Parting Glances: Woo! Woo! You, too, Wonder Woman?

BY CHARLES ALEXANDER

Sixty-three years ago, when I was a gay, impressionable teenage DC Comics Book fan, a shrink named Fredric Wertham claimed that the bitter seeds of crime were sown by comic books.

Wertham's best selling psychobabble book, "Seduction of the Innocent" also said comics helped to turn impressionable kids gay. (In or out of capes and leotards isn't specified.)

"I have never come across any adult or adolescent who had outgrown comic-book reading who would ever dream of keeping any of the 'books' for any sentimental or other reason," Wertham wrote. (Let's see, "Action Comic #1; 1938" marketed for $3.2 million on eBay.)

I'll admit as a kid I admired Captain Marvel. I knew that his alter ego, dot-eyed Billy Batson, was an ordinary runt like me. That was encouraging. With exercise, Wheaties, eight hours of sleepovers, and Brilcream -- "a little dab'll do ya" -- life held possibilities for real rooftop soaring. (And maybe backroom scoring.)

But Wertham's darts weren't directed at Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, Superman, Plastic Man, Submariner, The Flash, or Mr. Tweedle Dee Dee. (All heroes of mine.) They were aimed at closet queers Batman and Robin and crypto-dyke Wonder Woman.

Yes, the Caped Crusader had a "ward" (guardian, not prison) and Wonder Woman, well -- as plump sidekick Etta Candy woo-woo'd it, "Aphrodite be praised!" -- she hailed from an island of female Amazons, and they weren't selling books online in the forum, either, Mary!

"At home they lead an idyllic life," observed Wertham. "They are Bruce Wayne and 'Dick' Grayson. They live in sumptuous quarters with beautiful flowers in large vases. Batman is sometimes shown in a dressing gown. It is like a wish of two homos living together."

(Under 30s, please note: A dressing gown is not drag. Large vases are House & Gardens optional. But, as everybody knows, 'Dick' is dick.)

"For boys Wonder Woman is a frightening image," warns Wertham. "For girls she is a morbid ideal. Where Batman is anti-feminine, the attractive Wonder Woman and her counterparts are definitely anti-masculine."

Wertham may have been on to something about the Wayne-Graysons. DC Comics, which drives the lucrative Batmobile to the bank, refuses to grant permission to use any illustrations of the crusading pair -- gardening or fisticuffing -- for psychological gossiping about the their sexual orientation.

As for the redoubtable Wonder Woman, circa 2017, she and plump sidekick Etta Candy have made it big, big time. The Warner Brothers box-office hit, according to online ScreenRant could break into the Top 10 Highest Grossing Superhero Films of all time.

America's [Beloved Dyke Prototype?] Wonder Woman has earned over $275 million at the domestic box office and $573 million worldwide. "Says, ScreenRant -- and with just a hint of caveat -- "The film enjoyed the most successful opening weekend ever for a film with a female director."

Director Patty Jenkins, it's also reported online, at first had some private reservations about the selection of Gal Gadot as the film's superstar. Understandably, Jenkins changed her mind rather quickly. Gal's performance is -- WOW! WOO! WOW! -- stunning, if underpaid at $300,000.

Truth is: $800 million's incentive enough for a worldwide seduction of movie audiences that are -- shall we say, Aphrodite be praised! --less than innocent?

  • Latest News

Enter To Win

Enter contests to win great prizes like CDs, DVDs, concert tickets and more

Special Section: World AIDS Day
Rising Above

Activist Cleve Jones has lived an extraordinary life, filled with world-changing friends and figureheads from Harvey Milk to Dustin Lance Black.

View More World AIDS Day
This Week's Issue

Download or view this week's print issue today!