Since the dawn of the comic book superhero, heroes have been expressed throughout varying forms of media: The Dark Knight has been the focus of several films, a bronze statue of Captain America will find a permanent home in New York, and the Punisher’s logo has found itself among those serving in the U.S. Army as well as the Navy SEALs. In each of these forms, humanity honors their heroes while using their image to inspire hope, the great promise of humanity. To add to this tradition, the United States Postal Service has recently teamed with Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment to create 75th Anniversary Forever Stamps to honor the life and legacy of the first popular female superhero, Wonder Woman. While you may have seen pictures of the stamps from their unveiling at San Diego Comic-Con, The Source has the answers on the significance behind the new Wonder Woman stamps.
Row 1: Modern Age
The Modern Age stamp sports the New 52-style Wonder Woman with the silver accents on her costume that shine instead of the typical yellow/gold. An unseen light source glows before her, showcasing the style of shading which has grown immensely in comics throughout the last decade. Additionally, Princess Diana is wielding a hammer. While it is typically the weapon of Thor, its symbolism still works with Diana: the hammer is a weapon of destruction or construction; in the hands of Wonder Woman, it showcases the power of the modern woman to build or dismantle how she sees fit. The Modern Age stamp should stand as a reminder of how far women have come since Wonder Woman’s introduction and an inspiration to keep moving forward.
Row 2: Bronze Age
The second row of stamps showcases the most famous version of Wonder Woman from the bronze age of comics. On it, she stands tall, empowered. Her fist is raised, ready to fight any injustice before her, or lead a charge of Justice League members to battle evil incarnate. Around her wrists are the Bracelets of Submission, a reminder for all Amazons of their time enslaved, and their failure in reforming mankind. But for Wonder Woman, they also deflect gunfire and absorb blasts of energy. In her left hand, the Lasso of Truth waits to be utilized, ensnaring any and making all speak with veracity. Evildoers beware; Bronze Age Wonder Woman takes no prisoners!
Row 3: Silver Age
Although she still appears ready for battle, the Silver Age Wonder Woman struck a distinct balance between empathetic compassion and warrior compulsion. The most notable difference lies in her eyes. In the era before, her eyes hardly ever contained color, but in the Silver Age of comics, her blue eyes saw a blue balance between red rage and non-violent yellow.
Again, as above, her lasso is featured within the stamp. During this age, Princess Diana would utilize the lasso’s abilities more than ever, getting confessions out of her foes constantly. It was also during this period her mythological roots were expanded upon. Wonder Woman was not just destined for greatness in the League; her fate was foretold while she was still in the crib: one day she will be as “beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, as strong as Hercules, and as swift as Hermes.” Even as we watch her grow from outside the DC Universe, this prophecy still holds true.
Row 4: Golden Age
Last but certainly not least, the fourth and final row of stamps features the version that started it all, the Golden Age Wonder Woman. The design of the stamp pays homage to the creator of Wonder Woman, William Moulton Marston, and the first man to draw her, H.G. Peter. Since her inception, Moulton intended Wonder Woman to be an icon for women. In creating her, he wanted to strike a balance between Margret Sanger, the women’s rights activist, and a typical pin-up girl. In doing so, Wonder Woman was featured in 1941’s Action Comics #8, which was just the start of her lengthy, heroic career fighting injustice, and fighting for equality between men and women.
But perhaps the most significant aspect of these stamps is the meaning behind the word crossed out on each picture, “Forever.” Unlike other sets of commemorative stamps, this new collection of Wonder Woman stamps hold a special value. While others may increase or decrease in value, Forever Stamps will hold the same monetary value since the day they were issued. No matter what happens to Wonder Woman in the future, no matter where the character goes or if we stop using stamps altogether, this set of beautifully crafted stamps will always pay homage to one of the greatest comic book characters, not only in aesthetic but in monetary and sentimental value as well.
Check out the Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Forever Stamps on their day of issue, October 7th, at New York Comic-Con, and keep checking back in with The Source for all your comic book news, interviews, and reviews!