Wonder Woman production ideas worth exploring
by Brett Jett
Back in the 40's, there were rumored plans for WW in radio show, movies, even a full-length novel on coated paper. But they never transpired. The below proposed Wonder Woman productions are what I've always envisioned since the 80's. I wonder...which one of these would you fans support?
*Black & White animation show ------ in the 40's, Superman had his own animation show. Everytime I looked at Harry Peter's artwork on Wonder Woman, I always imagined it MOVING, like an animation. I would've LOVED to see such a B&W animation of Wonder Woman using Harry Peters drawing style! Everytime I watched the Superman cartoon of the 40's, I always wondered what it'd be like if it were Wonder Woman who was drawn in that style of cartoon.
I think they can still do it today, if given the green light. Get someone who can mimic Harry Peter's style.
*B&W serial ------ Batman & Superman both had B&W serials...I wondered why Wonder Woman never had one?! William Marston was still alive during that time...someone coulda just asked him for his consultation! As a kid, I often imagined what a B&W Wonder Woman serial would look like...who would play her?...the accent she would have...the tone of the stories...etc...altho Ann Savage could play Cheetah. I would surmise that the serial would be a magical genre, more fantasy-like. The lady who plays her would probably have no special Amazonian accent. She would smile a lot. She would be witty. There'd hardly be the menace of peril found in the Batman serial. In one sense, it'd be a joke. In another, it'd serve the purpose of uplifting viewers, getting them to smile, have happy thoughts, no more doom & gloom...which would've been the ideal visual medicine for people of the Depression Era.
*Multi comics titles ------ As I remember from when I last read comics, Batman had 4 comic titles...Superman had at least 3. Why the hell did Wonder Woman only have one? No wonder why it was so boring. Mono. Wonder Woman, above all other superheroes, has many facets to her 3-dimensional character...such is the result of Dr. Marston's intricate handi-work. Therefore, she needs to have different titles that explore different aspects that cannot be given full justice in one medium. How about a title that only explores her life as Diana Prince & her humanitarian exploits, with her secret Wonder Woman identity as backup. Another title would deal with her Greek mythological adventures. Another title deals with her as a love guru, helping people figure out their love lives...it can also explore her love life with Steve. This echoes back to the post-WW2 period of romance comics that naturally follows a period of war & destruction.
Plus, there should be the occasional Elsehwere one-shot where variations on the original Wonder Woman concept are explored, including what fans imagine her to be.
*Legends of the Amazon Champion ------ Every WW fan takes for granted the wonders of their fave superhero. You all see her as this perfect icon. But did you ever stop to think of what went into making her the hero that you all admire & love today?? EVER wondered how WW grew up? Afterall, like the rest of the DC Trinity, even she had to go thru a process of learning before becoming Aphrodite's Prime Agent that she is today!
But unlike other superheroes, WW's process happens to be and allegory that reflects Dr. Marston’s philosophy & psych theories on human improvement of the spirit, body, & mind.
Batman had such a title that explored his past. Why wasn't there one for Wonder Woman?! I guess its becuz none of the DC writers even knew exactly how Diana was as a child? Well after reading my articles, they will. Such a new title would've certainly solved the problem of lack of interest & sales. Becuz by making Wonder Woman more interesting to readers, you garner more sales.
Dr. Marston never elaborated too much on WW's upbringing, probably becuz he was focused on WW in her prime as a symbol for promoting an ideal matriarchy.....and then he died before ever getting onto the task of expanding her early years.
So let's fix that void...
This proposed title would deal with her upbringing on Paradise Island in-depth, as well as explore the psychology & philosophy inherent in the mythos...just as Batman's LOTDK title explores his training. It would be very educational. A layman's look into the mind of Dr. Marston. Such philosophy would also be similar to those in THE MATRIX...Free Your Mind. It'd be a chance for you to witness HOW WW became "Wise as Athena".
This is also a time to explore the Amazons' historic efforts in their training...how they came up with alternative battle tactics that are adapted to humanity, such as non-lethal tactics.
In my private Wonder Woman Universe continuity, I have in fact written complete stories of her early years leading up to the Tournament. Each of the stories are categorized into any one of the 3 major periods of her upbringing, each dealing with a different phase of her development. DC could do the same. They are:
PERIOD 1 = From birth to age 5......
This period explores the things that influenced her mind, her inherent values, the love that she received, the horrors she might've witnessed as a toddler just exploring about the island, the joy she brought to the island, the diapers that had to be changed (peuw!)....and of course, the festive events following her clay birth during a Mid-Summer night, as she was the first one born on the Island!
PERIOD 2 = Age 5-15......
This period is about the various skills we all know she has, fluently picking up languages left & right, learning ethics, "I know Kung-fu", "Free your mind", building up her martial abilities & power, being tested to her limits, etc. She surpasses all of her sisters. More & more, they all get a sense that she is The One. But this is also the period when she realizes how dangerous unchecked power can be. She has become the best among her race, but there's will more to learn. Which is why this period all culminates in her finally receiving her bracelets!! The bracelets are both practical devices AND the symbols of her learning not only how to use her great power properly, but control, submission to the proper authority within her mind...which involves control of emotions (DISC)... all of which would make her the wonderful hero we all know.
PERIOD 3 = From age 15, all the way up to the point she first meets Steve Trevor, which is about age 24, max......
In this period, she learns mastery over her emotions, destructive ego, & inner demons...all the elements that truly explain why she is Aphrodite's Prime agent...as well as continuing to train & surpass her sisters. Also, her wanderlust has built up, so more & more she longs to do something for the world...to serve Aphrodite beyond the shores of her home.
By now, every Amazon knows that the Queen's daughter is quirky, unconventional.
But of course, this all only becomes interesting if you go by the original Marston concept where she is equal to the other Amazons, and not someone whom the gods gave exclusive superpowers to. Becuz the truth is, Diana is only special & the best becuz of her unique MIND.
*Wonder Woman interactive videogame ------ (See my WW videogame thread) http://www.comicvine.com/wonder-woman/29-2048/wonder-woman-videogameinteractive/92-697295/
*De-Powered period revisited ------ In some ways, I feel sorry for the flack that Denny O'Neil got during his incarnation. I'm sorry that he was deceived into puzssyfooting all those feminist chicks. He should take the assessment of his work from a REAL Wonder Woman aficionado...me. And I say his incarnation was a good idea. It re-associated WW with the espionage genre, among others. So what she got a male mentor figure?! That's what you call a healthy balanced life! Diana is supposed to be the most human of the Amazons, who experiences things they don't. But the damned feminist want to keep her like the other Amazons stuck on the Island!
Not only was the mentor "I-Ching" aptly named...But it was a chance to explore what Diana was really made of...at least ONE way to. Its so easy for someone to espouse fighting crime in a humane way when you got superpowers...but what if you didn't have powers? Batman manages just fine, and his code has been tested at times. De-powering Wonder Woman is like taking Batman's gadgets away...how will he manage to keep his code with just his fists, wits, & heart? Its also a great opportunity to explore Diana's inner personality more.
Altho Denny did make some mistakes, I believe this incarnation is a notable milestone in Wonder Woman's history, and should be re-done...But redone correctly this time. Becuz Denny's ONLY errors in judgement were:
1. He undertook this incarnation based on mis-informed motivation. Denny thought the gods granted her powers, and that she was more admirable if she worked for her abilities. Little did he (and the whole DC company) realize that that was already the case!....Venusian brain energy + Training = Amazonian abilities. And that the magic in her world is actually an allegory for real life training of girls. The whole company failed to see the Wonder Woman mythos for the way it was designed, which was as a psychological tool to infect the minds of young people, using allegories to teach them to use their brains. As to how that translates into a more literal genre, one can always look to my Wonder Woman screenplay for ideas.
2. This De-powered thing took too long. This story concept is only good for so long before you must return her to full superpower status. One year would be a good length of time.
3. He changed her personality into a different person who's not Wonder Woman. He neglected her inner strength. I understand that she just lost her love Steve, but why not build that into the story where she starts out distraught, but builds up to her full emotional strength?
4. He changed some key aspects of the mythos...not keeping Ares as the villain, and still portraying the Amazons archaic & killing.
5. He trashed her code of ethics in battle. He showed her firing guns & killing people...something she never did when she had powers. So I guess in Denny's case, Diana failed the test.
*The definitive Wonder Woman documentary ------ Unlike the disjointed, poorly made shorts in the BTAWM dvd, my proposed Wonder Woman documentary would be the FIRST real documentary on Wonder Woman that has a real point & really digs into her mythos, analyzing its genesis & the various social phenomena it has caused...such as the feminists' worship, or about why fans ascribe various tenets to WW that weren't in the original template. I don't remember if Batman ever had one, but Superman has had a handful of in-depth documentaries. Its about time Wonder Woman has one. Such a documentary would be a GREAT promotional TV special airing weeks before the theatrical release of the very first Wonder Woman movie....and would feature guest speakers who are scholars in Greek Mythology & symbolic writing, psychologists, PUAs, experts in the supernatural, theologians, sex experts, and yea, maybe a feminist or two. Just as a Batman documentary would include interviews with mystery writers, detectives, engineers, etc...or as a Superman documentary has included interviews with Nietzsche philosophers, Jewish theologians, astronomy professors, sci-fi writers, etc.
As well as interviews with the Marston family. And it has to be organized in a way that makes sense, peeling back the many layers that make up the WW mythology. It should also explore the social/psychological reasons why people love Wonder Woman.
PLUS...either as a segment of this documentary, or just some film short aired at a Movie Awards show, there should be a short where the clay statue birth scene plays out, with Lynda Carter as Hippolyta.
But to make it more fun, inspirational, & evoke deep emotions, I propose that it include in-between shorts where either a live action or animated Wonder Woman (with Susan Eisenberg voicing it) goes around talking to major aficionados who tell her what they've always wanted to say to her...Andy Mangels, Gloria Steinem, Me, Phil Jimenez, etc. Then toward the end of the documentary, the very last person she speaks to after flying to his home is Pete Marston himself, as he lets his heart pour out on her, telling her how he's felt about her all these years, what he wishes for her to be or do after he's passed on, and maybe tell her how Dr. Marston himself felt about her. I guarantee you, this bit would bring tears to die-hard Wonder Woman fans watching it!
Such a documentary is guaranteed to garner DEEP interest in Wonder Woman like never before! Then you end up with more people who know her as much as they know Batman.