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How Wonder Woman’s iconic features turned her into a progressive icon

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And why she’s long overdue for a feature film

The first ever theatrical film about Wonder Woman is hitting theaters this summer. That’s something that’s long overdue, according to video blogger, KaptainKristian, aka, Kristian Williams, who takes a look at the character and her legacy in his latest video essay.

While Wonder Woman is an iconic character in the DC Universe, she has never quite gotten the same level of cultural recognition as Superman and Batman, DC’s other two top heroes. It was a year before she landed on the cover of a comic after she was first introduced, and while Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne are regularly fighting crime on television and in movie theaters, Diana Prince has largely been relegated to the sidelines, even as she became an important and popular character in comic books.

Williams points to Wonder Woman’s creator, William Moulton Marston for some of her most iconic features. Marston drew on things such as his role in helping to create the modern polygraph and his interest in bondage for elements such as Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth. Wonder Woman was also inspired in part by Marston’s wife Elizabeth, and his former student, Olive Byrne, with whom the couple had an extended relationship. Marston used these elements and other feminist iconography to help shape the character of Wonder Woman, which has provided the foundation for her popularity.

Williams doesn’t quite go out and say that it’s sexism that has propelled characters like Batman and Superman into the forefront of the public’s consciousness, but it’s implicit as he compares all three when it comes to mainstream games, movies, and television shows. The disparity is ironic, given that Wonder Woman was designed to combat these sorts of attitudes, and Williams argues that it’s the progressive values that she’s known for that makes her presence needed more than ever. With a film coming 76 years after she was first introduced, it’s recognition that’s long overdue.