned into the cultural icon she is today. Secretary for the JSA, leaving her island
partly because she was falling for the first man she ever saw, Steve Trevor, conforming
to the same skimpy costume trends as her forgettable peers, and even being called an “anti-male
lesbian,” by the infamous Fredric Wertham solely because she’s a powerful woman. “The Lesbian counterpart of Batman may be
found in the stories of Wonder Woman. Where Batman is anti-feminine, the attractive
Wonder Woman and her counterparts are definitely anti-masculine. Wonder Woman has her own female following. They are all continuously being threatened,
captured, almost put to death. Her followers are the “Holiday girls”, i.e.
the holiday girls, the gay party girls, the gay girls. Wonder Woman refers to them as ‘my girls’”
That guy is just chock full of wisdom. But, nothing stopped her. Even during the decline in the publication
of superhero comics of the 50’s, Diana was one of a handful of heroes to retain her own
solo comic. Wonder Woman went on to become one of DC’s
holy trinity alongside Batman and Superman, now three of the most recognizable superheroes
of all time. In the grand scheme of things, Diana is probably
the most recognizable female superhero ever. You don’t hear about the likes of Phantom
Lady or Miss Fury nowadays, but Wonder Woman? She’s everywhere. The Brady Kids, Super Friends, her own show
starring Lynda Carter, countless appearances in the Justice League TV show, and a standalone
animated movie in 2009 slowly made more and more aware of Wonder Woman’s strength as
a character. Not to mention her appearances in games like
Justice League Heroes, Injustice, LittleBigPlanet 2, and Scribblenauts Unlimited, further extending
her reach. And now, finally, she’s the star of the
first female-led big blockbuster superhero movie ever to be worth its salt. I can’t imagine a better heroine to receive
the honor. Except maybe Spider-Woman, but, like, don’t
actually do that, I don’t want you to ruin my favorite superhero? Not that they ruined Wonder Woman, the movie,
it w- it was okay, I DON’T KNOW, I’VE DUG MYSELF A HOLE! She’s even served as a symbol for feminists,
pacifists, and LGBT rights, appealing to everyone, becoming strong, relatable strong role model. Honestly, any female superhero could’ve
become what Wonder Woman is, but Marston was the man who had the brilliance to create a
hero so strong during a time when other female heroes were so weak. At the end of the day, she broke free from
the, sometimes literal, chains that bound her, defied a generation of superheroes and
became, well, quite a wonder. I am so sorry. Anyway, hope you learned something interesting
in this video. There is so much intrigue in Wonder Woman’s
character and I wanted to focus on a part that I feel isn’t talked about much. To me, it’s so wildly interesting that out
of all the characters created in the 40’s, Wonder Woman stood out and became one of the
most recognizable icons in pop culture. And, honestly, it’s ridiculous that it took
this long to get at least a passable superhero movie starring a woman! What do you all think? Am I crazy for thinking that Wonder Woman
is an incredible superhero who stood apart from the crowd? Probably not, but I’ll stop leading the
question. Anyway, like I mentioned at the top of the
show, we do have a Patreon, so if you wanna go the extra mile to support this show, head
on over to Patreon.com/Auram to get all kinds of cool rewards. For as low as $1 per weekly video, you can
get super rad pictures of my cat or access to a Discord server or the Patreon feed; all
kinds of stuff, it’s over there, I won’t bore you with the details, go check it out!That
all being said, thanks for watching! Next time I save the state of this show with
the power of LOVE!

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