Our first real and actual Wonder Woman movie is on the immediate horizon, and I gotta tell you, Internets, I am looking very, very forward to it. My reasons are much the same as a lot of other women in SFdom my age—we want to see a female-led superhero film; we want to see DC movies start stepping up to the plate as well as Marvel; and most of all, it’s about freggin’ time that Wonder Woman, long one of the three big DC superheroes along with Batman and Superman, gets her own film.
A lot of folks had Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman on TV in the 1970s as their first exposure to the character. I am no exception, though I have no real memory of regularly following the show. Mostly I knew it was there, since it sometimes showed up in syndication on our local channels. It took until the 90s, when DC’s excellent animated continuity showed up in the cartoons for Batman, Superman, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited, for me to really get a Wonder Woman I took to hard. Diana in that continuity was excellent, and some of my favorite moments with the character are in fact from those shows.
I have a clearer memory of Wonder Woman in, of all things, the Superfriends cartoons. Those, unlike the live-action show, were on my radar more often just because I was more likely to be watching TV on a Saturday morning back in the 70s and early 80s. Looking back on it now, I’m pretty sure she didn’t make an impact on me at the time—women in the Superfriends were pretty thin on the ground and I don’t remember the Superfriends iteration of Wondy doing much other than flying around in her invisible jet. Nevertheless, she was there, an early precedent for me to use later, when I was on the lookout for prominent female characters in animation. (Princess in Battle of the Planets and Lisa Hayes in Robotech, I am looking straight at you.)
Now, no matter how you slice it, the Superfriends were pretty silly. DC’s animation game kicked up considerably later on, though. I must give a shoutout to the full-length animated film (titled simply Wonder Woman) that came out in 2009, which I jumped on in no small part because Nathan Fillion voices Steve Trevor in it. And like many a geek, I do love me some Nathan Fillion. <3 The film’s an origin story, but it does well, and by the time it came out I knew enough about Wonder Woman’s backstory that I recognized the basic elements. (Like, say, Steve Trevor; I may not have active memories of the 70’s TV show, but I’m pretty sure I must have watched it anyway, because that’s the most likely source for me having that name in the back of my head.)
Let me also call attention to the 2008 film Justice League: The New Frontier. Another origin story, this time mostly for Green Lantern in particular and the Justice League in general, but it too has some wonderful Diana mileage in it. (And I gotta note as well, looking this film up again to double-check details about it, it’s particularly excellent that Lucy Lawless is the voice of Diana. How appropriate is that? :D )
What I lack, though, is grounding in the character’s actual line of comics. I’ve been dabbling in female-led Marvel titles in the last few years, and I have had half an eye on DC as well, enough to see glimmers of potential in some of the more recent Wonder Woman storylines. With the movie about to drop, I’m thinking it’s about time I investigated those titles.
Any fans of Wonder Woman’s recent comic stories out there? Got any recommendations for me?
If you didn’t discover the character via comics, what were your first memories of the character in mass media? Was Lynda Carter your Wonder Woman? Or did you discover her in animated form?
And if, like me, you have a soft spot for Greek mythology, how does that play into your knowledge of the character?
Share your Diana stories in the comments!