Wonder Woman at 75: All Hail the Original

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If there’s one birthday party in the world you can’t afford to miss, it’s gotta be the 75th anniversary of Wonder Woman.

From the moment she was created by William Moulton Marston, Elizabeth Holloway Marston, and artist Harry G. Peter, Diana has transcended her two dimensional origins and become a figure standing for everything from women’s liberation to representation in the LGBTQIA+ community to a literal ambassador of the United Nations. Whether you’ve read the comics, watched her animated adventures, perfected the Lynda Carter spin, or are just psyched to see her finally get a movie of her own, there’s no doubt that Wonder Woman has touched humanity in powerful, culture-shifting ways. To celebrate, here are a few of the Black Nerd Problems staff’s favorite Wondy moments of all time.

Izetta:

My first memories of Wonder Woman have everything to do with my aunt in Texas sending me my first set of Underoos. I put that tank and those panties on and transformed into the fierce and fabulous woman that I watched on the floor model TV at least once a week. The strong woman who lived inside of me, even when I felt small. You couldn’t tell me nothing. What was there not to love about Diana? She was always breaking rocks, bending guns, snapping swords, and doing it in a pair of power panties. To this day, the right panties and bracelets will have me out here running all of the things.

My favorite Wonder Woman moment happened this year, actually, when Gred Rucka confirmed that Diana is queer. Not only did he confirm it, but he confirmed that Diana being queer is not a plea to appeal to some folks or to add in the diversity factor. Instead, her queerness is pivotal to who she is and the Themysciran culture that she grew up in. She lived on Paradise Island, in a place where love has always been love and happiness is the norm. What a wonderful thing to be who you are because of who you are, not because of a need to be defined by others. What a joy to not have to “come out” of or as anything, but to just freely be. As an adult, I think back to every depiction I’ve ever seen of Wonder Woman and I think… “duh, of course she’s queer.” Maybe that’s one of the reasons I loved her so much. I loved that Diana was undoubtedly fierce and fabulous and loving. She was everything that many young girls wanted to be seen as. Why did the idea of a woman being strong and loving need to be mutually exclusive? Diana showed us differently. Today, she continues that legacy. She also showed me how to twirl with the best of ’em. 75 years of slaying, honey. I’m hope she’s here for at least 75 more.

Omar:

[quote_simple]”I’m not a factor, I’m the whole problem. Down to subtract for a fraction of folks”[/quote_simple]

Y’all know her as Wonder Woman, I know her as Dirty Diana. That’s the name Wonder Woman boes by when she is in the fucking trenches and out here getting fucking bodies. You don’t believe me? Ya girl done fought a Green Lantern (Procanon Kaa) one-on-one and lived to tell the tale. She’s even dusted Batman because “Wonder woman is the best melee fighter in the world.” That’s a quote straight from Bruce himself. Now I could tell you about others Wonder Woman done went and put the paws on but I’ll do you one better and talk about how Wonder Woman is the one hero that doesn’t let the moral high ground deter her from what needs to be done. There was an instance where Superman was being mind controlled by Maxwell Lord. He ordered Superman to kill Wonder Woman but muh fuckas out here forgetting Diana came out the womb a Golden Gloves champ.

She slit Superman’s throat in order to get him out of the trance and when the only option presented to prevent Maxwell from controlling Superman again was death, what’s a warrior to do? Merk a muh fucka that’s what. Diana took dude’s neck and “I whip my hair back and forth” that shit. Turned Max’s neck into muh fuckin linguine. Neck and head looking like the wacky wavy inflatable arm tube men, on national television mind you. She saved not only Clark’s life but the world, but did she get a thanks? An Applebee’s gift card? Nah, she got Batman and Superman talking bout “there’s always was another way” from their fucking high horses.

The OMAC Project, 2005
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The OMAC Project, 2005

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Diana looked them dead in the fuckin windows of they souls and said, “Bish, where?!”. Diana ain’t make no excuses for what she is (a muh fucking UFC taped-fist warrior) and what needed to be done. Don’t tell me shit about your faves unless they willing to forgo that moral high ground and make the zero dark thirty executive call. Wonder Woman that hardest muh fucka on the Justice League. Dats fucking Facts fam, these soft ass muh fuckas don’t want that Fist of Fury Feminism.

Lauren:

Narrowing down a favorite Wonder Woman scene feels almost impossible since I already wax poetic in practically every review of her current Rebirth series. But as far as the one that has had the most impact on my life I’d have to say it was during her battle with Power Girl in Wonder Woman #41, volume 3 written by the brilliant Gail Simone with art by Chris Baptista and Fernando Dagnino. The scene goes something like this: Power Girl, having been tricked by Ares the god of war’s offspring, starts rampaging DC in order to attack Diana and has basically spent the better part of the previous issue and this one being a complete super-powered asshole (including literally punching Wonder Woman into Canada). So when finally given the chance does a rightfully peeved Diana give Karen the beatdown she deserves?

Nah, son. She’s not even thinking about her own injuries or anger. Instead, Diana not only subdues her opponent with grace and authority, she actually recognizes their differences and gives her a pep talk. It’s this moment that continues to help me whenever I’m in conflict with other women, and to me that’s the epitome of who Wonder Woman is: someone who makes you want to be a better version of yourself, even in your worst, most painful moments.

William:

[quote_simple]And they always stay down, down, down, down[/quote_simple]

There’s about half a milli examples of Wonder Woman saying patriarchy be damned and putting the red and white boots up the backside of some shit bent on doing harm to women. There will never be a Wonder Woman story that doesn’t contain that. One of my personal favorites though is when Wonder Woman isn’t just slapping around some random dude, but Bruce “My Super Power is Convincing Comic Book Creators I Can Take Down Any Meta Human” Wayne himself, the Batman. In The Hiketeia, written by the Wonder Woman savant himself, Greg Rucka, Diana takes in a poor defenseless woman that wants nothing more than refuge from the cold hard world…fam, she actually a straight up murderer that Batman been chasing since Gotham. Batman come calling for Wellys the runaway, but Diana is like “Hold up, Heyyyyy.” She know that ol girl got some dirt on her, but she also knows she’s a scared woman just trying to survive and Diana ain’t about that “hand over a fellow sista to a dude claiming justice just cuz he says so.” Even if it’s Batman.

So, you might be like, so that’s when Bruce was like, damn, aiight then, and went back to Gotham right? Nah, b. Dude on some, “Don’t make me go through you.” Has Bruce met Wonder Woman? Does this dude have cable in the Batcave. Wifi been down on the super computer fam? Needless to say, the shit don’t go well for Bruce and Diana smack that dude like he trying to snatch the money n run in a craps game. Then she told Bruce don’t bring his broke ass around the crib no mo. Later, when the hissing sistas across the street got Wellys and Batman swoops in to snatch her up, Wonder Woman hits him with the “dude is you hard of hearing? Is Wonder Woman gonna have to smack a bat the fuck up?” Then she gives Bats all the work. Dude even tried to call in the Hiketeia to stop the fight and Diana was like, “you ain’t earned it fam.” Wonder Woman. Two Dub. Diana Da Gawd. No Fucks given.

Favorite Cover: Wonder Woman #29 by Cliff Chiang

Goddess of War. Nuff Said.

Nicole:

Because the universe is cruel and funny and mostly both simultaneously, my kid wants to be a princess. I, loather of pink – I, hater of the frilly – I, disdainer of the pomp and circumstance have a kid who wants nothing more than to embody all of that. So, obviously, I sat her down and we watched the 2009 animated Wonder Woman movie because if my kid is going to be a princess, I need her to see the possibilities. I needed her to see a princess kicking ass and making mistakes and, yes, standing up for herself (even to her mom.) That movie may not be in rotation as heavy as Elena of Avalor, but when her karate coach asked her who her favorite superhero was, she said “Wonder Woman” and that’s the kind of princess I can share a house with: one who throws punches and tea parties.

Brittany:

First off, Wonder Woman is my absolute FAVORITE superhero. She was everything 3 year-old me wanted to be, a princess who got to carry a big sword and throw down with the boys (without having to be rescued of course. I’m a first-string hero, thank you very much). That said, most of my exposure to her as a character came for the DC Animated Universe (or Hanna Barbera Super Friends). Predictably my two (yes two, y’all gon take what comes out of this fangirling!) favorite Wonder Woman moments are from the DCAU and (even more predictably because I’m OBSESSED with fight choreography) both moments are attempted beat-downs. Two times folks try to jump Diana but you’ll never, ever, ever catch the Amazonian Princess slipping.

Moment 1: Wonder Woman & Big Barda vs Darksied’s Furies from Superman/Batman: Apocalypse

This fight’s four against two with the odds in the Furies favor, or so it seems. If we get real about this, the shit’s pretty balance. Here Wonder Woman pulls out my favorite fight move since Sailor Moon did that standing backflip over the photography monster’s head. Diana flings her lasso to intercept the bladed whip heading toward Barda, wraps the whip around her leg, and Scorpios her opponent right into a boot to the face. I’ve cued it up to the right moment, but please, watch the whole clip.

Moment 2: Wonder Woman vs Black Canary,
Huntress, Vixen, & Hawkgirl (Justice League Unlimited “Grudge Match”)

This episode sees a brainwashed Diana taking on four of the Justice League’s best fighters and, like the consummate badass that she is, not breaking a sweat while she beats the breaks off of them. It’s pretty brutal because they all try so hard. You could argue that the quartet is working not to kill Wonder Woman while the fuck switch in her brain is more off than a three-day weekend. They eventually flip the switch back on, but it’s clear ain’t no jumping Wonder Woman. The odds ain’t never in your favor.

Honorable Mention: A League of One
Wonder Woman takes down the entire Justice League and the fights a dragon. Your fav could never.

Carrie:

When I close my eyes and think of words that come to mind to describe Wonder Woman: “strong” is certainly one of them. As one of my favorite comic book characters since I can remember, Diana Prince, Wonder Woman did not shy away from being strong and performing great feats using her physical strength. (Never Forget: Wonder Woman Suplex!) Sure she valued wisdom and placed other character traits as important but I always loved how she was able to be a part of the action, to be on the front lines and simply kick ass.

Thinking also of so many instances from my childhood to the dreaded days puberty to now of how my female body is presented in advertisements and how the female body is policed. I think of how the female body is routinely used as a gag, used for jokes…we, as a society still have much work to do because girls and women are still shamed for their bodies. But then there is this:

It’s comic books we are talking about and most artists are men—I don’t have to tell you about how even teenage girls are hypersexualized because this week has brought it. But I love this particular cover to this Wonder Woman comic because it presents a muscular, beautiful Diana standing tall. She is an image on a poster upon a wall. But that doesn’t stop two little girls: one imitating her and the other one pointing, both with grins on their faces engaging in what they see Wonder Woman doing.

This is the Wonder Woman who inspires girls everywhere: You too, can be strong. You too, can be achieve it. You too can be your own version of strength. Your body is a tool, your tool. Your body is a vehicle, yours to get you to where you want to go. Your body is yours. You own it and you alone. Your body may be different and there’s nothing wrong with it. Own it.

Think back on that comic book cover above—is the male gaze even present? Who is interacting with the WW poster? Girls. Who is projecting themselves and enjoying themselves? Girls. Who is the focus outside of Diana? Girls.

Representation matters, y’all. Positive Body image certainly matters. Seeing womenfolk at ease and comfortable in their own bodies matters. Wonder Woman Matters. This is a woman who inspires me to to take agency of my own body and use it to be great. This is my hero. This is my Wonder Woman.

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