Continuing with DC’s best-selling line of Earth One original graphic novels, writer/shaman/diviner of all things fourth-dimensional, Grant Morrison, throws his Technicolor hat into the ring with Wonder Woman: Earth One Vol 1. Along with artist Yanick Paquette, Morrison’s Wonder Woman: Earth One, debuting April 6th, seeks to reinvent and reinvigorate the character by exhuming the often overlooked, often misunderstood essence of Wonder Woman: the forward-thinking, alternative lifestyle-advocating feminist and avatar of womanly compassion, intelligence and strength. While promoting Wonder Woman: Earth One, Morrison sat down with our friends at ComicBookResources and talked about the brilliance of Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston, and the reasoning behind his chosen altercations to Wonder Woman’s past. So, sit back and drink in the brilliance as Grant Morrison talks Wonder Woman: Earth One in the following, excerpted interview.
Grant was asked about the importance of William Moulton Marston – a very unique individual responsible for developing the systolic blood pressure test (a key component used in lie detectors) – within the history of comics. The creator of Wonder Woman, he isn’t named as often or as vigorously as Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, or Bob Kane and Bill Finger. This causal inconsideration is minutely criminal.
“I think Marston has to definitely be seen as one of the pantheon of great originators within comics. And I think what’s most interesting about him is that while Siegel and Shuster were bringing in the influence of immigrant kids during the Great Depression and Bob Kane and Bill Finger were bringing in wealth but also a dark strand to comics, I think what Marston brought in was actually counter-culture and alternatives, which I think has since become a part of comics all the way through.
Superman was rich in science fiction and Batman was crime and mystery, but with Wonder Woman you were getting the influences of alternative culture and total feminism. It was all about magic and weirdness, too, with alternative lifestyles and alternative ideas, which was basically reflective of Marston’s entire life. That’s what he was. He was part of alternative culture. As a result, I think Wonder Woman has always emboldened that strand. And that’s what makes her so strange. The character has been portrayed in lots of different ways. We’ve had the Girl Scout version. We’ve had the warrior version. But really, she comes from a much stranger tradition. And that’s what I found out about her and what I became interested about her as a character.”
He was also asked to share his reasoning behind Wonder Woman’s altered secret origin.
“I thought the World War II origin really didn’t work anymore. And that was quite a big part of the original, which was that she decided to go and help fight the war and obviously that doesn’t apply in the same way anymore. What interested me more was that rather than she went and the Amazons were happy for her to go and her mother wanted her to go to man’s world or even that she went to man’s world because she fell in love with Steve Trevor, I liked the idea that her mother didn’t want her to go.
The idea was to have more of this princess storyline where you’ve got this younger girl who is trapped in a world that even though it’s a perfect world, she wants more. Especially, when you think about the Amazons being immortal. I didn’t imagine it stale but I did imagine that their world being very ritualistic and very formalized because these women have known each other for a long, long time. They have seen and done everything and so I saw Diana as a princess that wants to escape and see a wider world. I chose to take that aspect of it rather than have her go to fight the war. I thought this added a bit more dramatic tension.”