“At last, in a world torn by the hatreds and wars of men, appears a woman to whom the problems and feats of men are mere child’s play. A woman whose identity is known to none, but whose sensational feats are outstanding in a fast-moving world! With a hundred times the agility and strength of our best male athletes and strongest wrestlers, she appears as though from nowhere to avenge an injustice or right a wrong! As lovely as Aphrodite – as wise as Athena – with the speed of Mercury and the strength of Hercules – she is known only as Wonder Woman, but who she is, or whence she came, nobody knows!” [All Star Comics #8, 1941]
These exhilarating words proudly introduced Wonder Woman for the first time in history, marking the beginning of her 75 year expedition for justice, equality and peace.
Her role was surprisingly meagre as she competed against her peers to win the honour of escorting Steve Trevor home but, true to form, she gathered all her strength, passion and determination to fly apart from the other Amazonians and venture not only to the world of men but into a solo comic-book series, all in less than a years’ time.
With style and grace, she made her victory look easy, but this was only the first hurdle Diana of Themyscira had to jump to combat the test of time.
The Amazonian princess, along with the rest of her following, had to wait 35 long years before she was gifted a starring role on her TV show and, of course, she didn’t disappoint. Her adventures spanned through everything from running for president to working at a fast food chain and everything in between.
But much like with her humble beginnings in All Stars Comics, Wonder Woman’s first time on the silver screen was in a supporting role for her male counterparts. In March 2016, she made an appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice despite being a powerful symbol of justice, equality and peace independently for years but now, in her 75th year, she is once again setting herself apart from the multitude of machismo masked marvels.
Wonder Woman finally adorned the big screen in her first solo movie on Friday 2 June in the top spot, taking £4.94m over the weekend period and £6.18m including Thursday previews.
“With her roots in Greek mythology and American feminism, Wonder Woman is one of the most unique and compelling characters in comic book history; her longevity is a testament to her global appeal and the special place she holds in the hearts of generations of girls who have imagined wielding their own lassos of truth.” Says Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment, President of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and President and Chief Content Officer of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
And she continues to inspire women and men of all ages, so it’s a wonder that she hasn’t had much presence in store.
Products include an array of beauty items along with other uninspiring calendars, picture books, Funko Pops and – I can’t fail to miss out – the Wonder Woman razor.
Amazon isn’t even selling her LEGO set which seems odd compared to excitement built around Batman and Superman’s cinematic output.
Worst of all, Wonder Woman tie-in product Think Thin diet bars were released, which understandably caused a lot of backlash. And this isn’t the first time marketers have missed the mark with products from a feature with a strong female lead! (Remember Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens?)
Massive progress has been made, solely by the fact this film is in existence, and with a female director, Patty Jenkins, to boot!
But this can’t be the only push forward. Marketers need to learn how to support and encourage products that feature strong women.
But have no fear! If anyone is going to inspire change in the masses, courage for the meek to speak out, and bravery to challenge what is considered to be normal – it would be Wonder Woman.
So fight on, Diana of Themyscira!
We might have to hang on for another 35 years to see Wonder Woman properly represented in store, but through comics to tv and now to film, she’s always been worth the wait.