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Friday, January 12, 2007

COMIC BOOKS ARE FOR IDIOTS: SPANKIN' THE AMAZON

"The only hope for peace is to teach people who are full of pep and unbound force to enjoy being bound... Only when the control of self by others is more pleasant than the unbound assertion of self in human relationships can we hope for stable, peaceful human society."

-William Moulton Marston, creator of Wonder Woman, polyamorist, and real-life bondage-freak.

According to Dr. Frederic Wertham's infamous anti-comic book treatise, SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT (1954), the artists who created comic books intentionally filled the pages with hidden illicit imagery and morally questionable content, thereby corrupting young readers and sending them down a path to inevitable delinquency. Among other postualtions, Wertham proposed that Superman was the ultimate fascistic power fantasy, Batman and Robin embodied a homosexual fantasy of a grown man and an underage boy living together in a socially unacceptable manner, and that Wonder Woman offered up the lesbian analog to the aforementioned homo rompery.

Well lemme tell ya, the Wonder Woman comics may not have been as sapphically oriented as Wertham suggested, but the early years of that strip were positively bursting at the seams with blatantly up-front S&M imagery; bondage with chains or rope are a commonly recurring theme, along with much discussion of submission and dominance, and all manner of strange spanking scenarios. And speaking of which, here's perhaps the single strangest spanking image I've ever seen in an old school Wonder Woman comic:

And check out Diana's face; she's totally digging being disciplined with a hairbrush by legendary salad-dodger/proto diesel dyke Etta Candy, in front of an audience of babies! What the fuck is going on here???

Anyway, here's a small gallery of bondage tomfoolery with everybody's favorite Amazon princess.




And you've just gotta love this one: Lynda Carter in full regalia, tied up, and by Nazis, no less!

6 comments:

John Bligh said...

I always found bondage fantasies to be kind of boring. Guess I'm just not hep enough...

And is there anything more dull then BDSM porn?? My 10th grade trigonometry class was more entertaining...

Jewishwarriorprincess said...

Hey I remember that episode of Wonder Woman....I loved that costume!

Jared said...

Before I finally read them I always took the comments about early Wonder Woman comics and bondage with a grain of salt. After all no one mentions bondage when men are tied up in a TV show or a movie. No one says Batman the TV show was about bondage and he and Robin were hog tied almost every show. When James Bond was tied up with a laser threatening him nobody mentions bondage. You have to tie up a woman to get a bondage mention. Like I said I took the WW comments with a grain of salt. Then I got a chance to read those early issues. Holy ropes and buckles Batman! That's bondage! What you don't get from reprinting just the bondage panels out of context is the fact that they often have nothing to do with the plot. The scenes of people being tied up are shoe horned in just to delight the author (and reader I suppose). WW also likes to demonstrate the power of her magic lasso by making people humiliate themselves. Truly crazy stuff.

John Bligh said...

William Moulton Marston must have been one truly creepy mutherfucker...

Does he have any kids still living? I'll bet they spent any inheritance from him on years of therapy...

Bunche said...

Jared's absolutely right; the bondage stuff in the old Wonder Woman comics usually has nothing whatsoever to do with the stories, as though Marston suddenly had a hogtie fantasy and it spontaneously manifested on his drawing board.

And in answer to Bligh's question, Marston's kids are probably still alive. He was married and a second woman shared the household in a happy polyamorous arrangement, from which Marston had four children, two from each woman. The women even dug each other so much that they named their first born kids after each other. Oh, and the one Martson wasn't legally wed to is reputed to have been the physical model for Wonder Woman.

Satyrblade said...

In many regards, fantasy itself is fetishistic. From Cassiopeia to Conan, fantasy heroes and heroines spend more time getting into and out of deathtraps, chains and kinky outfits than the entire Jim Rose Circus put together! Still, Wonder Woman really does take the cake in that regard. Created by a polyamourous couple and modeled after their live-in girlfriend (Olive Byrne) as well as the "wife" herself (Elizabeth Marsden, although William Moulton Marsden is often cited as the "wife" of the two women as well), Wonder Woman was an intentional act of kinky propaganda. The fact that she remains the best-known archetype of kick-butt femininity (for better and worse) attests to the kinkier side of popular female empowerment.

(cf. http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=8197

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonder_woman
)

As for the kinkier side of superheroes in general, I must disagree with Jared. Critics often mention bondage with regards to Batman and such, while the name "Bond" has become an intentional play on words with regards to James whether Ian Fleming intended that or not. (Considering that the first Bond book involves the hero getting his nuts beaten, though, I suspect that old Ian knew exactly what he was doing!) The art of Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo and especially Luis Royo spares no whiplashes when addressing the kinky aspects of heroic fantasy – a kinkiness that goes back to the Pre-Raphaelites and Decadents, as well as their Renaissance progenitors! Fantasy heroes have always been a bit turgid. Although good Professor Tolkien and his ilk may have preferred a more neutered brand of fantasy, the connection between popular myth and sexual "deviancy" has been obvious and acknowledged for ages. :)

Thanks, Steve, for this and many other weird-ass topics on your blog!

- Le Satyr