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Wonder Woman Wednesday: WonderPop!

As Wonder Fever continues to heat up in anticipation of her big screen debut in Batman V Superman and the character’s 75th anniversary, Wonder Woman is perfectly poised to become an even bigger pop culture phenomenon in 2016.

So, this week, I thought we’d take a look at some highlights and/or examples of Wonder Woman’s impact on pop culture overall. After all Wonder Woman has never waned in the public eye since her inception.

As stated, this will be the first time Wonder Woman will appear in a Hollywood feature. She has, however, hit the small screen, most notably in the revered Lynda Carter weekly adventure. Arguably, this could be exactly what shot Wonder Woman into pop culture stratosphere. The ’70s were, after all, responsible for more aggressive forms of mind control.

Less notably, the CBS TV movie that made a blonde (Gasp!) Kathy Lee Crosby portraying Wonder Woman in a jumpsuit (which personally I love the design) a powerless judo ninja? That’s incredible!

Even lesser notably, the 1967 TV pilot with a comedy/camp angle which never works if it’s intentional. Portraying a housewife who fantasizes about being WW? What the Hera?

Even more lesser notably than that was the never-aired David Kelly pilot for Wonder Woman that features the unflattering pants that probably killed the whole show because of the downright outrage! To think women once had to fight for the right to wear pants? Way to bring back the skirt! You go, girl! Oops.

Anyway, it takes a real pop culture icon to have mass appeal and either be integrated into real life seamlessly, or to be successfully crossed over with other pop culture icons. For instance, I have seen and thought very successful the following Wonder Woman mash-ups: WW/Miss Piggy; WW/Hello Kitty; WW LEGO; WW Funko Pop! (6 at least!); WW/Sock Monkey; WW/Bobble Heads; WW /Voodoo Dolls; WW/Potato Head; and probably a bunch more.

As far as being integrated into real life, I think she’s like Batman in the fact that you don’t have to justify being a Batman fan. Everyone gets it. Even if they aren’t a superfan, they understand and empathize with the appeal. Wonder Woman was an important part of Saturday morning cartoons like the Superfriends and Justice League. She’s had her own animated feature, which was quite good. And, she’s been part of important Justice League Animated features. What girl doesn’t feel empowered by Wonder Woman? Or boy? I know she gave me strength in my youth. She commands respect. Call me a purist, but I am slightly afraid of how much the new film will affect Wonder Woman’s pop culture history. I can’t imagine this new version replacing the iconic version. It seems too much in us. Too embedded in our collective mind’s eye. I am not so stodgy that I dislike alternative versions of WW, I just know who the “real” Wonder Woman is when it’s time to stand up.

I feel the same way about Superman, as far removed as he is from these versions. Christopher Reeve and John Byrne’s post-Crisis revamp will always be my Superman. Oddly, I’ll take Batman any way. I love West as much as Bale and Keaton, and yes even Clooney. I love him drawn by Bolland or Adams, or Aparo or Davis. He’s Batman. ‘Nuff said! Perhaps that’s the little boy in me?

The point I’m making is that WW has changed a lot over the years in comics, but I think that the Lynda Carter version owes faithfulness to the comic as a key ingredient in its success. It was fun because it had everything you liked about the comic. And, of course, Carter was perfect. This new version seems like such a departure. A little darker. The tiara is so different. The skirt seems to be bulky and cumbersome. The look is a little Xena-ish. It’s designedly indisputable. I just can’t imagine this replacing the star-spangled panties, red-starred tiara, and red and white-striped boots that permeate the national psyche, if not global.

But, hey, I could be wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against this movie, I just think it’s encapsulated. The source material always gets revisited.

Which leads to this week’s column art. “WonderFlap Woman.” My mash-up of WW and an unlikely pop culture institution, “mudflap girl.” Usually seen on . . . well, the mudflaps of 18-wheelers usually driven by rednecks or horny hillbillies. Get a shirt here

See you next week and head over and “Like” I am Wonder Fan on Facebook (so we can make a Wonderfan documentary)!

Michael Fitzgerald Troy, Fanbase Press Contributor



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