Friday, February 8, 2013

Superhero Week: Wonder Woman

How do.  Today we reach the end of Superhero Week with a iconic character of which I feel needs no introduction but by God we are going to do that very thing regardless.  A pillar of strength and courage with her superhuman magically imbued powers she sets off into “Man’s world” to trounce bad guys and thwart evil plans.  So fasten your bracelets, strap into your invisible jet and always pack your lasso of truth.  This is Wonder Woman.

Andy Warhol's Mona Lisa?

The spoilers of a frightened evil child too terrified to trust in gentleness…

Now given the constant rewriting of the DC Comics history, the TV version also takes a few liberties with the origins in the same facet as Shazam or Spiderman.  The basis of the character however is sound.  Rather than her mother Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons engaging in World War II, it was decided for story line or possibly not a want to recast that Diana/Wonder Woman (Linda Carter of Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw, The Last Song, Born to Be Sold, Hotline and Partners in Crime) would encounter Major Steve Trevor (Lyle Waggoner of Swamp Country, Journey to the Center of Time, Love Me Deadly, The Carol Brunette Show and Mind Trap) crashed on the island of Themyscaria, a land of seemingly immortal and youthful women.  Through Major Trevor, Diana learns of the war against the Nazi party and brings this information to her mother Hippolyta (Carolyn Jones of The Man Who Knew Too Much, How the West Was Won, The Addams Family, Fantasy Island and Capitol) that they must take action embarking on a quest to return this much needed warrior to his war.
And now the talent portion of Miss America Pageant...

 As a contest is held to see which amazon will take Trevor home, Diana secretly enters, triumphs and is reluctantly sent under the identity of Yeoman Diana Prince and Season 1 consists of Diana fighting as Wonder Woman in the war.   After WW II she returns to the island and resumes her studies and explains to her amazon sisters the terrors and wonders of Man’s World.  With Season 2 underway, from wither boredom or the need to combat the forces of evil yet again, 30 years later she returns to encounter Steve Trevor Jr. (an amazing resemblance of his father) who works for the IADC the Inter-Agency Defense Command.   With a magic belt that gives her tremendous strength, bracelets that can deflect any caliber of bullet and a lasso that forces any caught in it to tell the truth she soars into action fighting for all of humanity.  

A few points I wish to make.   This is by far one of the closest crossovers from comic book to live-action humanly possible.  The theme song is a bit insipid and yes for you men watching this you will get whip lash and there is some fairly sexist undertones.  I swear the writers were just exploiting the overuse of chloroform.  Yes a woman that could hurl a tank over 20 maybe 100 yards somehow kept getting captured.  Steve Trevor was forever the damsel in distress to the point I just wanted to put him in a gingham dress and tie him to a train track whilst twirling my mustache and engage in a lengthy monologue.   
Sieg Heil! mean Yes Sir!

The pilot episode was an absolute stitch as Diana parades around with an almost childlike naivety as men and women gawk at her alike.  She comes off so sweet and innocent and yet she could bench press a bulldozer.     Oh a little FYI, Drusilla (Debra Winger of Urban Cowboy, Terms of Endearment, An Officer and a Gentleman, Legal Eagles and Lola Versus) has a reoccurring role as Wonder Girl.  Guess the rights to Donna Troy name were tied up with DC and Marvel comics’ writer Marv Wolfman of the Teen Titans and Blade. It was also great to go through these episodes and spot so many actors like: John Saxon, Roddie McDowell, Henry Gibson, Rick Springfield, Anne Ramsey and Pamela Susan Shoop.  So many TV and Movie actors gathered as bit parts or secondary characters.  To this day I cannot envision someone other than Lynda Carter tackling this role.