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Tags: comics, DC Comics, Lynda Carter, movies, superheroes, tv series, wonder woman
Wonder Woman is an iconic superhero, who ranks right up there with Superman and Batman in terms of name recognition. And after being sidelined by her male counterparts for years, it’s a particularly great time for Wonder Woman now that DC has decided to give one of the first female superheroes her own film in 2017, starring Gal Gadot (Fast and Furious 6). In the lead up to her big debut, she’s also set to make an appearance in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice next year, which will mark the first time the trinity has appeared together on the big screen.
Who’s That Girl?
Wonder Woman is a fictional superhero from the American comic books published by DC Comics. The character is a warrior princess of the Amazons (based on the Amazons of Greek mythology) and is known in her homeland as Princess Diana of Themyscira. When outside her homeland, she is sometimes known by the secret identity Diana Prince. She is gifted with a wide range of superhuman powers and superior combat and battle skills. She possesses an arsenal of weapons, including the Lasso of Truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara which serves as a projectile, and, in some stories, an invisible airplane, Mental Radio, and Purple Ray that could heal otherwise lethal injuries.
Wonder Woman was created by the American psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston. The character first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941 and first cover-dated on Sensation Comics #1, January 1942. The Wonder Woman title has been published by DC Comics almost continuously except for a brief hiatus in 1986. Her depiction as a heroine fighting for justice, love, peace, and gender equality has led to Wonder Woman being widely considered a feminist icon.
Created during World War II, the character was initially depicted fighting Axis military forcesas well as an assortment of colourful supervillains, the god Mars and his godly cohorts, though in recent years more emphasis have been placed on characters, deities, and monsters from Greek mythology playing an adversarial role for her story arcs. In the decades since her debut, Wonder Woman has gained a formidable cast of enemies bent on eliminating the Amazon, including classic villains such as Ares, Cheetah, Circe, Doctor Psycho, and Giganta, along with more recent adversaries such as the First Born. Wonder Woman has also regularly appeared in comic books featuring the superhero teams Justice Society (from 1941) and Justice League (from 1960). Source: Wikipedia.
Unlike Superman and Batman, she hasn’t had countless movie adaptations that allowed the average movie viewer to familiarize themselves with her background and powers. Now that she’s finally swooping back to the forefront of pop-culture, here is a list of 10 Facts You Need to Know About Wonder Woman to help you prepare yourself when Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice hit theaters on March 25, 2016.
10 Facts You Need to Know About Wonder Woman
She’s the daughter of Zeus
As one of the longest running running comic book heroes, Wonder Woman’s continuity has gone through several changes over the years. For a long time, her origin story remained the same: her mother formed her out of clay and she was brought to life by the Greek gods, which meant she had no father. Wonder Woman’s superpowers were a result of her blessings from the Gods, including superhuman strength from Demeter (Goddess of the Earth) and super speed from Hermes (God of Messengers).
But the origin story was changed significantly when Brian Azzarello rebooted the character as part of DC’s recent New 52 relaunch. In the New 52 reboot, Wonder Woman is actually the daughter of Zeus – King of the Gods. Charles Roven, one of Batman V Superman producers has said that the DC movie universe will follow the new origin: “Wonder Woman’s in it. We know that. She has powers, she’s a goddess. She’s a demigod. Her father was Zeus.”
William Moulton Marston created her to be a model liberated woman
In a comic book landscape dominated by male heroes, a consultant for DC named William Moulton Marston had an idea for a modern female superhero. The character that would become Wonder Woman was partially inspired by Marston’s wife Elizabeth, along with Olive Byrne, who lived with the couple in a polyamorous relationship.
Marston created the character to rival the strength of Superman, but also have all of the positive characteristics that he associated with females, such as fairness and loving of peace. He originally called her Suprema, The Wonder Woman, but her name was shortened before she made her comic book debut in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941.
Wonder Woman was granted her own series in 1942, and while it was meant to appeal to both sexes, the comic books included articles and advertisements designed to appeal to a female audience. She was quickly accepted into the superhero world, even becoming the only female member of the Justice Society (a precursor to the JLA). But it wasn’t all female empowerment, as she was quickly excluded from the team’s battles and relegated to the team’s official secretary. Men!
Marston had a hand in the creation of the Polygraph
Marston wasn’t just a comic book writer and creator of Wonder Woman; he was also a psychologist, lawyer, and inventor. He is said to have invented a systolic-blood-pressure measuring apparatus, which eventually lead to the invention of the polygraph. Marston believed there was some connection between blood pressure and a person’s emotions, and he believed that women were more likely to be honest.
Although there isn’t any evidence of a direct connection, many people believe Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth, which forces anyone ensnared within it to tell the truth, can’t just be a coincidence. Some suspect it was designed to promote some of his psychological theories on emotions and truth telling.
She’s princess of the Amazons
Wonder Woman hails from Paradise Island, later dubbed Themyscira, which is home to the Amazons. Her mother is Queen Hippolyta, which makes her Princess of the Amazons. Inspired by Greek mythology, the Amazons are a race of warrior woman living free from men. The story of how the Amazons came to call the island home has changed over time, with one version saying that they parted from Greece to escape the evil deeds of mankind and another saying they are the reborn souls of abused women.
All of the Amazons are well-trained in combat from a young age, which makes Wonder Woman a formidable foe in a fight thanks to her combination of combat skills and god-like powers. At one point, Batman considered Diana to be one of the best melee fighters on the planet.
She is the Goddess of War
In the New 52, Diana spent a year of her childhood on the island under the guidance of Ares, God of War, further developing her skills in combat. When she refuses Ares’s orders to slay the Minotaur, choosing instead to show it mercy, she loses his favor and respect. But her tutelage and history with him becomes important later, when she is forced to kill her former mentor during a conflict with her evil half-brother. In the process, she herself becomes the new War.
While the extent of her powers as War hasn’t been fully explored, she can telepathically control and communicate with the world’s soldiers. Whether she also developed Ares’s former power to raise dead soldiers for battle is still unknown.
Her bracelets keep her powers in-check
Wonder Woman is one of the strongest DC superheroes, with superhuman strength that puts her at least in the same category as Superman. She has even overpowered Supergirl, who is sometimes considered more powerful than Superman, though Wonder Woman is admittedly aided by her Amazonian warrior training. It was long thought that her silver bracelets, which were created from the remains of Zeus’s shield, added to her powers since they are unbreakable and can be used offensively.
But in the New 52, Wonder Woman removes her bracelets in order to fight a God, explaining that the bracelets are what actually protected her opponents from her intense power. It remains to be seen how powerful Wonder Woman is compared to other superheros without her limiting bracelets on.
Her alias is Diana Prince
Wonder Woman’s secret identity is Diana Prince. In the Golden Age comics, the character was originally just an army nurse who bore a striking resemblance to Wonder Woman, but Wonder Woman arranged for the real Diana Prince to meet up with her fiance in South America in exchange for her credentials, and thus an alias was born. Wonder Woman continued to work for the army as Diana Prince, quickly attaining a promotion to lieutenant in Army Intelligence.
For a period in 1960’s, Wonder Woman actually lost her powers and lived as Diana Prince, opening a trendy fashion boutique in New York’s Greenwich Village.
She is a founding member of the JLA
The initial lineup of the Justice League of America, which debuted in 1960, included only one female superhero: Wonder Woman. Also included on the team were Superman, Batman, Martian Manhunter, Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman. Eventually, more females joined, including Zatanna and Hawkwoman. Wonder Woman is almost always depicted as a founding member, sometimes even acting as the groups leader along with Superman and Batman.
However, during one reboot, Wonder Woman was replaced with Black Canary as a founding member of the new Justice League. Wonder Woman was eventually given her founding member status back though. The latest version of the Justice League in the New 52, which drops “America” from its title, features Wonder Woman as the only female founding member once again, but Atom (Rhonda Pineda) and Elemental Women also join the team.
She’s wielded Thor’s hammer
Thanks to the success of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, almost everyone has heard of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. On the hammer’s side reads the inscription, “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” In Avengers: Age of Ultron, much to do is made over the fact that Thor is the only character who can lift the hammer. But you might be surprised at the number of characters who’ve wielded it in the comics who aren’t the God of Thunder, including Wonder Woman.
During the 1996 Marvel vs. DC crossover that pitted Marvel heroes against DC heroes, Wonder Woman gets the opportunity to try her hand at lifting Thor’s hammer. In the comic, Thor loses control of Mjolnir during a battle with Shazam/Captain Marvel. When Wonder Woman stumbles upon it, she is deemed worthy of the power and easily able to lift it. But Wonder Woman, not wanting to give herself an unfair advantage, chooses to discard the hammer when it comes time to battle Marvel’s Storm, and she ultimately loses that battle when Storm zaps her with some lightning.
Previous live action adaptations
There have been many attempts at creating a live action Wonder Woman, most of them unsuccessful. In 1967, there was a failed TV pilot entitled Who’s Afraid of Diana Prince?, which was meant to have the same campy feel as the successful Batman series of the time. In it, Linda Harrison played Wonder Woman, while her alter ego, Diana Prince, was played by Ellie Wood Walker. Then, a made-for-TV movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby hit the small screens in 1974.
Just a year later, Diana would return to the small screen played by Lynda Carter for a new television show on ABC. It was cancelled after its first season, but CBS resurrected the show and kept it on for two more years. In 2011, NBC attempted to bring Wonder Woman back to television with their own television reboot. Adrianne Palicki, who now plays Mockingbird on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., was cast as Wonder Woman, but the project was cancelled before the pilot could even air. Source text: ScreenRant.
Click read to read the Second Part of this post “The First Wonder Woman We Never Forget” and “The One and Only Wonder Woman”.
Tags: cinema, directors, movies, terror, wes craven
Wes Craven, the legendary director of the influential horror classic A Nightmare on Elm Street has passed away, as initially reported by THR, and thereafter confirmed by the director’s official Twitter page. Craven reportedly succumbed to brain cancer. He was 76 years old.
Craven’s long filmography included entries in many different genres, but his name will forever be synonymous with the scarred, knife-gloved ghoul Freddy Krueger from the original 1984 Elm Street along with numerous other horror titles which changed the genre for good. His influence on American horror and pop culture in general cannot be underestimated.
Wesley Earl Craven was born in Cleveland, Ohio on August 2, 1939 into a strict Baptist family. His mother was reportedly severely religious and he evidently never developed a close relationship with his father, who has been described as distant and violent in nature. Craven attended Wheaton College in Illinois, earning an undergraduate degree in English and Psychology before gaining a master’s in Writing and Philosophy from Johns Hopkins University.
Craven taught briefly at Westminster College and at what is now Clarkson University before moving into filmmaking, with his first job in the industry as a sound editor at a New York post-production house. Craven then moved into directing X-rated films, as stated during an interview for the porn documentary Inside Deep Throat.
Craven’s breakthrough was the 1972 low budget exploitation-horror shocker Last House on the Left, which Craven wrote, directed and edited. Produced by Sean S. Cunningham – who would go on to make the original 1980 Friday the 13th – and based on Swedish master Ingmar Bergman’s Virgin Spring, Craven’s debut chronicled the rape and murder of a young girl, whose attackers wind up at her parents’ home and become the victims of a brutal revenge.
Making over $3 million on a roughly $87,000 budget, Last House on the Left put Craven on the map. In 1977 Craven’s cult classic The Hills Have Eyes was released, which followed a suburban family who becomes stranded in the Nevada desert and assaulted by a family of deranged savages and was remade in 2006. Craven directed the 1982 comic book adaptation Swamp Thing (a cult favorite for… different reasons) and The Hills Have Eyes II before giving the world what would become his most enduring and immortal creation: Freddy Krueger in 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Elm Street explored the terrifyingly thin line between dreams and reality and featured Robert Englund as the cackling homicidal Freddy, who haunts the dreams of suburban teenagers and dispatching them in increasingly grotesque and creative ways once they fall asleep. The film spawned a series of sequels (of increasingly diminished quality), a spinoff pitting two of the most iconic 1980’s slasher characters against each other (Freddy Vs. Jason), a horror anthology series for television and a 2010 remake. Freddy Krueger gained a permanent place in the American pop culture subconscious.
In 1986, Craven directs his first movie for a big studio (Warner Bros.), Deadly Friend, a romantic teenage horror movie that failed in the box office. Originally, the film was a sci-fi thriller without any graphic scenes, with a bigger focus on plot and character development, and a dark love story centering around the two main characters, which were not typical aspects of Craven’s previous films. After Craven’s original director’s cut was shown to a test audience, the audience criticized the lack of graphic, bloody violence and gore that Craven’s films included. Due to studio imposed re-shoots and re-editing, the film was drastically altered in post-production, losing much of the original plot and more scenes between characters, while other scenes, including bloodier deaths and a new ending, were added.
Craven was involved in the lucrative Elm Street sequels up until A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors, but moved on to direct episodes of the mid-80’s reboot of The Twilight Zone as well as The Serpent and the Rainbow, based on the nonfiction book about an ethnobotanist (Bill Pullman) who investigates an alleged true life case of a zombie created through Haitian Voodoo.
The Serpent and the Rainbow represented an attempt to move away from the slasher genre Craven helped create, and while he would follow it up with schlocky fare like the horror-comedy Shocker and the more straight-forward horror film The People Under the Stairs, Craven would revisit his signature creation with 1994’s New Nightmare. A meta-horror examination of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, New Nightmare featured the original film’s stars Heather Langenkamp and Robert Englund (and Craven himself) as themselves, pitted against Freddy Krueger as attempts to enter the real world.
In 1996, Wes Craven once again reinvented the horror genre for a new generation with Scream, a horror movie about horror movies featuring a clever, self-aware script by Kevin Williamson and – keeping with the Craven tradition of casting promising talent (like Johnny Depp in Elm Street or Sharon Stone in 1981’s Deadly Blessing) – starred the likes of Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, Jamie Kennedy and Matthew Lillard. Scream spawned three sequels and was recently adapted for television on MTV. The TV version of Scream has proved a hit, and has been renewed for a second season.
Between directing Scream 2 and Scream 3, Craven stepped out of his main genre completely with the drama Music of the Heart, which starred Meryl Streep in an Oscar-nominated performance as an inner-city music teacher. His straight-forward thriller Red Eye was one of the highlights of his 2000’s output, as was his segment in the acclaimed French anthology film Paris je t’aime. His final two films, 2010’s My Soul to Take and 2011’s Scream 4 were less well-received, but he had several promising projects in development, such as a television adaptation of The People Under the Stairs with SyFy.
Craven was a life-long nature lover and served as a member of the Audubon California Board of Directors, a conservationist society committed to restoring and protecting natural ecosystems. He is survived by his third wife Iya Labunka, his sister, children, grandchildren and stepdaughter.
Wes Craven was of the greatest American horror directors of all time, tapping into the existential terror lurking under the surface of 1980’s suburbia and time and again explored the blurry line between fantasy and reality. On the subject of the horror genre, Craven once said:
“It’s like boot camp for the psyche. In real life, human beings are packaged in the flimsiest of packages, threatened by real and sometimes horrifying dangers, events like Columbine. But the narrative form puts these fears into a manageable series of events. It gives us a way of thinking rationally about our fears.”
R.I.P. Master. You gave generations of horror fans the best kind of nightmares.
Wes Craven Filmography (only as director)
1972 – The Last House on the Left
1977 – The Hills Have Eyes
1978 – Stranger in Our House (TV movie)
1981 – Deadly Blessing
1982 – Swamp Thing
1984 – Invitation to Hell (TV movie)
1984 – A Nightmare on Elm Street
1985 – Chiller (TV movie)
1985 – The Hills Have Eyes Part II
1985 – The Twilight Zone (TV series, 5 episodes)
1986 – Deadly Friend
1986 – Casebusters (Episode of anthology TV series Disneyland)
1988 – The Serpent and the Rainbow
1989 – The People Next Door
1989 – Shocker
1990 – Night Visions (TV movie)
1991 – The People Under the Stairs
1992 – Nightmare Cafe (TV movie)
1994 – Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
1995 – Vampire in Brooklyn
1995 – The Hills Have Eyes III
1996 – Scream
1997 – Scream 2
1999 – Music of the Heart
2005 – Cursed
2005 – Red Eye
2006 – Paris, je t’aime (Segment: Père-Lachaise)
2010 – My Soul to Take
2011 – Scream 4
Tags: actors, celebrities, star trek, tv series
“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.”
– Leonard Nimoy
This is a sad day to me because one of my childhood heroes has passed away. I grown up watching Star Trek the original series in the early of the 70s, and like millions of people the Gene Roddenberry’s series was essential to the development of my passion for science fiction since that time.
Legendary actor Leonard Nimoy, most known as Mr. Spock from Star Trek series, died this Friday, February 27, at 83, in Bel Air, California. According to his granddaughter, Madeleine Nimoy, the cause of death was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. His “Star Trek” co-stars, including William Shatner and George Takei, expressed sadness at his death. Source: CNN.
“I loved him like a brother. We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love.” – William Shatner
“We return you now to the stars, Leonard. You taught us to ‘Live Long And Prosper,’ and you indeed did, friend,” – George Takei
Two years ago I made a post to celebrate Leonard’s 82th birthday. I will reblog it now. R.I.P. Mr. Nimoy.
Leonard Simon Nimoy was born on March 26, 1931, in Boston, Massachusetts, in the West End, to Yiddish-speaking Orthodox Jewish immigrants from Iziaslav, Soviet Union (now Ukraine). Nimoy is four days younger than his Star Trek co-star William Shatner. His father, Max Nimoy, owned a barbershop in the Mattapan section of the city. His mother, Dora Nimoy (née Spinner), was a homemaker. Nimoy began acting at the age of eight in children’s and neighborhood theater. His parents wanted him to attend college and pursue a stable career, or even learn to play the accordion—with which, his father advised, Nimoy could always make a living—but his grandfather encouraged him to become an actor.
Nimoy’s film and television acting career began in 1951, but after receiving the title role in the 1952 film Kid Monk Baroni, a story about a street punk turned professional boxer, he played more than 50 small parts in B movies, television series such as Perry Mason, and Dragnet, and serials such as Republic Pictures’ Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952). To support his family, Nimoy often worked other jobs, such as delivering newspapers in the morning.
In the 50’s, Nimoy appeared in many TV series as The Twilight Zone, Sea Hunt, Highway Patrol, Colt .45 and Wagon Train. Throughout the 1960s, Nimoy appeared in Bonanza, The Rebel, Two Faces West, Rawhide, The Untouchables, The Eleventh Hour, Combat!, Daniel Boone, The Outer Limits, The Virginian, Get Smart and Mission: Impossible. After worked together in Star Trek series, Nimoy and William Shatner first worked together on an episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., “The Project Strigas Affair” (1964). Their characters were from opposite sides of the Iron Curtain. Nimoy first worked with DeForest Kelley – best known as Dr. Leonard McCoy in Star Trek series – in “Man of Violence”, a season two episode of The Virginian.
Where No Man Has Gone Before
Leonard Nimoy’s greatest prominence came from his role in the original Star Trek series. As the half-Vulcan, half-human Mr. Spock, Nimoy became a star, and the press predicted that he would “have his choice of movies or television series”. He formed a long-standing friendship with William Shatner, who portrayed his commanding officer, saying of their relationship, “we were like brothers”.
Star Trek: The Original Series was broadcast from 1966 to 1969. Nimoy earned three Emmy Award nominations for his work on the iconic program that has defined American television science fiction, both for fans of science fiction, and beyond.
He went on to reprise the Spock character in Star Trek: The Animated Series and two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The six Star Trek movies feature the original Star Trek cast including Nimoy, who also directed two of the films.
He played the elder Spock in the 2009 Star Trek movie, directed by J. J. Abrams. In April 2010, Leonard Nimoy announced that he was retiring from playing the signature character of Star Trek‘s Spock.
Live long and prosper
Spock’s Vulcan salute became a recognized symbol of the show and was identified with him. Leonard Nimoy created the sign himself from his childhood memories of the way kohanim (Jewish priests) held their hand when giving blessings. During an interview, he translated the Priestly Blessing which accompanied the sign and described it during a public lecture: “May the Lord bless and keep you and may the Lord cause his countenance to shine upon you. May the Lord be gracious unto you and grant you peace. The accompanying spoken blessing, Live long and prosper”.
After Star Trek
In the 70’s, Leonard Nimoy oined the cast of the spy series Mission: Impossible, which was seeking a replacement for Martin Landau. He played the role during the fourth and fifth seasons of the show from 1969 to 1971. He co-starred with Yul Brynner and Richard Crenna in the Western movie Catlow (1971). He also had roles in two episodes of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery (1972 and 1973) and Columbo (1973), and appeared in various made for television films. He received an Emmy Award nomination for best supporting actor for the television film A Woman Called Golda (1982).
Nimoy’s interest in photography began in childhood; he still owns a camera that he rebuilt at the age of 13. His photography studies at UCLA occurred after Star Trek and Mission: Impossible, when Nimoy seriously considered changing careers. His work has been exhibited at the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
Nimoy has written two volumes of autobiography. The first was called I Am Not Spock (1975) and was controversial, as many fans incorrectly assumed that Nimoy was distancing himself from the Spock character. In the book, Nimoy conducts dialogues between himself and Spock. The contents of this first autobiography also touched on a self-proclaimed “identity crisis” that seemed to haunt Nimoy throughout his career. It also related to an apparent love/hate relationship with the character of Spock and the Trek franchise. The second volume, I Am Spock (1995), saw Nimoy communicating that he finally realized his years of portraying the Spock character had led to a much greater identification between the fictional character and himself. Nimoy had much input into how Spock would act in certain situations, and conversely, Nimoy’s contemplation of how Spock acted gave him cause to think about things in a way that he never would have thought if he had not portrayed the character. As such, in this autobiography Nimoy maintains that in some meaningful sense he has merged with Spock while at the same time maintaining the distance between fact and fiction.
Leonard Nimoy has also written several volumes of poetry, some published along with a number of his photographs.