This weekend, I attended the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival. It was a wonderful and delightful experience. A gorgeous painting of Wonder Woman tied up in her rope — strong and proud — was part of the collection. Always exciting for the fan geek within. The main stage performance that night was called Cabinet of Curiosities and featured a mixture of theater, burlesque, cabaret, and puppetry. It was beautiful, self-affirming, and grotesque.
I realized as I read Sensation Comics #3 that Wonder Woman’s story is both an affirming tale for young girls to read about a female superhero and a Cabinet of Curiosities. As a modern reader and an adult, I find a lot of the Cabinet of Curiosities-angle ridiculous. And I think I’m still rather on the fence about young girls venturing into Marston’s Cabinet of Curiosities. I understand the feeling that Wonder Woman’s adventures there are not so innocent, but at the same time, I was also a young girl reading Anne Rice’s Cabinet of Curiosities, which are far more explicit. Diana being tied up as a hostage is innocent compared to Rice’s Belinda and her lover, the pedophile children’s book author/illustrator she runs off to live with. I have a hard time pointing my finger at Marston for being inappropriate or thinking that children need to be protected because I remember myself at that age. But enough about my tween years.
Sensation Comics #3 feels like the first real Diana story. Yes, once again, Steve’s job and foiling Nazi’s plots fits into the narrative, but this adventure was about Diana, her fellow secretaries, Etta, and Etta’s schoolmates. Oh, I should note that Diana changes jobs as soon as Steve’s discharged from the hospital. She becomes the secretary for Steve’s boss, Colonel Darnell. Yes, the Amazons have their own form of shorthand. Continue reading “Wonder Woman Wednesdays: Sensation Comics #3”