Saturday, November 15, 2014

Wonder Woman: Kink Icon

The three big iconic foundational comic book superheros that every other superhero is a variation or refinement of are Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. The ultimate superhuman hero, the ultimate detective/physical elite hero and the ultimate female hero.

Not just the ultimate female hero, Wonder Woman is very specifically the ultimate expression of the feminine principal and ideal. She was created by an ardent male feminist and psychologist, the inventor of the lie detector William Moulton Marston with the pen name Charles Moulton.

Unambiguously Wonder Woman was the first attempt to create a comic book with more ambition than to break into the business or just make some money. Moulton came to the publisher with a fervent desire to use comic books and their awesome hold on the childish imagination to promote his beliefs in not just egalitarian feminism but feminist supremacy. Remember, these days a wildly successful comic might sell a few hundred thousand copies. In the 40s and 50s kids were buying literally MILLIONS of comic books every single month. It was a reasonable thing for an idiosyncratic, imaginative psychologist to view this as a huge opportunity to influence a whole generation of children.

But Wonder Woman didn't just promote feminism, peace and justice.

Among other things Moulton was kinky. He lived in a threesome with his wife and their girlfriend. Some of his ideas about dominance and submission sound like the kind of power exchange language of ethical kinksters today, and not to put to fine a point on it Golden Age Wonder Woman was kinky as hell.

Every single issue people are getting elaborately tied up, spanked, wrestled into loving submission, dressed in fetish deer costumes and hunted - and these were the hero and her friends! The bad guys usually just got a sock to the jaw or tied up in the golden lasso that forces honesty and submission on anyone tied in it. (!)

So in the last few years Superman and Batman have been repeatedly rebooted for a new age. Usually by returning to the character's roots, Superman with less powers and Batman less constraints. When it comes to Wonder Woman the last two major reboots George Perez's awesome take in the late 80's and Brian Azzarello's brilliant but problematic current run return to her mythological roots.
But nobody has ever tried returning her to her fetish roots.

Imagine a rebooted Wonder Woman that embraces Femdom Wonder Woman. Bondage and fetish Wonder Woman. Strongly and unsubtly presented sapphic Wonder Woman.

The problem is that the character is captive to a corporate icon and the political implications of any portrayal of a character adopted by the feminist movement as a political icon. You could do a really stellar, strongly feminist and ideas based Wonder Woman comic - that was also kinky as hell - George Perez, a creator linked with her in the past is also involved in the super heroine costume fetish movement, I'd love to see his editorially unrestrained Wonder Woman.

Grant Morrison has been trying to do a Wonder Woman book true to her kinky roots for years and it is finally coming out but expect it to be restrained when it comes to restraints.  The days of gimp masks, pet play and fetishized submission in Wonder Woman comics are over.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Night Watchman

Copyright Cliff Hesby 2014

“Do you have any questions?”

“Aye, what is radee-ayshun?”

Stephen flickered slightly. This was the only outward manifestation of billions of calculations, extrapolations and contingency subroutines activating and processing. In a picosecond entire Avatar interaction programs came online as others went dark. The comfortably paternal Professorial persona he had used to explain why the trader couldn't travel through the rocky foothills behind him subtly roughened, hair becoming more leonine, beard more Jovian. The clothing slowly transitioned from Etonion tweed to an intricately folded grey cloak the mind could trick itself into believing it had always been.

Fourth Grade reading level activated.

“This ground is poisoned. Savvy poison?”

The trader reared back scowling. He wore rough homespun clothing and a venomous beard. The creature he led on a piled high with roughly tied bundles looked sort of like a shaggy donkey but their were subtle anatomical distortions Stephen noted and filed under worrisome.

“I dinn't scheme tae stop and sup, let me pass and I will pass through yon pizin'd land without partaking of any taint.”

Stephen almost sighed. His working model of macro-culture retention and enclave led bounce back downgraded significantly and his form transformed as well.

A wind blew up out of nowhere and swirling black clouds began to spin into existence out of nothing directly over the dusty remnants of crossroad that once had been highway interchange they stood in.

Stephen flung wide his arms as his avatar completed its final transformation based largely on Charlton Heston's appearance as Moses. He was taller, inhumanly tall and his eyes seemed to smoulder. His stentorian roar put the howling winds and crashing thunder that had sprung up out of a clear blue sky around them to shame.


Stephen kept that stuff up for a while despite the trader and his donkey taking to their heels back down the foothills road as soon as the shock and awe light show began. The black clouds and multiple lightning strikes could be seen across the river valley below for hours. The corridors of computer banks and storage tanks under the mountains behind him went into long term energy savings and self repair triage mode.

Stephen slowly melted away into a flickering cloud of dust in a mesh of sparks. Then even that disappeared swept up in the winds.

It was going to be a long millennium.

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