United Nations Honors Wonder Woman on 75th Anniversary

Posted: October 21, 2016 by Sam in Comics, Editorial
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75 years ago, the world was introduced to Diana of Themyscira, Princess of the Amazons, and the superhero known as Wonder Woman. Debuting in All-Star Comics #8 in December of 1941, Wonder Woman – created by William Moulton Marston, with help from his wife Elizabeth – soon achieved the status of lead character starting with Sensation Comics #1 in January of 1942. A Nazi-fighting Amazon blessed by the gods of Greek mythology, Wonder Woman was the embodiment of Marston’s ideal woman and his personal philosophy of utopia in which women were the dominant power.

Art by Nicola Scott

Art by Nicola Scott

Smart, strong, athletic, kind, loving, beautiful, and peaceful only describe some of the traits Wonder Woman has been associated with over the last 75 years. She’s worn many hats as DC Comics’s most well-known superheroine, and certainly her solo title and character progression have taken some roller coaster rides, but like Superman and Batman everyone has a version of Wonder Woman they can call their own. Hero, Princess, Warrior, Diplomat, Demigod, Daughter, and Friend, Diana has been many things to many people. Today, however, she’s an honorary ambassador of the United Nations.

The premiere feminist icon in comic books, it makes sense that Wonder Woman would be honored by an organization that has been making a much needed effort towards gender equality. From Marston’s original appropriation of suffragette garb to her appearance on the cover of Ms. Magazine in 1972 to her newly appointed status, Wonder Woman has and remains a champion for the equality of women. She has inspired millions and served the purpose of bringing feminist values to the forefront. As Gloria Steinem wrote:

 

Wonder Woman symbolizes many of the values of women’s culture that feminists are now trying to introduce into the mainstream: strength and self-reliance for women; sisterhood and mutual support among women; peacefulness and esteem for human life; a diminishment both of “masculine” aggression and of the belief that violence is the only way of solving conflicts.

 

As part of the celebration, the U.N. invited Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot to speak on behalf of the character both have brought to life on the small and big screen. Carter, though not the first to play Diana, certainly had the longest live action run on, naturally, Wonder Woman, which ran from 1975 to 1979, and Gadot recently appeared as the lasso-wielding demigod in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with her first ever solo film set to premiere in June 2017. They were joined by the 2017 movie’s director, Patty Jenkins, as well as DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson, though I suspect there were plenty of artists and writers invited to the ceremony if Twitter is to be believed.

dc1

While this is certainly not the first time Wonder Woman has been part of campaigns for women’s rights or had her iconic image used to make an impact, this does mark her first official sanction as the Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls. One of the ways DC Comics plans to fulfill that responsibility is by producing a comic book for release in 2017, distributed via the U.N., and translated into the six official languages of the organization; namely Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.

Also ready for release next week, DC Comics will release a 75th Anniversary book next week featuring the writing and art work of well known comic book pros like Rafael Albuquerque, Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, Renae De Liz, Brenden Fletcher, Adam Hughes, Karl Kerschl, and Gail Simone.

It’s a good cap to a celebration for such an iconic character who is finally getting her due. Hopefully, next year we’ll be talking about how amazing her solo film was and speculating about its inevitable sequel. Fingers crossed.

 

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