Robert Kirkman's Secret History of Comics (2017) s01e02 Episode Script

The Truth About Wonder Woman

1 [music] Wonder Woman is awesome.
[Patty Jenkins] What I cared about the most was trying to make a movie true to the character that has lasted for 75 years for a reason.
But, for many years, I've been saying "There is a massive following of Wonder Woman," and it was baffling to me that she, the biggest female superhero in history, was not on-screen.
[Phil Jimenez] We think today of seeing an action heroine in a movie as a big risk.
But can you imagine, back in 1941, at the start of World War II, how risky it was to be encouraging women to be powerful? It still astounds me that I never thought to explore earlier, "Well, who was it that made this character? Why does she exist?" [Michelle Rodriguez] When I learned a little bit about the creators, it made me love the comic even more.
It definitely wasn't the conventional.
[Nancy Wykoff] If you look at the history of Wonder Woman, especially in the '40s, there was so much of these three people put into that character.
[Barbara Moss] Their life journey inspired a comic book fantasy.
That had to have been pretty spectacular for all three of them.
[Jennifer K.
Stuller] They created one of the most iconic characters of our time.
But what strikes me is the salaciousness of his personal life.
[Lynda Carter] I know the real story and that stunned me.
I said, "Excuse me?" [title music] [music] [gunfire] [Narrator] Before she was a box-office smash in 2017 and a television hit in the '70s, Wonder Woman was a comic book trailblazer armed with a very unique weapon.
What the hell is this thing? The Lasso of Hestia compels you to reveal the truth.
[Narrator] From her earliest days, Wonder Woman was a character built on truth.
But the irony is her origins were all about lies and deception.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, the 1920s it may seem an unlikely place for the birth of the most iconic female superhero ever but this is where Wonder Woman began.
In order to understand how Wonder Woman has withstood the test of time and where she came from, it's important to understand more about the creator, William Moulton Marston, a progressive psychologist, and the two women behind him.
[Lucy Lawless] The more I read about Marston, the more I liked him, actually.
I thought he was super interesting.
And he was a valiant free-thinker.
These are the things that I really adore.
And he was really into girl power.
Marston met the woman who would become his wife when they were very young, and William Moulton Marston wouldn't have been anywhere near the success he was without Elizabeth Holloway.
Every step of the way, she was the strength behind him.
[Jimenez] This is a guy who had some sexual proclivities that would have been considered scandalous in the day, certainly considered scandalous now, who had the good fortune of marrying a woman who understood him, and stood by him, and saw that they could be great together.
William and Elizabeth had both been very heavily involved in the suffrage movement.
They wanted women to have the right to vote.
[Jenkins] I think that he was, obviously, a very forward-thinking, feminist mind, and he was also very interested in truth.
Those two things are fascinating because it's got everything to do with the hero that has been created and everything to do with what equality takes.
[Narrator] Elizabeth routinely collaborated with William on his psychology career, and nearly 20 years before the creation of Wonder Woman, she also inspired his first notable success.
[Moss] Elizabeth says to Bill one day, "You know, I kind of notice when we girls get excited, our our pulse starts racing, our hearts start beating.
" And William says, "Oh, so your emotions somehow trigger something else?" [Mangels] He became convinced that blood pressure could be a way to tell whether a person was lying or not, so he created the systolic blood pressure test that is what we now think of as one of the major elements of polygraph, or lie detector tests.
[Narrator] By 1925, William is building an impressive academic career, and is a professor at Tufts University.
[Moss] He is a professor of Experimental Psychology, and he's a hot professor on campus, very popular, and in one of his classes is a very interesting young woman, and her name is Olive.
There is something I'd like you to consider really think about.
Are you a normal person? Probably for the most part, you are.
But your biggest fears, deepest desires, you keep to yourself, hidden away don't you? [Wykoff] Olive Byrne was my grandmother, and I remember speaking with her, especially about the time where we were going off to college, and she always wanted us to go to Tufts.
She loved the school.
But aside from the fun and the parties, that's where she met William Marston.
[Bell ringing] However let me summarize, as I'm out of time.
I've found people illustrate their emotions in four ways: dominance inducement submission and compliance.
And we will focus on these emotions next class.
Thank you.
That was bold.
Encouraging to hear from a young lady.
Olive.
Olive Byrne.
William Marston.
- If you like, I can show you more.
- Of what? Of your four emotions.
[Mangels] When she was at Tufts University, Olive Byrne introduced Marston to some of the strange and unusual practices that were going on at her sorority.
And anybody who's been in college and in a sorority or a fraternity knows, there's some strange stuff that happens.
[female student] No, I didn't think so.
You broke each and every one of them today.
Sit down in the line.
Now! [Langley] She introduces him to these "baby parties" at her sorority, where he becomes fascinated with, you know, these sorority girls acting like babies as part of the party.
You were seen on campus without your bottle.
[snaps] Bad girl! [Mangels] This eventually made it into the pages of Wonder Woman, where Wonder Woman's friend Etta Candy and the sorority girls of the Holiday College engage in a baby party.
It was very strange material.
[whack] Who's next? [Moss] So at this point, Olive became Dr.
Marston's assistant in his work.
She's fascinated in this work with the lie detector, but she's very, very, uh unconventional.
She's spontaneous.
She's very alluring.
And then what happens? You have the professor falling in love with his student, and she certainly has fallen in love with the professor.
[Mangels] They became linked, both professionally and romantically.
Olive was publicly portrayed as Marston's assistant, but really, she was his mistress.
And as we know, younger people sometimes have more progressive ideas, and they might bring things to the table that even super-progressive thinkers might not think of, and so Olive might have opened some eyes and opened some doors in that relationship.
Marston was interested in BDSM.
He was interested because he had a kink, because bondage and submission was sexually exciting to him.
[Olive grunting] And Marston had fallen in love with Olive.
Elizabeth saw this.
Had they been found out, it could've been disastrous for his career, for everything.
It could have ruined him.
Olive and William, their relationship grew, and it was taboo.
It just didn't happen.
But then, as odd as it was, William Marston spoke with Elizabeth and said, "I've fallen in love with her, and I want her to move in with us.
" [Mangels] This is the 1920s, realize.
It was not the time for any progressive psychologist to publicly have a wife and a mistress that all lived together.
It was not only unheard of, it was possibly dangerous.
[music] [Narrator] Elizabeth Marston has been happily married to William for over 10 years, but now she has a difficult decision to make.
[Wykoff] William fell head over heels in love with Olive Byrne, and told Elizabeth Marston that he wanted her to live with them.
If having another woman live in the house is what's going to make you happy, then I'm okay with it.
[Wykoff] The story I heard was that after some time, Elizabeth told William Marston that she wanted him to be happy, and soon after that, Olive moved in.
To allow the man that she loves to express love for another woman, she had to be a very strong woman to do that.
I've heard inklings of this, uh bohemian-like, 1930s figure who lived, you know, '70s-style Three's Company with two broads.
There was an open-mindedness to it, and if you look a little bit deeper, you know, following the conventional wisdom of what society is pushing on you may not necessarily be the route.
Listen, we all have lives, complicated lives.
They seemed to be living a really loving, beautiful life, which was embracing of truth and in celebration of equality.
Whether there's two of them or three of them - is not really the point.
- [Langley] The trio of them, the ménage à trois, the household of three had to go to great lengths sometimes to keep the views of the outside world from intruding on their family.
We do know there are deceptions involved when they would list her in one census as a cousin, another census as a different relative.
[Lawless] It's just so awesome that they were so not beholden to society's morals.
They were so, um honest about the dynamic between the three of them.
They didn't let society's norms define them or their work, because they were obviously great partners intellectually.
[Langley] In 1928, William is working on his book, Emotions of Normal People.
He has the lie detection thing, which everybody talks about, but there's this D.
I.
S.
C.
theory "D.
I.
S.
C.
" for "dominance, inducement, submission, compliance.
" And Olive legitimately was his research assistant.
Do you know what it became for William Marston? I absolutely believe it, their home became a living laboratory of human emotions, and how they interacted, and behavior of jealousy, of control, of dominance.
Olive and Dr.
Marston are doing some very odd work with the reactions of women, to see how they would respond to these emotional scenes.
[Jimenez] From what I've studied, from what I've read from the text, is that Marston believed women were "love leaders," and he truly believed in this idea of loving submission, which is to say, if men were to give themselves over entirely to the power of women, they would be less destructive people.
[Noah Berlatsky] I mean, the bondage is very much related to his ideas about feminism, and that kind of happens throughout the comics, where Wonder Woman is tied up with her own rope, and then has to obey, but then she gets power back, and she forces other people to obey.
[smack] [Tim Hanley] Marston, in his later work, says not only should women be emotional leaders, they should be leaders in a political, global sense that they're better suited to lead the world as a whole, and he actually predicts that a matriarchal revolution will come about in the next 100 years.
[Narrator] In the 1930s, the Marston trio start a family.
At one point, Elizabeth and Olive are even pregnant at the same time.
Elizabeth gives birth to two children, Pete and Olive Ann.
So does Olive, to Byrne and Donn.
But as their family grows, so does their deception.
[Moss] Olive creates a husband by the name of William Kendall Richards, and these children were the sons of this man, and that he had died.
From all the research I have done, he never existed.
There was no such person.
But it protected Bill, it protected Olive and the sons, so it was done strategically to make life work.
So the direct result of having this whole facade and a fictitious name, Donn, who's my father, was teased a lot.
He would walk home from school and he would be taunted by others, and he was called one of the bastard Marston children.
You know, it bothered him.
It bothered him a lot.
He was not a happy person growing up.
And when the boys were young, William Marston officially adopted the children but he was their father anyway.
[Narrator] The Marstons are mostly successful in keeping their unusual home life a secret.
But rumors abound that William carried on an affair with a student, and his teaching career vanishes.
Meanwhile, his greatest claim to fame, the lie detector, is largely discredited, and by the late '30s, Marston's career is at rock-bottom.
[Hanley] Elizabeth is the breadwinner.
Olive's raising the kids.
He's got time to explore his variety of huckster ideas.
He writes a novel.
He gets work with a film company.
There's a Gillette razor ad where he hooks someone up to a lie detector, and so he's got his fingers in a lot of pots, none of them really stickin'.
[Narrator] As Marston struggles to reverse his fortunes, the world is on the brink of war.
[music] Hitler is terrorizing Europe and the fears are felt in America, where a new type of hero is about to come to the rescue.
[Hanley] DC Comics debuts Superman in 1938.
Superman's an instant hit, and it kind of explodes from there.
You get Batman, you get Captain America, Captain Marvel.
Kids are readin' them, millions a month.
But, um, the backlash is near instantaneous.
[Langley] The rebellious nature of the heroes, the crime and violence in some of the stories, were starting to concern some people.
The quick popularity of comic books, it's an easy scapegoat.
[newsreel] The emotional impact of something they read in a comic book may be much the same as a real-life situation they witness.
[Narrator] The overnight popularity of Superman has made publisher Max Gaines a rich man.
But the public backlash against comics is threatening to take away his main audience children.
[music] [Moss] It was a Sunday when Olive and Bill started saying, "God, it's really quiet in this house.
It's too quiet.
" And they realized the kids were reading comics.
So Bill became fascinated, and he spent a year studying comics to understand how it was written, what were the visuals.
It was not a mistake.
It was strategic.
[Langley] So William Marston had Olive write an interview with him about comics.
They very carefully construct this interview between, you know, a Family Circle writer who's not presented as a member of his household on her byline.
She's just listed as "Olive Richard.
" That was her pen name.
They constructed this in order to get the attention of the comic book company.
[Olive] Okay, this is how it goes I travel to the famed psychologist Dr.
Marston's home for a visit.
Dr.
Marston is approachable and intelligent - and open with me.
- That's good.
I ask him, "Do you think comics are good for children?" And he answers, "Yes.
Superman is certainly the soundest of all.
Mr.
Gaines at All Stars Publishing has done a good job in that" Yeah, but what about other comics? Some of them are filled with torture.
Oh Unfortunately, that is true, but when the heroine is tied up [chuckling] the reader is sure that she will be saved just in time.
So the reader isn't able to enjoy suffering.
How about a heroine who doesn't need to be saved? There's a Superman, why not a Superwoman? [Langley] According to William's son Pete, it was Elizabeth who said, "You'd better make that new character a Superwoman.
" William actually named Gaines in the publication.
So of course, this reaches Gaines' desk, and he's very excited to see his name in there.
"Oh, we need to bring on this guy as a consultant.
" [Narrator] William's plan works.
And once he has his foot in the door, he makes the pitch that he's been waiting a lifetime for.
- A woman? - Yes! A woman! Mr.
Gaines It's not gonna work.
Every female pulp and comic heroine has failed.
But they were just women.
They weren't superwomen.
They weren't superior to men.
Listen.
Let me create something that has both a female superhero with all the power of Superman, but the allure of a beautiful woman.
It'd double sales.
- Double? - Comics are read by young boys, right? - Yeah.
- Well, let's hit young girls.
I took a chance on Superman when everyone else passed on him.
I'll take a chance on your Wonder Woman, Dr.
Marston.
[music] [Mangels] William Marston wanted to introduce a strong female protagonist into the world of comics, and in 1941, that's exactly what he did.
[Jenkins] William Marston gave her everything power, beauty, great intelligence.
Wonder Woman happens to be a woman, but is a grand superhero for all.
She's a superhero.
She's the real deal.
Wonder Woman flips the paradigm of how comic books have worked.
All of the successful superhero comics at the time starred men, and here's this woman out there doing the same things as good as, even better, than the men do.
[Mangels] Throughout the next year, she debuted in three different series because she was so immensely popular.
The sales figures on her books went up and up and up, from 2.
5 million to 5 million copies of her books.
[Narrator] Wonder Woman didn't look like other superheroes, and it wasn't written like other comic books.
While other creators told action-packed stories that were pure entertainment and escape, Marston filled the pages of Wonder Woman with psychological theories and ancient mythologies.
[Trina Robbins] What's very unusual about her is her mythic origins.
She's born to a virginal queen of the Amazons, and even the deity that is her other parent, Athena, is female and this is so feminist.
There's no other character in comics whose creation is like that.
[Langley] He creates this powerful but very feminine woman, following Elizabeth's suggestion that that's what the character should be.
The guy was a visionary, as they all were, clearly.
They were visionaries, and they were challenging what is truth and what is love.
[Carter] They knew they had an opportunity to do a new superhero that came out of their view on feminism.
[Moss] In the panels of Wonder Woman, panel after panel, you can find a blueprint from their lives.
And Betty and Olive were very involved in the creation of Wonder Woman.
It wasn't just that they were an inspiration.
They had input to the development of stories.
I saw notes from Betty in Greek! As she read the scripts, she gave notes.
[Hanley] She studied Greek and really fell in love with the language and the poetry of Sappho, and one of Wonder Woman's chief expressions is "Suffering Sappho!" [Wykoff] I remember my grandmother, she used to wear these big bracelets on both arms, and the story that we were told was that the character Wonder Woman was based off of her look, and that's where they got the idea of the bracelets for Wonder Woman.
[Jimenez] Marston and his wife are credited with helping create the lie detector test.
And Wonder Woman's magic lasso, everyone knows, forced anyone within its confines to tell the absolute truth.
[Narrator] Wonder Woman becomes a comic book sensation, and William Marston finally has the lucrative, attention-grabbing success he's been chasing his whole life.
But with the attention came fierce criticism.
[Mangels] The problem came when the critics started seeing a pattern, which was that every other page, Wonder Woman was getting tied up, or chained up, or gagged, or tied up, chained up, and gagged.
There was a lot of bondage in Wonder Woman.
[Hanley] Getting tied up is kind of an occupational hazard of being a superhero.
But if you count up how often people get tied up in Captain Marvel, it's about 3%.
If you look at how often people are tied up in the panels of Wonder Woman comics, it's 27%.
It's a quarter of every book in the Marston era.
[Mangels] If you look at those old comics when Wonder Woman is tied up, she's smiling, she considers it a game.
The "Holiday Girls" were having spanking parties.
It was kind of a bizarre fantasy world in which submission and bondage was fun.
[Berlatsky] These things that he was doing in his personal life has a lot to do with how those dominance- submission relationships were presented in the comics.
I mean, it's kind of amazing that they got published, when you think about it.
There's lots of bondage.
There's lots of lesbian overtones.
There's real, sort of like, ideological feminism, which I think has also made people uncomfortable.
[Narrator] Wonder Woman has been a massive success.
But with critics attacking the comic as sexually provocative and inappropriate for children, the future of Marston's creation is in serious danger.
Take a look at these.
Max you can't have a female character without setting off a few fantasies.
- Cut down on the chains by 75%.
- It's harmless.
Everybody likes a good fantasy, Max.
[Max sighs heavily] Wonder Woman has five million readers.
It will affect sales, Max.
[Narrator] With growing accusations that Marston's comic is exposing children to strange sexual perversions, publisher Max Gaines will have to make a choice change William Marston's mind, or change the voice behind Wonder Woman.
[Narrator] With pressure mounting to do something about his successful but controversial female superhero, Max Gaines does the unexpected.
He doubles down on Wonder Woman, adding her to more of his comic book series only this time, she won't be written by William Marston.
[Hanley] One of her early appearances as part of the Justice Society, writer Gardner Fox doesn't quite know what to do with the character, so he decides to make her the secretary of the team.
All the other male heroes go about saving the day, and Wonder Woman stays behind to keep the notes.
[Jenkins] It's a shame that her position in the Justice League ever became secretary.
Of course, that's that's a bummer, particularly when on paper, she's the best fighter in the DC Universe.
There have been a lot of men who have been able to step into her shoes completely, and then there are some that just can't.
[Jimenez] It was very, very clear that Marston and Elizabeth had a vision for Wonder Woman as this "love leader," this transformative goddess, this powerhouse, and the creators and editors of the Justice Society had a very different idea about what a woman could be and what a woman should be.
[game announcer] Match point! Alice needs this to clinch it.
[Narrator] Marston's response is to use the pages of the Wonder Woman comic that he does control to make her even more of a feminist, creating the segment "Wonder Women of History" with tennis champion Alice Marble.
Each segment featured a "wonder woman," a real, live wonder woman Annie Oakley.
Florence Nightingale.
It had scientists.
It had women writers.
[Robbins] "Wonder Women of History" really made kids realize that there had been women who had done amazing things, and they had been human beings, not beautiful, glamorous Amazons.
[Rodriguez] Like, how cool and refreshing to have that message being zoomed out to young girls, that it's okay for you to be a woman with with morals and friggin', you know, some backbone to ya.
[Stuller] And so he was using comic book as a medium to send out his message about feminism, and that feminism was going to be the path to peace.
[explosions roaring] [newsreel #2] Yanks, led by General Eisenhower, gathered for a joyful liberation celebration, as shown by these Air Force pictures.
[Langley] World War II ends.
Now, this is a good thing that the war has ended.
His idea with Wonder Woman from the beginning was that this is the model of the kind of leader who will emerge and run the world for us after the war.
[Robbins] But after the war, the guys came back.
They wanted their jobs back, and women were not so subtly pushed back to the kitchen.
But he resisted that, Marston resisted that.
His Wonder Woman remained a feminist, and the message was always that "women can do anything.
" [Narrator] While his creation, Wonder Woman, stubbornly remained a strong, feminist force, William Marston would soon face his own crisis.
Hey, there's something you're not telling me.
What's wrong? I won't be able to keep up.
[footsteps] [Moss] When this man finally had the joy of true success, this is what takes him down is cancer.
[gasping] I think it was a terrible, terrible shock to them that they were losing him so young.
So young.
[Hanley] Marston was really dedicated to Wonder Woman, and he continued to work throughout his illness, and was writing Wonder Woman even until his last day.
May 1947, and one week before his 54th birthday Bill dies.
[Wykoff] I do remember my father telling me the day that his father died, that it was hard on him.
Of course, at this time, he didn't know that he was his father.
It was just the man who adopted him.
Elizabeth said that right before Bill died, she promised him that she would take care of Olive forever, and so I think that was kind of a promise to him, but, um, you know, to each other, 'cause they were family.
[Mangels] Wonder Woman was incredibly popular, but Marston had been so identified and his voice was so singular in how Wonder Woman was being created, but without his voice to guide her, what now? [Narrator] William Marston imagined Wonder Woman as a revolutionary character but she was about to undergo a drastic transformation.
[Narrator] With William Marston's passing in 1947, Wonder Woman faces an uncertain future.
[music] In 1950s America, women are expected to live a domestic life, find a husband instead of a job, start a family instead of a career.
Wonder Woman changes with the times.
Suddenly, all she really wants is to settle down with her boyfriend, Steve Trevor.
[Robbins] Wonder Woman became almost like a sappy love comic.
Her creator is gone, and anyone who wants to can take her over and change her.
[Stuller] When Marston passed away, "Wonder Women of History" was replaced.
The segment became wedding customs around the world.
[Robbins] But I think that she was at her worst, poor Wonder Woman, in the late '60s.
[Mangels] In 1968, Wonder Woman lost her costume.
She lost her powers, and she became a boutique-owning super-spy, and it destroyed everything that fans loved about Wonder Woman.
[Jimenez] Wonder Woman was no longer this sort of robust, "Rosie the Riveter," world-changing protofeminist "love leader.
" She was a dress shop owner.
She was a romance-column writer.
A lot of the gender politics disappeared, and that, I think, would make Marston turn over in his grave.
[Jenkins] Every decade that passed, people try to second-guess William Marston's Wonder Woman.
We're afraid of her having beauty at the same time that she has strength, or softness at that same time that she has toughness.
There's really been a struggle for her to maintain all of those things over the years.
[Mangels] As this new Wonder Woman developed, Elizabeth Marston and Olive Byrne wrote letter after letter with objections to the ways in which they were changing Wonder Woman, but in the end, DC owned the concept, and Marston's voice receded further and further into the background.
[music] [Wykoff] I believe there is a love between Elizabeth and Olive.
They raised children together.
The two of them lived together.
I know that we told everybody they were sisters, but obviously there was much more.
I know that there's been stuff said, I don't know if I should say this, but I know there's been stuff said about even if they had a relationship together.
Olive's son Donn questioned his mother who his father was for years and years, and she never changed her story.
My dad threatened to sue her to find out who his father was, and eventually, Elizabeth Marston came to my mom and dad and said if Olive knew that the secret was out about who her children's father was, that she would take a vial of morphine and kill herself, and so Elizabeth Marston told my mom the whole secret of, um William Marston having these two women, and who their father was, so I don't know if my dad was ever at peace with that.
I mean, I think that he assumed that that's probably what it was, but I think all the secrets and the lies, you know, was hard on him.
[music] [music] [Narrator] By the early '70s, feminism was on the rise.
We're supposed to dig that we're sexual objects, and we don't want to be sexual objects anymore.
[Carter] Women had to say, "This is wrong.
We cannot be discriminated against.
" They had to make noise.
The majority of the people in this country support the Equal Rights Amendment.
[Robbins] We had all read Wonder Woman as girls.
Gloria Steinem talks a lot about that, and she talks about how they felt they had to rescue Wonder Woman from what was being done to her.
[Narrator] The new domesticated Wonder Woman of the early '70s had become one of DC's worst-selling comics.
But women who grew up with her longed to see Wonder Woman return to her feminist roots.
[Edgar] We had gotten the rights to publish one of the original stories of Wonder Woman in our Volume One, Number One issue in July 1972, which was an election year, and Marston had a comic that had "Wonder Woman for President" on it.
It was just such a perfect cover.
[Jimenez] So you had these feminists taking a character who was created as a feminist icon, and putting her on the cover of a major magazine that was being marketed to women and feminists across the nation.
[Edgar] The feminist message was equality and peace and strength, and William Marston's Wonder Woman represented all of that.
[Narrator] With Ms.
magazine bringing Wonder Woman back into the spotlight, DC Comics gives Diana Prince back her super-abilities and her costume, setting the stage for Wonder Woman to make her biggest conquest yet [music] [Narrator] Wonder Woman's comeback started with Gloria Steinem and Ms.
magazine, but in 1975, a television series would catapult her to new heights.
[music] And for a new generation of fans, Lynda Carter would transform Wonder Woman from a superhero into an icon.
[Carter] Being a young actress, you could be a secretary, or a waitress, or a stripper, or some little part, or whatever, but certainly, they didn't think a woman could hold a television show.
[Jimenez] Star-spangled bathing suit, raven-haired beauty, the lasso, all of it like, the fabulousness of Wonder Woman it was that moment and that actress and that embodiment of the character that turned her into a visual and pop culture icon.
[Lawless] I was, like, mesmerized by how damn beautiful she was in those hot pants, spinning, like [gasps] "How do you get that figure?" [Jenkins] I was five, I think, when the show came out, and it had a huge effect on me.
I found that the Lynda Carter series was very, very true to the spirit of the original run of William Marston's Wonder Woman.
[Carter] I got quite a bit of early blowback.
From the networks, I got "Oh, there's too many feminist messages.
" And then from the feminists, I got "Wonder Woman wasn't feminist enough.
" You know? It's like [scoffing] What a country this is.
[music] [Narrator] After a successful run on television in the '70s, Wonder Woman would continue to evolve in the pages of DC Comics and in animated series.
And while her male superhero counterparts dominated the box office, Wonder Woman would have to wait until 2017 for her chance to conquer the big screen.
Thank God I finally have company.
It is kind of astounding.
I know for a fact how much Gal delved into the heart and soul of this character.
[Jimenez] The fact that Patty Jenkins has taken the reins of that Wonder Woman movie - literally makes my heart beat faster.
- Cut! [Jimenez] It's a voice of a woman giving voice to a woman who's out to change the world.
Like, that's what it's all about! In many ways, I think that's Marston's dream.
[Rodriguez] When this movie came out, this Wonder Woman movie, I was just, like, "Thank God!" We need so much moral backbone today that, like, you know, it's refreshing.
It is about that mother, nurturing, spirit energy that's guided by love, unconditional love.
[Jenkins] The first movie was really about bringing Wonder Woman to our world, and now she's here.
The future of Wonder Woman for me is the idea that there's this incredible character now, this one, this one that I'm involved with, who has many more stories to tell because now she's here.
[Narrator] Over 75 years after her debut, Wonder Woman is more visible, more popular, more admired than ever before, and it all started with a unique bond shared by three amazing people.
[Mangels] Looking back at the 75 years of Wonder Woman's history, certain elements have remained solid throughout all that time.
She's still a heroine who chose to become a hero.
She's still a strong woman.
She still has the Lasso of Truth.
Those were core elements to what Marston wanted to do.
He felt that women were the wave of the future, and she represented the best of that.
[Moss] Bill Marston said "When a woman is in the White House, we will have a better world.
We will have a loving world.
Women are the love leaders of society.
" That's what he believed.
That's what he lived.
Two love leaders in his life Elizabeth and Olive.
[Carter] How it has evolved, what my part in that was, I pay homage to Elizabeth and Olive.
[Wykoff] I believe that Elizabeth and Olive's legacy should be that they were two very strong, very bright, very amazing women, and as for the Wonder Woman piece, I believe their names should be right up there with William Marston.
[Jenkins] Whatever lifestyle they were living, and however they found their truth in their love, is something I have respect for because what came out of it spiritually was beautiful and pure.
No matter what the story is, it doesn't change what was accomplished.
[Langley] To one degree or another, they were his muses and partners.
[Music] We don't know all the details, and we never will, because they are all gone but it's also fun that there is this lingering mystery, and it helps us keep wondering about them, these people who created Wonder Woman.
[Jenkins] She's not about being a woman any more than Superman's about being a man, and she's doing all of these things, and the fact that she happens to be a woman is the victory.
You're like, "Oh, that's secondary.
" Like, "don't worry about that part.
" Stay here.
I'll go ahead.
[Jenkins] What a great thing for little girls, to see themselves in that way to feel not like they have to be a "female" something.
They can just be a hero.
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