Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Anthropology and Sociology; English

First Advisor

Eric Tribunella, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

English

Abstract

In 1968, Wonder Woman gives up her powers and embraces her human identity as Diana Prince. Powerless, she learns martial arts and continues to fight. The majority of discussion surrounding the Diana Prince era—Wonder Woman #178-204—argues for the period as embracing anti-feminist sentiment. This analysis of the Diana Prince era argues that the portrayal of Diana Prince without her superhero persona aligns with the ideals of the 1970s feminist movement. By incorporating general themes and ideas of feminism, the comic portrays Diana Prince in a feminist light throughout the comic. Even though her powers are striped, she is able to be an empowered, human woman who can still fight alongside Superman and Batman. She learns karate, like many feminist magazines encourage during the 1970s. She is able to defend Batman and Superman when they are not in their superhero costumes. Also, she is able to embrace her emotions, often stereotyped as feminine, and is often seen crying, but that does not hinder her ability to fight. This research concludes that the current conversation surrounding this era needs to consider these feminist elements of the comics and embrace the possibility that she presented a truer, feminine superhero that has not been seen since Wonder Woman’s powers were reinstated.

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