For Nerds by Nerds is our weekly column where we dive deep into one of our pop culture loves. Sometimes that means opening a can of Duff and peeping some Moe Szyslak tattoos, other times we fight to put down our controllers and celebrate Majora's Mask.
The newest Wonder Woman trailer just dropped, and to tell the truth (because we can’t help it), the movie looks like it may just do the superheroine justice. We still have to wait over 100 days to find out if Gal Gadot’s performance will make up for the hack-jobs that were Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (BvS) and Suicide Squad. To help pass the long wait, we decided to track down the most righteous tattoos of Princess Diana of Themyscira and reflect on her past in comics, television, and body art, leading up to her second appearance on the silver screen.
While many people celebrate Wonder Woman as a feminist icon, most of her admirers are unaware of her risqué origins. Her character was created by William Moulton Marston, a psychologist and writer, and was unveiled in 1940. For a number of years, Marston, his wife, and a woman named Olive "Dotsie" Byrne participated in a kinky and clandestine polyamorous sexual relationship. If you examine some of the comics that Marston authored, his liking for experimentation in the bedroom becomes glaringly apparent. In many frames, Wonder Woman uses her lasso of truth to bind villains in provocative positions and spanks them. These depictions of her are sexualized to the extent that it makes one wonder how much of his purported intention to make her a figure for female empowerment was tainted by the male gaze.
Since her initial appearance in the Golden Age of Comic Books, Wonder Woman has undergone so many makeovers that it’s difficult to keep up with not only her fashion sense but personality as well. Numerous writers and artists (mostly men) have imbued her with different characteristics, some worse than others, but sex appeal has always been at the forefront. The New Adventures of Wonder Woman television series of the ‘70s, for instance, was basically a glorified excuse to watch Lynda Carter’s cleavage bounce up and down as she saves the day episode after episode.
And now we are about to witness Gadot, who is a close contender to Carter on the bombshell scale, run around in a flashy set of armor. She was arguably the only saving grace in BvS, so we have high expectations. Also, Warner Brothers finally hired a female director, Patty Jenkins, to do one of their superhero movies, so perhaps the DC murderverse version of Diana Prince won’t be purely a sex object, like Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. One thing’s for sure though, Gadot will have a hard time rivaling all the tattoos of her in the role.
To see more tributes to comic book characters, hit up these nerdy artists’ Instagrams. If you’re after a tattoo of Wonder Women, too, commission one of them to design it. Few other tattooists can capture (as if by a magic lasso) her feminine prowess and sex appeal so accurately.