I’ve been a girl-geek for as long as I can remember, searching for any female hero I could look up to. I had Storm, Rogue, Lady Death, Vampirella, and of course, Wonder Woman. But “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheriones” touched on what is a major problem in comics; lack of prominent female superheroes for little girls to aspire to.
Watching this documentary struck me not only as a woman, a mother, and but a comics fan. It is true that female representations in comics and scifi movies tend towards the hyper-sexualized to the powerful sacrifice (Lady Death and Jean Grey from the X3 movie, respectively). Exceptions exist and to ignore them is a shame (Captain Janeway from “Star Trek: Voyager” or any woman in the “Firefly” series) but it was Wonder Woman who really hit the mark, paving the way for them or in some cases showcasing how desperately we need her (as in post WWII, when she was suddenly all into typing and being carried around by her boyfriend).
I believe both women and men could benefit from this look at how feminism impacted the comic book industry and how important it is for little girls to see themselves in the heroes around them. I would have liked to see more about other superheroines - since that’s what the title implies - because I am sure other superwomen exist who are not nearly as famous as Wonder Woman. It was more "The Untold Story of Wonder Woman" than anyone else.
But the film got me thinking and that was the point. I wonder who my daughter will look up to (cause she’s a geek-in-training) and heck, who will I look up to because I’ve vowed to never quite grow up. I recommend this documentary just to get your mind working and you’ll learn a lot.I sure hope comic creators of the future will keep in mind how many thousands of little girls come to the conventions dressed up as Bat Girl, Super Girl, and Wonder Woman. Comics are for them, too. And they deserve some attention.
The documentary airs on PBS on April 15th!