Happy birthday, Wonder Woman

Photo courtesy of Jensen Kugler
Over the 80+ years of Wonder Woman stories, Diana has shared the spotlight with a wide variety of powerful women, including Black Canary, the Wonder Girls, Queen Nubia, Artemis, and Hawkgirl.

According to DC Comics, March 22 marks the birthday of their iconic hero, Wonder Woman, who remains an inspiration over 80 years after her first appearance.

“I think a lot of superheroes can be aspirational. And while Wonder Woman obviously is a fictional character, I think, you know, she represents who women really are. They’re strong, powerful beings.

— English teacher Melissa Morgan

Diana Prince, known to the world as Wonder Woman, has been featured in a wide variety of media including comics, television, movies, toys, and games. One popular iteration of the hero is Lynda Carter’s portrayal in the “Wonder Woman” television series, which aired from 1975 to 1979. 

“I religiously watched Wonder Woman,” said English teacher Beth Leone. “I knew I could never be her, but I still wanted to.” 

In the superhero genre, female characters are featured less than their male counterparts, even though women make up over 50% of the world’s population. Wonder Woman was the only woman on the team in DC’s “Justice League” movie in 2017, and one of only two female title characters (the other being Harley Quinn) in the last ten years of DC Extended Universe (DCEU) cinema. This translates to only 16.67% of the Justice League and 28.6% of DC’s main characters being women. 

“If we look at some of the main [female superheroes, they have] a dark past or [evil to overcome,] but I feel like Wonder Woman really evolved from this goodness and being the strong female warrior,” said English teacher Melissa Morgan. “I’ve learned [from her] that I can be strong.”

Wonder Woman’s impact on women cannot be overstated. She has taught countless women that they have inner strength all too often overlooked by the world. At the same time, she is popular across demographics because of her universal values of love, honor, strength, and independence. 

“I just really like [the] character and what [she stands] for. My favorite iteration would [probably] be the Justice League animated show just cause she’s one of the few female characters in the show,” said senior Jasper Bourne. “I’ve learned a lot [from her] about more powerful female characters in TV shows and more inspirational strong leaders.”

DC’s most famous warrior princess has addressed social issues many times in her lifetime. Her stories have varied as much as her costumes, but the conflicts she’s faced have often reflected  that time period’s political climate for women. Whatever unique struggles women face in the next 80 years, Diana of Themyscira will continue to fight for them. 

“What future writers of Wonder Woman should keep in mind is her resilience, her strength, and her independence,” said senior Bryer Haywood. “She’s not called ‘Wonder Woman’ because she sat around and waited for someone else to come and do things for her. She has that name because she’s always taken what she wanted and never let anyone or anything get in her way.”

Happy Birthday and happy Women’s History Month to Wonder Woman!