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Wonder Woman 1987–1990: the Goddess, the Iron Maiden and the sacralisation of consumerism

Ormrod, J (2018) Wonder Woman 1987–1990: the Goddess, the Iron Maiden and the sacralisation of consumerism. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. ISSN 2150-4857

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Abstract

In 1987, Wonder Woman was revised as part of an overhaul of the DC Universe, in the Crisis on Infinite Earths story arc. This paper analyses the representation of Diana in George Pérez, Greg Potter and Len Wein’s revision of the character, February 1987–December 1991. The writers discarded her Diana Prince secret identity and Steve Trevor as love interest. Influenced by spiritual and feminist discourses of the mid-1970s onwards, he made her into a Goddess-like fantasy figure split into two identities. She is Diana, Princess of Themyscira, a private, spiritual neo-pagan, but she is branded in consumer culture as Wonder Woman, goddess. The discourses constructing Wonder Woman as goddess, however, clashed with feminist and societal discourses circulating in popular culture and politics of late 1980s’ America. These discourses aimed at disempowering female autonomy. The clash between these discourses highlighted paradoxes in Wonder Woman as a female icon of empowerment.

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