chapter  4
30 Pages

Chronicles: Generations of Super-Girls /

As someone who was born in the same year as Wonder Woman and who therefore began serious comic reading around 1946 or 1947, I remember the female superhero most clearly in her distinctly diminished postwar avatar. The years when I was becoming an increasingly strong reader (and, in a groping seven-or eight-year-old way, an increasingly strong feminist, as well) were the very years of Wonder Woman’s decline from an inconsistent but unquestionably liberatory icon into something quite different. In the Wonder Woman of the late ’40s and the ’50s, not only was the wartime democratic crusade replaced by a far less global mission, but the theme of heterosexual romance was insistently foregrounded. Our hero possessed the same superpowers as before, but they were increasingly oriented toward law enforcement, rather than saving the world, and Steve Trevor increasingly blocked a view that was increasingly not there to see, anyway.