TRAILER: ‘Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines’

Wonder Women_The Untold Story of American Superheroines

From a lack of female creators at the top publishers to the lack of starring vehicles in various media for female superheroes, gender equality in mainstream comics has been among the foremost issues facing comic books today.

Enter filmmakers Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and Kelcey Edwards and their new film, Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines, which is set to premiere as a part of PBS’ award-winning series Independent Lens on April 15. Here’s how the film is described:

[Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines] traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman. From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, Wonder Women looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation. The film goes behind the scenes with TV stars Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman) and Lindsay Wagner (The Bionic Woman), comic writers and artists, and real-life superheroines such as Gloria Steinem, Kathleen Hanna and others, who offer an enlightening and entertaining counterpoint to the male-dominated superhero genre.

And here’s an advanced peek at the film:


Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines airs on Monday, April 15, 2013 at 10 PM ET on PBS.



  1. I’m interested to see how in depth this doc. will go into Marston’s agenda with Wonder Woman which he tried not so subtly to conveyed. Regardless, I will be watching this film.

    One thing I’ve always been fascinated with is people’s lack of knowledge about Helen Keller’s life. The mentality is pervasive to the point of reducing her to stupid, ignorant jokes by those who have never bother to learn more about her.

    • They do talk quite a bit about his background and his motivations for why he created her. He’s such a fascinating person, I think they would have been remiss in creating a documentary about Wonder Woman but not talking about his beliefs, lifestyle and agenda.

    • I would hope they talk about the bondage elements and not just skip to “he wanted to show women can be heroes too!”. At least I want someone to explain that to me, maybe I’m just dense but it seems really odd to come from the first female superhero.

    • My own hypothesis: Marston wanted to stress that his character could be as dominant as any male. Only so long as she could physically excert that dominance. Sort of a “I think I can” maybe. As soon as she submitted she lost any dominance and power she might have had. So, go independant or go powerless.

      Or, Marston was just into that sort of thing. Diana was the all powerful dominatrix of his imagination.

  2. Whoa! Kathleen Hanna! I miss Bikini Kill. Riot Grrrl was awesome. If I had a daughter now I’d be pissed she didn’t grow up in the 90s.

  3. Very cool that this article comes out just a few days after the Wordballoon podcast interview with Professor Blanch about her new free, online Gender Through Comics class. This show happens to air just about midway through that course.

  4. They showed three of my all time favorites in the first 30 seconds (Ripley, Sarah Connor, and Buffy).

    Looks interesting. I’ll check it out if I get a chance.

  5. Looks like an amazing doc

  6. I saw this as a double-header with the Morgan Spurlock Comic-Con movie at a documentary film festival in my city. There is a lot about Wonder Woman, and then lots about female characters and feminism in general, but not a lot about the world of comics. I really liked it! As a feminist geek, I would say that there wasn’t a ton of stuff that I didn’t already know, but it was very well done. Feminists and fans of strong female characters (or people just interested in them) will like it.

  7. This looks good as hell. Definitely going to pass this along

  8. Going by this trailer, I can’t help but feel that the “Idea” or “Concept” of Wonder Woman is more important to these women than the actual comics. Not that I’m an expert or even big on the comics myself, its just the impression I get.