Every Monday until Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine comes out this April, we’re taking a look at a comic panel that captures a key moment in Wonder Woman’s history and highlights an important point from each chapter.
Last week, we saw how Wonder Woman’s utopian origin led to a new type of superhero. This week, we’ll see how Wonder Woman flipped the conventions of the new superhero genre with a special two panel preview. Our first panel comes from Action Comics #5 from October 1938, and features Lois Lane and Superman:
The classic damsel in distress is madly in love with the superhero, but the superhero politely rebuffs this affection because they are entirely dedicated to their superheroic mission. Wonder Woman continued this trope, but with a twist, as evidenced by this panel from Wonder Woman #1 from Summer 1942:
Wonder Woman’s damsel in distress was Steve Trevor, an Air Force pilot and war hero who nonetheless echoed the longings of Lois Lane uncannily. Wonder Woman comics maintained a lot of the conventions of the superhero genre; they just swapped the genders to show that a woman could be as powerful and brave a hero as Superman and that a man could be as awestruck and enamored of this strength as Lois Lane.
To read more, you’ll have to wait until Wonder Woman Unbound comes out this April! Be sure to come back next Monday, when we’ll look at a very bound and determined Wonder Woman, and also check out the second installment of my new interview series this Wednesday; we’ll be talking with Kelly Thompson!