Wonder Woman, for those not in the know, is an Amazonian warrior princess, known in her homeland as Diana of Themyscira. Dreamed up by US psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston in 1942, the superhero's interests are justice, love, peace and sexual equality. To help her achieve these goals, she has a boomerang tiara, indestructible bracelets and a lasso of truth (Marston also invented the lie-detector test). She occasionally flies an invisible plane, too, presumably being careful to remember where she parked it.
Morrison spoke to me briefly about Marston at last year's book festival. "William Moulton Marston was basically a kind of proponent of free love," he said. "So he and his wife had a lover called Olive Byrne, an 18-year-old, and Olive was the physical model for Wonder Woman. They created the character because they felt Superman represented a kind of blood-curdling masculinity. They wanted to introduce somebody more feminine."
Marston had some other colourful kinks: "He had this idea that the world would be better if men would just submit to women's complete instruction. But he took it all the way – not just submit to instruction but get collars on, and get down on all fours, and just admit that's where you belong, guys. So a lot of the Wonder Woman stories had this thread through them, this idea of bondage. But Marston called it 'loving submission'."
|An un-inked panel from Grant Morrison's forthcoming graphic novel The Trial of Diana Prince.|
|"'Wonder Girl' was what some called her, but a wonder woman is what she was, no costume or magic lasso required."—Mike Downey, LA Times|