Dear Wonder Woman: A Birthday Card to the Amazon Princess from Bob Reyer
(Friends, as today we’re celebrating Wonder Woman’s 80th birthday, I thought I would “reprint” this small tribute I penned some years ago. I hope that you not only enjoy it, but perhaps that it also sparks some thoughts about this iconic hero and what she truly stands for!)
Dear Princess Diana (hope you don’t mind my familiarity),
I hope that I’m on time with getting this birthday card out to you, but it was hard to find the right words to properly pay tribute to all that you’ve meant to the comics industry, and more particularly, to all those people (myself included!) who have felt your positive and world-changing influence through these 80 years, whether-or-not they even realize they are under your sway!
From your first appearances in All-Star Comics #8, Sensation Comics #1, and Wonder Woman #1 (from whence your “birth story” seen above hails), readers have been enthralled by your adherence to the Amazonian principles of peace, understanding, compassionate strength, and love for all, and your example has provided an inspirational presence to generations of not only girls and boys, but women and men who’ve found their own inner “super-powers” by channeling your strengths during their own struggles.
Through all these decades, admittedly not every writer or artist chronicling your adventures has preserved or respected all those special attributes that your creators, be they Dr. William Moulton Marston, Harry G. Peter, Elizabeth Holloway Marston, Olive Byrne, Joye Murchison, and Sheldon Mayer, or your “mothers” Hippolyta, Athena, and Aphrodite had intended to be the focal point, but no matter the fashion of the time, readers were able to uncover those core values, regardless of how many layers of flummery might have been dolloped upon them.
For all of us, you’ve provided inspiration and comfort, and your very image creates a sense of empowerment, even among those who have never read a word of your more-than three-quarter-century’s saga, a point so often made when watching little girls in their best Amazonian garb twirling their own golden lassoes or crossing their bracelets in a “power pose”. Is it, as stellar Wonder Woman writer Greg Rucka describes, a gestaltic understanding of the poignancy of your birth coupled with the knowing sacrifice you made to leave a paradise in order to promote the Amazonian ideals? It was my pleasure and privilege to meet your “sister” Christie Marston at a recent New York Comic Con, and her belief is that those loving and inclusionary concepts are so profound, they transcend gender, age, and time, and that your actions, powered by those tenets put into place by your extended family 80 years ago, continue to create an umbrella of oneness among all willing to embrace their own better natures and look to see the best in others.
For me, writer Gail Simone has perfectly codified many Amazonian truths into this simple, yet eloquent statement, first put forth in 2008’s issue #25: “We have a saying, my people. ‘Don’t kill if you can wound, don’t wound if you can subdue, don’t subdue if you can pacify, and don’t raise your hand at all until you’ve first extended it’.” , an ideal that you have more than lived up to through the decades, and a sentiment that I’m sure that Dr, Marston would have taken no issue with.
Suffice it to say, thank you for being such an inspirational figure to so many for so long, and best wishes on your special day!
Happy Birthday, Diana!