Why would I ponder such a horrible question? Well, the real answer goes something like this: I have more than a casual interest in conspiracy theories. I'm not necessarily saying I believe in them, per se. I just find them endlessly fascinating and somewhat addictive.
So, my latest conspiracy theory is a little something called "The Mandela Effect." What is the "Mandela Effect?" For a broader answer, google it. Trust me, it's worth it. In a nutshell, it says that a large percentage of the population remembers Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the '80s in prison. Except he died in 2013. Say what?
It gets weirder, from seemingly inconsequential anomalies, like Kit-kat candy bars losing - and purportedly never having had - a dash that many of the masses, myself included, seem to remember, to the unforgivable, like Darth Vader saying, "No, I am your father..." instead of the classic, everybody (including James Earl Jones) remembers it as "Luke, I am your father." I know this is all disturbing.
So, what the fleek? What's going on? Is there a rift in the timeline? Are parallel universes overlapping? Is someone trying to rewrite the future by rewriting the past?
Then, I thought, what if I woke up and Wonder Woman never existed? What if I was the only one who remembered her? What would comics be like? Heck, what would the world be like without the invention of one of the greatest, iconic, female role models of all time. Since I don't have the time or savvy to do a whole It's a Wonderful Life riff on life without Wonder Woman, I'll simply point out a few reasons why Wonder Woman having never been created would totally suck.
Wonder Woman was created by Dr. William Moulton Marston as a role model for young girls to counteract the Batmans and Supermans boys had as heroes. Without Wonder Woman, I suppose little girls could aspire to be like Betsy Ross, or Rosie the Riveter, or something.
Or I guess they'd all wind up a bunch of loose, scantily clad, twerking, pregnant teenagers.
Without Wonder Woman, a young unknown actress would not be cast in a career-making role that perhaps saved her from giving up on Hollywood all together. Without Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman, there be so many young girls and boys who would have to find their strength, courage, and inspiration from another source.
The feminist magazine Ms. founded by Gloria Steinem would not feature Wonder Woman on its debut cover. Perhaps the magazine would never have existed without Wonder Woman's feminist influence encouraging a young Gloria Steinem. The popularity, reach, and importance of the character is insurmountable. I realize ignorance is bliss, and we wouldn't know the difference otherwise, but I just got to thinking.
I know my life would be different without Wonder Woman. I wouldn't be writing this column for one thing. I wouldn't be the person everyone thinks of when they hear Wonder Woman. (If you are reading this, I know YOU are that person to a lot of people.) which, of course, through me off a completely different tangent.
Do our passions define us? Do they make our identity or replace it? What am I, if I'm not a Wonder Woman fan? Would the void she fills in me be filled by something else? Would it be She-Ra or Xena? Would those characters have ever been created without Wonder Woman laying the ground work. It's enough to make you want to spin into a more casual outfit.
So, basically, the reality and fabric of time has a glitch (possibly cosmic autocorrect?). Mandela Effect, Butterfly Effect, I can't believe it's not butter effect! Calgon! Take me away.
The good news is that we do live in a reality where Wonder Woman exists. She did influence many of our young minds. She has always been there as a beacon of light, a symbol of hope. I can't remember life without Wonder Woman. Here's hoping I never have to.
Wonder Woman has the best, most ravenous fans, and I'm happy to share the Wonder with so many passionate people!
See you next week and, as always, check out the I Am Wonder Fan Facebook page.