Paradise Dungeons” — A Critical History of Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman may be the absolute strangest fictional character ever to become popular. Created by William Moulton Marston, she is explicitly a character created to promote his vision of a sexual utopia in which men submit to women, which he believed was the only possible way for humanity to survive. Despite the fact that she is explicitly an icon of kinky sex, radical feminism, and liberal utopian politics — three things that are not exactly clear winners in American mainstream culture — she’s endured as a major comics character and pop culture icon for decades.

Paradise Dungeon will be the story of that bizarre and amazing idea. From her first appearance in 1941’s All Star Comics #8 to her brand new relaunch as part of DC’s New 52 in 2011, the book will look at the complete history of Wonder Woman and how her utopian politics have risen and been suppressed over the decades, and how Wonder Woman fit into a myriad of eras of history, from World War II through to the turbulence of the 50s and 60s, the rekindled conservatism of the 70s and 80s, the rise of the digital generation in the 90s and 00s, and the present. And of how, in all of those eras, no matter who was working on Wonder Woman, the strange and radical utopianism of the concept survives.

Author and blogger Phil Sandier (TARDIS Eruditorum is using Kickstarter to raise money to get his book published. Since it deals with a subject and character highly relevant to the subject of this blog, I want to pass along this information and help him reach his goal. He has posted the first chapter of the book, excerpted above, and he’s definitely got some good ideas here.

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