Saturday, November 02, 2019

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)

It would seem that movies based on comic books are popular right now.  DC and Marvel have all sorts of movies lined up.  There’s a new Wonder Woman movie coming out   I saw a coming attraction for a movie featuring Harley Quinn.  Joker is out now.  Yes, we have another Joker origin story.

But have you ever considered the other origin story?  Have you ever wondered how the character of Wonder Woman came to be?  There was a man named William Marston who was in love with two women.  Those women served as the basis for Princess Diana.  This movie tells the story of how that relationship turned into one of DC’s most iconic characters.

It starts with a burning pile of Wonder Woman comic books and flashes back to when William and Elizabeth Marston met Olive Byrne.  She was a student enrolled in his class who would become their life partner.  The movie shows the relationship as being difficult, especially at first.  Elizabeth wasn’t as accepting as William.  However, the three of them went on to have several children together.

It’s hard to tell how accurate the movie is.  Most of the intimate encounters depicted are speculative.  It’s also a major motion picture, which means that liberties are taken, anyway.  I’m sure many parts were glossed over or altered for the sake of the production. (For instance, the movie hypes up the Marstons’ contributions to the lie detector.)

I’d like to say that the movie was informative, but it seemed to be more about the sex than anything else.  Very little of it is about the comic book.  We get to see William talk to  Max Gaines, who would get Wonder Woman accepted for publication at National Periodical Publications.  We also get to see that the comic book wasn’t popular among conservative groups.  But this is very basic.

In fact, I had to look up Wonder Woman to find that Marston’s Wonder Woman isn’t anything like today’s Wonder Woman.  His comics did have more for conservatives to be concerned about.  This is where the movie didn’t really do the story justice.  I would have liked to see more of that.  No, I’m not saying I’m totally disinterested in the polyandrous aspect of it.  It’s just that’s not what I was expecting.

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